Like lachinatown said, the first thing is to find the characters of your closest ancestor. The most efficient way is to have someone with Chinese language skills locate that ancestor on the charts. Otherwise, print the Chinese characters a small piece of paper and search and compare the characters like a rorscharch test. This is similar to finding Waldo in the Where is Waldo children’s book series.
Make sure you have a Xeroxed copy of your booklet. I have seen beginners regret the notes and annotations they have made in the original's margins. These family tree booklets are precious and hard to obtain. Non Chinese literate genealogist need to take copious notes in order not to lose their place, and you don't want to deface the booklet with scribbles. Let me know if you want medium or higher tech methods of recording these notes.
Once you have located your ancestors on your charts, find where they are in the biography section. Generally you only need to translate the short biographies. This should save you some money. If you want to try to translate the sections yourself, check this thread: Understanding Jiapu/Zupu for Chinese Illiteratesclick
You might private email Philip for his advice. Also twoupmanclick has a translation service on his web site, along with a nice discussion about these bookletsclick. Finally, check this wiki jiapuclick IMHO
msen: Hi Sis, and welcome to the forum. As you know, I recently returned on a long journey from Florida to see one of our American cousins, sadly, in hospice. Her wish was to reconnect our family and visit with as many as could make the trip to her bedside.
Jun 15, 2013 12:27:50 GMT -5
msen: Oops, I guess i will continue in shoutbox, but merely wanted to reply to you! Long story short, her wish came true and now we have, thanks to forum friends, our village and some names in our father's family. Shout out to Laohuaqiao, FayChee and forum.
Jun 15, 2013 12:32:35 GMT -5