Confucius was born in 551 B.C. in a village called Tsou, which was in the country of Lu. His early ancestor was Kung Fangshu (who was a ninth-generation ancestor of a king of Sung and the fourth-generation ancestor of Confucius). Fangshu was the father of Pohsia, and Pohsia was the father of Shuliang Ho. Ho was the father of Confucius. The ancestors of Confucius before Kung Fangshu held no positions of importance, but Kung Fangshu became the administrator of a county in Lu.
Confuciuss parents were married under very special circumstances. His father was over sixty four and his mother was only seventeen years old when they got married. Ho, Confuciuss father, already had two wives, nine daughters, and one disabled son. Why would he want to marry such a young girl? From ancient Chinese society, people believed sons to be more important than daughters. It is because after the daughter was married, she belonged to another family and she would help the family of her husband. The daughter was also going to take a lot of dowry (trousseau) to her husbands family. It was very important to have a son who will carry on the family name, so Ho married Cheng-tsai in the hope that she would bear him a son.
When Cheng-tsai and Ho didnt have a baby soon after they married, Cheng-tsai went to Nichiu hill to pray for a son. That is why Confucius was called "Chiu" (meaning a hill). His literary name was Chungni, and his last name was Kung. (Confucius" means "Kung the Master"). Confucius had a strange look about him when he was born. His forehead looked like an upside down cave. Hos neighbor and friends laughed at the strange looking baby, and no one in his family could stand the ridicule except for Confuciuss parents. Cheng-tsai and Confucius were driven away; and Ho died soon after they left. Ho was buried at Fangshan, in Eastern Lu, but Confucius and his mother didnt know where he was buried because they didnt go to his funeral. They didnt go to the funeral because they were expelled from the family; and if they went back, other people might think that they wanted to fight for the possessions of Ho.
When Confucius was a child, he used to play at making sacrificial offerings and performing ceremonies. He wanted to be an officer in charge of the rites in Lu. He also helped his mother to do some housework.