This is unequivocally, an excellent Chinese genealogy website providing general as well as specific knowledge for both beginners and experts.
Well designed and the language is simple, clear, and understandable - also, the bamboo art is very nice too !
I highly recommend this website to one and all - also Al's book: "You are Royalty: A Guide to your Chinese Ancestor". Any serious researcher of Chinese genealogy needs to have a copy of this book - I am so glad I have one.
I enjoyed visiting your website. I think my great grandmother may have been a Chin. Do you use a special software program that has Chinese characters? Your website looks great. Congratulations! Do you have any insight on how I can verify that ggmother was indeed a Chin? I know that zupus were mainly or only concerned with male lineage. Plus, there is no one to ask. Someone at National Archives said that records in the US were not kept prior to the 1880s, so those records aren't that helpful. Thanks.
No, it is just a text editor into which I insert Chinese characters directly.
Regarding your ggmother, the first thing is to visit her grave site and look at the tombstone. If it has Chinese script on it, chances are pretty good it will display her surname and village as well. The zupu will show your ggfather's complete name with your ggmother's surname; that is the normal practice.
Twoupman: Thank you for your reply. It looks like I need to visit China to progress any further with my family's genealogy. If one visited his ancestral village, would the cemetery be hard to find? I assume that a lot of smaller villages would only have one? Would you be so kind to provide the Chinese character(s) for "cemetery"? I don't read Chinese, so I would definitely need someone to translate for me. It looks like I will need to contact the Guandong Overseas Chinese branch in the future. I would love to travel to China in 2009 0r 2010.
When you mentioned US records I thought your ggmother was in the US. Finding cemeteries in China is touch and go unless the village family observe the customs closely and tend to them twice a year. In Cantonese, cemetery is Fahn Cheuhng 墳場, grave is Fahn Mouh 墳墓 and the tombstone is Mouh Bei 墓碑.
I would think that the village chief probably has a limited role to play in updating a zupu. Since a zupu is clan or family document, the involvement of a village chief would probably be from being a clan member and not as an official to manage the affairs of the village as related to the local government.
Based upon my limited experience with zupus, I believe the coverage and applicability of zupu can be based upon a national, provincial, county, or sub-county area. Specific branches in the lineage of these zupus are updated by a particular family or extended family of closely related relatives, usually, through collective donations - they hire a professional Chinese genealogist to do the update. Hence, this updated “clan” zupu becomes a “family” zupu.
After a couple of generations, there may be an update of a clan zupu at the national, provincial, county, or sub-county level and theoretically, this update includes all “family” zupus and all information submitted by individual clan members.
Currently, there is an update of the Taishan Tan clan zupu. Since the last Tan clan zupu lineage only goes as far as my great great grandfather, the update extending to my grandson’s generation is 6 generations, with an average of 30 years per generation, the gap in when the Tan clan zupu has been last updated is 180 years. This Tan clan update zupu will be published next year.
Hi Henry. Thanks for the fascinating information. Right now, I have hit a "brickwall" in genealogy. I have the name of my ggrandfather and the date of his death, but would need either a tombstone in China or the zupu to get further. The Wong zupu would be ideal. My great-grandfather's name was Wong Chong Kee. He died in China October 11, 1916. Does anyone have a "WONG CHONG KEE" as ancestor in their zupu? He was from Yiuh Tihn village , Zengcheng. Now, has anyone ever hired a professional Chinese genealogist?
If you have the Chinese name of your great grandfather and the Chinese name of your ancestral village in Zengcheng - I suggest - asking Helen if she knows somebody from your ancestral village directly, from her Zengcheng association in New Zealand, or from people in New Zealand that still have relatives living in this village - that can make an inquiry within the village for a copy of the genealogy book that shows your great grandfather's name - there are probably people in your ancestral village that may still know of him. Or, have somebody call the Zengcheng county government offices and ask for the name and telephone number of the village chief for your ancestral village and then make contact and ask the village chief to find and make a copy of your family genealogy book for you. Of course, if you are successful, some "red" envelopes may be in order :-)