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Books for Genealogy in China
The following books provide practical information and personal stories relating to genealogical research in China. Titles owned by the Vancouver Public Library are linked to their full bibliographic descriptions in the online VPL Library Catalogue. Publisher information is included for titles not owned by VPL, which may be available through interlibrary loan.
Ancestors, 900 Years in the Life of a Chinese Family (1988)
While working in Beijing as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Chinese-American journalist Frank Ching researched his Chinese roots, tracing his family through more than 30 generations, to an 11th-century poet, Qin Guan, whose tomb he located on Mount Hui in Wuxi. This book describes his quest, and tells the stories of individual members of the family through succeeding generations, ending with a portrait of Mr. Ching's father.
Asian American Genealogical Sourcebook (1995)
Byers, Paula, ed.
Ref. 929.373 A83b
This book explores U.S. sources for Chinese-American genealogical research (such as government immigration records), but also includes information about genealogy in China itself and sources such as clan and family genealogies, Chinese local histories, and ancestral tablets and graves.
Basic Guide to Chinese Genealogy (2002)
Ref. 929.351 B67b
This brief introduction covers a range of topics including the genealogical tradition in China, basic genealogical methods, private and public sources of information, Chinese names, and publishing your results.
"The Chinese Genealogy as a Research Source" by Johanna M. Meskill, in
Family and Kinship in Chinese Society
Maurice Freedman, ed.
Ref. 301.442 F19
The Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas (1999)
Pan, Lynn, general editor
Ref. 325.251 E56p
"Part I: Origins" explores various topics related to the ancestral homeland of the overseas Chinese community. Although it does not directly address the subject of genealogy, the book provides useful background for those researching their roots.
Hung Zu Zi Sun: Xun Zeo Huazen Zhu Xian Zhi Nan = You Are Royalty: A Guide to Your Chinese Ancestor (2002)
This short book introduces many aspects of Chinese genealogical research. It is not a step-by-step guide, but consists of a series of short chapters providing basic information on diverse topics, including Chinese names, calendar dates, place name terminology, official records, planning a trip to China and more. [Traditional Chinese]
Jia pu: ya su Zhongguo cong shu (2006)
CHI 929.351 W95j
This book covers the origin and development of Chinese genealogy; editing, revision and layout of family trees; and investigation of family temples. Includes bibliographical references. [Simplified Chinese]
Lam Chi Phat: The Chronicle of an Overseas Chinese Family (2001)
The author's grandfather, Lam Chi, was born in Guangdong Province in 1890. As a young man, he emigrated to Vietnam, where he married and raised a family. Meanwhile, he maintained his ties with China, where he married a second "mainland" wife. Eventually he returned. In due course, many family members emigrated to Canada and other overseas destinations. This memoir tells their story.
A River Named Lee (1995)
This book starts with the dramatic murder of the author's grandfather, Lee Ting Sien, on April 30, 1928 in Hong Kong. From this beginning, Poy tells the story of her family, from its origins in 1100 B.C. to the 20th century.
A Student's Guide to Chinese American Genealogy (1996)
Oryx American Family Tree Series
Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press
While focusing on Chinese-American history and related records of genealogical value in the U.S., this book also includes chapters on "Social Structure and Genealogy in Chinese History", "Chinese Clan Registers", and "Local Gazetteers".
Studies in Asian Genealogy: Papers (1972)
World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar
Palmer, Spencer J. ed.
Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University Press
A wide-ranging collection of essays based on presentations at a genealogical conference held in 1972. Papers relating to Chinese genealogy include:
- "The History and Arrangement of Chinese Genealogies" by Hsiang-lin Lo
- "Chinese Genealogies as a Source for the Study of Chinese Society" b y Wolfram Eberhard
- "The Preservation of Genealogical Records in China" by Hsiang-lin Lo
- "The Content and Use of Chinese Local Histories (Fang Chih) by Tsun Leng
- "The Ch'ing Dynasty Archives" by Charles H. Hedtke
Wonton's & Eggrolls: Stories Told by the Blind Aunt (2002)
The starting point for this book was the arrival in Canada of the author's blind aunt and two other relatives from China in the late 1950s. The author, then age 14, felt uncertain about these unfamiliar visitors, but a bond grew as the blind aunt shared stories of relatives back in China, spinning a vivid family history incorporating elements of Chinese culture and myth.
You Are Royalty
see Hung Zu Zi Sun: Xun Zeo Huazen Zhu Xian Zhi Nan
Your Chinese Roots: The Overseas Chinese Story (1986)
Tan, Thomas Tsu-wee
While much of this book focuses on the Chinese experience in America, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain, some sections explore topics related to genealogy and family history in China.
Zhongguo de jia pu (2002)
CHI 929.351 X8z
This comprehensive and informative book provides detailed information about the origin and characteristics of Chinese family records, including names and types, content and structure, development and evolution, and spread and usage. Includes bibliographical references and a brief introduction to more than 60 Chinese Genealogy websites. [Simplified Chinese]
Zhongguo Xing Shi Xun Gen You: Zi Zhu Lu You Di Tu Shou Ce (annual)
[Origin of Chinese Clan and Family Names with Travel Guide]
CHI 929.4 Z63z2
Detailed information about the origins and internal migration routes associated with 100 Chinese clan and family names. Over 100 maps showing clan origins, migration patterns, and areas of settlement are included. The book also features 216 suggested travel routes for genealogical visitors as well as information about almost 400 scenic highlights. The language of the book is Chinese, but English translations of clan and family names are provided. [Simplified Chinese]
Zu Pu Wen Xian Xue (2003)
CHI Ref. 929.351 L69z
This Chinese-language book provides background information on Chinese genealogical research, and discusses related theories, methodologies and practices. It explores the history of genealogy in China and shows genealogists how to collect, organize, research and utilize Chinese genealogical documents. [Traditional Chinese]