Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 方 meaning ‘square’ in Chinese: (i) from Fang (方) the name of a hill which according to legend was a fief (thought to be in present-day Yuzhou or Songshan in Henan province) granted to Lei (known as Fang Lei Shi 方雷氏) son of the legendary king Yu Wang (traditional dates: 4561–4494 BC). (ii) from the first element of the personal name Fang Shu (方叔) style name of an official during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC). Chinese: Mandarin form of the surname 房 meaning ‘house’ in Chinese: (i) from the placename Fang (房) the name of a fief (located in present-day Suiping in Henan province) granted to Danzhu son of the legendary Emperor Yao (c. 24th century BC). (ii) adopted as a surname by the Wu Yin (屋引) family from the Xianbei ethnic group in northern China during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534 AD). Southeast Asian (Hmong): from the name of the Fang clan of the Hmong people in Laos China and Vietnam; in Chinese characters it is written 黃 (see Huang ). German: from Middle High German vanc ‘catch enclosure’ hence a topographic name for someone who lived by an enclosed plot of land a hunting ground a place where traps were set (for game or fish) or a pit; or a byname meaning ‘the catch’ for a foreigner who had been forced into bondage.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press