Chinese:: Mandarin form of the surname 段 meaning ‘segment’ or ‘paragraph’ in Chinese: (i) from the personal name Duan (段) style name of Gong Shu Duan (共叔段) younger brother of Duke Zhuang of Zheng (ruler of the state of Zheng 757–701 BC) who later fled to the fief Gong due to his failure of a coup against his brother Duke Zhuang of Zheng. (ii) shortened form of the compound surname Duan-Gan (段干) traced back to Duan-Gan Mu (段干木) a person who lived in the state of Wei during the Warring States period (475–221 BC). (iii) from Duan (段) the name of a tribe from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China. Mandarin form of the surname 端: (i) from Duan (端) the name of an ancient state (located in Shanxi province) which later became a fief in the state of Jin after its annihilation during the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). (ii) shortened form of the compound Chinese surname Duan-Mu (端木) a surname traced back to Duan Mu Ci (端木赐) a student of Confucius (551–479 BC).
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press