In the history of the Chinese people, there are three important elements that are significant. They are China's history, the local gazette and a clan's genealogy. Amongst these three elements, genealogy has the longest history and is the most influential.
Duk Poo (族譜)(translated as genealogy record, Jiapu in Mandarin), is a record of a clan's history and lineage. It documents the origins of the surname, the migration patterns of the clan, the family lineage, the ancestral biography, the story of the locality, etc.
The written Duk Poo contains entries about the migrations of the people and social evolution. It tracks the growth of the clan members by recording in detail their political, military and academic achievements. It also eulogizes the clan's ancestors and encourages the future generation to do worthy causes to maintain the good name of the clan.
A Duk Poo usually begins with the primogenitor that first settled or moved to a place and started his family there, and should end with the contemporary generation that draws up the genealogy. The intermediate ancestors are to be enumerated in between. The primogenitor's sons and descendents compose the first several generations and are tabulated on one form. The primogenitor's first-borne son and subsequent first-borne grandsons are listed vertically downwards on the right, while the brothers of the first-borne are listed laterally on the left. Descriptions of each generation are confined in relatively narrow, horizontal divisions of the form. These spaces contain information such as the ancestor's name and aliases, date of birth and death and official rank. The proceeding generations are recorded in a similar manner.
Duk Poo usually does not have prominent records of the women in the family. This is because in Chinese families greater emphasis is placed on the sons who will carry on the family name. When daughters marry, they are considered a part of their husband's family. Although their names are mentioned in both their family and in-law's Duk Poo, their significance are usually marginalized since they are unlikely to extend the family's lineage. In many cases, the women's name isn't even recorded but a reference is written that a girl was born or only the husband's wife's surname is recorded. Rarely will you see a womens partial or full name recorded until modern times.
The perception towards the objectives of Chinese genealogical research has tremendously changed overtime. Researchers are now studying Chinese genealogies as a supplement to other research areas such as social economic history, geographical history, history of law, population history, religion and culture, history of overseas Chinese, inheritance practices and biography of historical figures. Recent works in the field has dispelled the myth that Chinese genealogical research is only a mere pastime hobby for the amateur genealogist.
There are at least two Lew Family Duk Poo's (劉氏族譜) for Slen War Lee that is known. The master Slen War Lee Duk Poo apparently has been lost. Fortunately, individual village member's have kept their own Duk Poo's relating to their particular family lineage. One of the Lew Family Duk Poo's records the family genealogy of Lew Slen Hen (劉先顕) and the second Lew Family Duk Poo records the family genealogy of Lew Yeuy Ook (劉裔篤). These two Lew Family Duk Poo's reflect village members of Slen War. At this time, there are no Lew Family Duk Poo's for Oong War.
Top of Page