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You Are Royalty, A Guide to Your Chinese Ancestor


You Are Royalty, A Guide to Your Chinese Ancestor, by A. R. Chinn [ISBN 0-9730344-0-8, An A. R. Chinn Publication, EMail:twoupman@yahoo.com, 2002], is in the words of its preface, a "How-To" type of book that is intended mainly for independent genealogical research. It is aimed at budding family historians who are personally involved in the investigation of their Chinese ancestors, even if they have little or no knowledge of Chinese cultural heritage.

The book is a compact softcover, a little over one hundred pages, suitable for taking on research expeditions. There are 20 short chapters and 9 appendices.

Some of the subjects covered include, genealogy records, Chinese names, Chinese calendar dates,Chinese terminology for place names, migration patterns, etc. There is a suggested list of equipment suitable for field expeditions. I would add a suggestion of a Palm-Pilot type device with a genealogy and Chinese character software, such as MyRoots and CJKOS. However, this book has a less high tech approach to genealogy software, in general.

There are a few sections of useful information to a beginning genealogist, but much of use to an experienced genealogist unfamiliar with Chinese genealogy research. This includes information useful for taking a trip to China to do research. One alternative that might be added, is that the main China Travel Service office in Hong Kong can construct a personalized tour,using an itinerary of ancestral villages (in Chinese characters), including transport, tour bus, translator, and accomodations.

There is a section on actual research experiences, including a reference to the the use of the Chinese Surnames and Genealogy Queries and Responses Site, where the author is an active contributor. Another Al Chinn made contact there, and his research experience is highlighted in the book.

There are also a glossary of related terms, surname spellings in Pinyin, Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Filipino, Indonesian, and Vietnamese, as well as list of various Internet resources.
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