Posted by Eddie on July 20, 19100 at 20:16:55:
The solution to one's geneology search often times is sitting in an ancestral temple hall. Every male descendent is recorded in a book every 20 to 40 years; depending on clan rules. This tradition was interrupted by Communism and so it is only accurate to pre 1949. However if you could still get a copy of the book (assuming it was not burned during the cultural revolution,etc., ) --- you have hit the mother-lode so to speak. You just need to how to write the surname in Chinese and the ancestral village your father (or grandfather,....) is from. Hopefully the male ancestor lived in the clan village and ...
I also notice while reading some of the post, that many searchers are relying on English transliterations of their surname. Unfortunately such reliance may lead to inaccurate results since many Chinese surnames are pronounced the same but are written with different characters (i.e. There may be 5 or 6 different surnames spelled 'Tan').
Tracing one's ancestry to some of the ancient emperors of China such as the Chou based on one's surname can be unreliable. The reason is that many people adopted surnames once they became Sinified. Sometimes emperors would bestow 'honorary surnames' to commendable subjects, etc.,
Anyway, Good Luck on your searches.
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