May 7
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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.

Chinese are more likely to display Family Charts than individual Pedigree Charts.

For more information read further explanations on (You will be leaving my site)

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.

Marriage document

This document (not a generational chart) explains the woman’s birth date, and birth location, presented to the grooms family to determine if the marriage will have compatability.

If you want to be able to read, understand and display the information, for your family, you may want to create your own personal Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart.

Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart

Note: I am not Chinese, and this is a “Chinese Themed Pedigree Chart”, that I painted. Not to be represented as something you would find in China.


Information that may be of interest, regarding Chinese naming patterns.

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) generational name.


Family Name: Wong

Individual’s name: Hung

Therefore “Wong Hung Yin” and ALL of his brothers generational 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 generational 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.

This makes grouping the male ancestor moderately accurate. Until the men get married and take a “Married” Name, unrelated to their birth name. And when they came to America they might adopt and English name.

Take into account the various accent with which they talked and how the person heard what they said, and finding ships list with the correct ancestor on the list has issues.

On the other hand, while the women had childhood names,  once they married they often took their fathers family name added “Shee” (wife of) then her husbands name. Thus a female named Chin Yuntie who married a man who was of the Leo Clan, Would become Chin Shee Leo . . . Taking into account the Chin Village was probably fairly near the Leo Village, you end up with a large number of women named Chin Shee Leo. After coming to America some Chinese women went back to there childhood name. As an example the woman above took the name  Yuntie (her childhood name), Chin (her father’s clan), Leo (her husbands family name). Yuntie Chin Leo.

Prior to the 1930 each village had an “Ancestral Hall” that housed all the generations information, however the Communist did their best to destroy all of those records to break familial ties making standard genealogy research much more difficult.

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