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In Search of your Asian Roots: Genealogical Research on Chinese Surnames


In Search of your Asian Roots: Genealogical Research on Chinese Surnames, by Sheau-yueh J. Chao[ISBN 0-8063-4946-8, Clearfield Co/Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, 2000], is primarily a reference book, suitable for any library with an Asian or genealogical interest. This is not surprising, considering the author's background as a librarian.

The bulk of the book, over two hundred pages, is 622 paragraphs of Chinese Surnames, in alphabetical order of Wade-Giles orthography, of Chinese Surnames, including characters.  For each entry it cites at least one source and a short explanation of the origin of the surname.  The sources are listed by name, but are tabulated later by author.  There are 76 listed sources.

In addition the sources appear in a bibliography with a short description of each work.  There are 210 Chinese language publications and 51 English language publications.  A number of the publications are one name genealogies, but they are not cross-referenced under the surname entry.  Many seem to be from Taiwan.  This may reflect the sources available by USA interlibrary loan to the author. Not included in the bibliography was the General Genealogy of the Ng Clan of Ling Nahm mn`Сn, which is in the Asian language microfilm card catalog of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah).

The book also includes some introductory material about the history,origins, and changes of Chinese surnames.  There are also a glossary of related terms, chronology of Chinese history, Pinyin/Wade-Giles conversion table, and indexes, including surnames in stroke order.
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Alphabetical Index of Chinese Surnames
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