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The geographic distribution of surnames in Taiwan, published by Chen and Fried, was studied as a potential source of information on the migrational history of the Taiwanese population. Isonymies between counties showed little, if any, correlation with geographic distance, and then only with distance by sea route. Tree and principal component analysis showed a clustering which was difficult to interpret on the basis of geographic considerations, but which could be entirely explained on the basis of historical information on colonizations of the island from mainland China in the last three centuries, and later major internal migrations.