You Are Royalty, A Guide to your Chinese Ancestry (皇族子孫)
Price: US $35.00 Plus Shipping & Handling
To purchase a copy of this book please select the appropriate button based on shipping destination:
Canada US$40.75 (US$35.00 + US$5.75 S/H)
USA US$41.75 (US$35.00 + US$6.75 S/H)
International US$47.75 (US$35.00 + US$12.75 S/H)
Chinese genealogy has always been a life long interest of mine. It was only in the last ten years or so that I was able to devote much time researching my family genealogy followed by the discovery of a copy of our clan zupu (族譜) during my first visit to my ancestral village in Xinhui (新會) district.
Thereafter I spent about a year sifting through the zupu to piece together my family's lineage with the help of notes left by my father and additional books on the Chen clan I bought in China. It was a very long road and arduous but it culminated in a fairly comprehensive family record or jiapu (家譜).
I kept copious notes when I was doing my own research and these were later organized into a book form and You Are Royalty, A Guide to your Chinese Ancestry (皇族子孫) came to be published. The title may sound a little off beat, so an explanation is in order. Some of the existing Chinese surnames were derived from well known personages from Chinese history and some were derived from the names of kingdoms, states or feoffs whose ruling classes were in essence considered royalty. In the case of my surname, the blood line reaches way back to one of the five sage emperors called Shundi (舜帝) from whence came the royal connection. Another example is surname Zhou (周) which came from the Zhou Dynasty but the rulers' (royals) surname was Ji (姬). So, both Zhou and Ji surnames may be considered as royalty.
Most of the contents of this website on Chinese genealogy have been excerpted in brief from my book, which of course, is more detailed. The book contains 20 chapters plus 9 appendices as shown by the attached image of the Table of Contents shown below. The book is written in English but Chinese characters have been included to enhance the explanations of the terms encountered in Chinese genealogy.
This book will introduce the novice family historian to some Chinese background information and also provide a methodical approach to building up a family record. In addition, four personal accounts have been included in the chapter on Excerpt to provide an insight on how other people have tackled their family research.
Since the descendants of overseas Chinese come from a very broad spectrum of countries, there is a problem with deciphering the origin of their Romanized surnames. Included is an Appendix which covers the various spellings encountered in English, Dutch (Indonesia, Surinam), French (Vietnam) and Spanish (Philippines), each with its appropriate Chinese character included. Additionally, four dialectal (Hanyu Pinyin, Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien) spellings have also been included. Using this Appendix, one can zero in on the possible origin of a surname based on just its spelling. To illustrate, a surname like Djan would indicate it is of Dutch (Indonesian) origin; Tuason would be of Filipino origin and Tran would be of Vietnamese origin.
One Appendix deals with Chinese tombstone inscriptions and how to read them. Two samples are shown.
Also included is information on where you can obtain a China visa if you are in Hong Kong. It is cheaper to get the visa in Hong Kong than in your home country, but you must allow time to get it processed.
This is perhaps the only book available in English that deals directly with Chinese genealogy in some detail.
Here is an excerpt from the Preface which sets the theme of my book:
“This is essentially a “How-To” type of book that is intended mainly for independent genealogical research. The materials covered will provide you with sufficient Chinese background information, which should enable you to conduct your investigations in a methodical manner…..”
I believe this book will be able to assist in unraveling the complexities of Chinese genealogy and can turn agony and frustration into joy and fun as you travel down the long road toward your goal of documenting your family history.
For reviews of this book please go to: here