May 7
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When Chinese married, it was most often a prearranged marriage, and the first time the bride and groom saw each other was when she was carried from her fathers village in a sedan chair and arrived at the door of the grooms house in a sedan chair and he opened the curtain after throwing firecrackers at the sedan chair to ward off any evil spirits.

If you are VERY, VERY LUCKY your parents or grandparents may be in possession of the three generational chart that would have been exchanged by the families prior to marriage to make sure they were not to closely related.

If not, I have painted several Chinese themed Pedigree Charts.

Image of Chinese Pedigree Chart

Note: I am not Chinese, this is merely a Chinese “Themed” Pedigree Chart available in High Resolution on Etsy without the words “Wong Family Tree” at the top.

 

 

Each village had one primary family all related to each other. Everybody in the village thus had the same family name. Chinese naming traditions dictate the Family Name comes first, then the individuals name, and then (to aid in the confusion of everybody having the same family name, each generation of a particular family, all had the same third name.

EXAMPLE:

Family Name: Wong

Individual’s name: Hung

Therefore “Wong Hung Yin” and ALL of his brothers middle name was Yin. All his sisters would have the same generational name also but may not be exactly the same middle name as their brothers.

So any individual in a village whose name was Wong Something Yin, would be siblings. No question about it. And all the men whose generational name was Yin had fathers, whose third name was the same. So you could group generations but not necessarily figure out whose son they were.

Each family had an 8 generation “Family Poem” So they knew 8 generations in advance what first letter they would use to pick the generational name for their children.

Prior to the 1930 each village had an “Ancestral Hall” that housed all the generations information, however the Communist did there best to destroy all of those records to break familial ties.

The Chinese have a complicated structure as to how they address their family members and ancestors based on whether the person is from their father’s side, mothers side, whether the person is older or younger than their parent, grand parents etc.

Many Chinese individuals never know or learn their ancestors actual names because they refer to them by these names. If you have old photographs, these nomenclature may require you to determine WHO wrote the name on the back of the photo.

For more information read further explanations on Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_kinship

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