Post by chakrajuices on Nov 24, 2018 16:48:16 GMT -5
Hi Henry, I have just read your tour experience - WOW!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience it has allowed me to learn lots more about my Grandfathers life in China...the photos are your shared experiences have inspired me and the tour sounds fantastic!
We are going to do this again in Nov 2019, this tour is open to all. We even had some folks from Malaysia.
The itinerary for Nov 2019 is set up for people that have never visited China - and want to have an overall experience, all you have to do is meet us in the hotel in Beijing. I am going to start in Beijing, 3 days, with 2 days in Xi'an, over to Xiamen, and also Meizhou. This way you get to see two major cities in China nationally, a taste of Fujian & northeastern Guangdong provinces & some Hakka environments, and Guangdong province with visits to Shaoguan, Zhujixiang, Mei Guan (Pass), Guangzhou, Jiangmen and ultimately in Taishan / Toisan & Kaiping / Hoiping in the Sze Yap / SiYi region. Beyond all the travel, it is the cultural immersion into village life which makes this tour an unforgettable experience. We will finish up in Hong Kong, my wife wants to spend a couple days for the food and to recover from all the traveling.
If you are interested in going - please send me an email at: " Tomclan@Gmail.com ".
It looks like you had a wonderful and incredibly successful genealogy workshop and tour! I enjoyed really reading your summary and viewing the photos.
I am looking forward immensely to my pilgrimage with my Liverpool cousin, to our Tham, Chan and maternal grandmother Tang’s ancestral villages and to connect with our lost lost Chan relatives. It is ironic that over WeChat conversations, they said they prayed for a lost ancestor (my grandfather) who left the village at 16, thinking he had been killed or kidnapped, when we ended up in India, Africa, Britain, Canada and America, then we suddenly popped out of the woodwork to reach out to them after 85 years.
Unfortunately, for my other grandparent’s ancestral villages, I hit a dead end with my paternal grandmothers’ Szeto and Lee villages but still 3 out of 5 is s wonderful batting average considering I started from zero just 18 months ago.
What dates are your 2019 trip? Do you have an itinerary yet? Hopefully, we can coordinate and be able to meet up on some Guangdong/Kaiping tours.
If you provide me the information on the Szeto & Lee villages, maybe I can help.
I am still working out the details, but, here is what the date range looks like:
The Overseas Chinese Genealogy Workshop is comprised of a pre-workshop tour, the workshop & associated tours, and a post- workshop tour.
Fly into Beijing, China
Segment 1 Pre-workshop tour October 31 – Nov 10
Segment 2 Workshop & associated tours Nov 11 – 18
Segment 3 Post- workshop tour Nov 18 – 22
Return from Hong Kong
The hard part is to balance getting the most / best quality in terms of transportation, hotel, food, and tours & guides at the most affordable price - without short changing yourself too badly. Remember, you can always pay less, but, was it really worth it ?
With regard to my Tham grandmothers, wife#1 SZETO, Yuk Ma and wife #3 LEE, King Yee, all I have are their names and the Chinese characters, without any village names, hence the dilemma. I am not even sure if there will be any clues on grandma Szeto’s grave, if we can find it when I visit our ancestral village next year.
As for grandma Lee, according to my mom’s recollection, she literary ran off with the family jewels (these were the gold jewelry /gifts when she wed grandpa Tham in India). When she eventually returned to the village, while grandpa Tham stayed on in India, he told her to share the gold jewelry with wife #1. According to the story, she told grandma Szeto there was no jewelry, then ran off to her home village with it).
Our planning for the trip next year is still in it’s early stage and we are exploring options but the main area of concentration will be visiting & researching our three villages and visiting relatives whom my nieces that visited there two weeks ago described as very gracious, loving, generous and kind and they went over and above to show them around.
The ancestral villages of your Tham grandmothers is not going to be easy. I doubt if the gravestone of grandma Szeto in the village cemetery will have any information, the almost universal tradition of overseas Chinese to record all their information on their gravestone is usually found in countries outside of China. Perhaps the immigration documents, or the envelopes of letters might provide an address for the village, but, they would still need the Chinese name of the fathers of these women - in order to trace those lineages, since, they do not record the names of daughters in the older Chinese genealogy books.
Just to comment, this workshop in China had a major focus on doing research on identifying and locating ancestral villages to try and find village genealogy books that contained the names of the ancestors of people that attended this workshop. Hence, these genealogy books provide the family & clan lineages for scores of generations. When these attendees were escorted to visit their ancestral villages by the researchers that produced the village report - these researchers also served as the guide escorting the attendees to the ancestral village.
In one case, the researcher for a particular ancestral village, tried her best - but, a village genealogy book could not be found. But, after the workshop attendee visited his ancestral village and met his blood relations - in a short time thereafter, several copies of family genealogy books jiapu(s) were brought out and given to the workshop attendee.
My point is - please do not give up. Perhaps, some of the villages relatives could have information that can possibly lead you the the long lost Szeto & Lee ancestral villages and it is also quite possible that other village relatives may have the village genealogy books you seek.
I checked with my mom in Toronto and unfortunately any old letters she had from Grandma Tham (maiden name Szeto) have long been lost or thrown out. She has some old photos but apparently they have no writing on them. Additionally, she does not have any names of any of Grandma Szeto’s male relatives.
It is the same situation with Grandma #3 Tham, whose maiden name was Lee.
Ref:In one case, the researcher for a particular ancestral village, tried her best - but, a village genealogy book could not be found. But, after the workshop attendee visited his ancestral village and met his blood relations - in a short time thereafter, several copies of family genealogy books jiapu(s) were brought out and given to the workshop attendee. "
In current China, copiies of family genealogy books jiapu were update every 5years, or 10 years or more. Usually the families have to place the & order give their update 6 months ahead. They usually do not sell to outside people(that is people not with the same surname). One have the same surname can place the order with the head of the committee of doing the jiapu- a lot of time is the head of the Village or Town. If not the Village head or elder know who is in charge of doing the jiapu. Usually when you relative gives one a copy of jiapu, it is custom for you to give them a red envelope as a gift. in 2014 when I went to Xinhue to meet with my Uncle -who made copies for six of us. Each of us gave red envelopes to our uncle. There is not set amount -about $50 to $100 US money and basically we show respect to him and his families.