Ho Chi Minh was born Nguyen Sinh Cung on May 19, 1890, in the village of Hoàng Trù (the name of the local temple near Làng Sen) the home of his mother Hoang Thi Loan. Since 1895, he lived in his father's village of Kim Liên. He had three siblings: his sister Bach Lien, a clerk in the French Army; his brother Nguyen Sinh Khiem, a geomancer and traditional herbalist; and another brother Nguyen Sinh Nhuan, who died in infancy. In keeping with Vietnamese tradition, Ho Chi Minh's parents gave him a new name when he reached adolescence. The new name was to reflect the parents' aspirations for their child and was recorded at the village registry.
Ho Chi Minh's father assigned him the name Nguyen That Thanh, meaning "he who will succeed." His father, Nguyen Sinh Huy, was a Confucian scholar and teacher and later an imperial magistrate in the small remote district of Binh Khe (Qui Nhơn). He was demoted for abuse of power after an influential local figure died several days after having received 102 strokes of the cane as punishment for an infraction. His father was eligible to serve in the imperial bureaucracy, but he refused because it meant serving the French. This exposed Ho Chi Minh to rebellion at a young age and seemed to be the norm for the province.
As a child, Ho Chi Minh was fond of adventure and loved to fly kites and go fishing.