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Old 02-16-2010, 09:01 PM
 
522 posts, read 1,241,396 times
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I see all sorts of information, websites, etc. for those of European descent, even African, but what about the rest of us?

I find it so hard as an Asian-American to learn anything about anyone from my family beyond my grandparents. It's really hard to rely on last name since the spelling is based on Western dialect. I've had a few people who have similar last name (it only looks similar) and were Eastern European descent asking me if I might be related to them.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Riverside, CA
2,404 posts, read 3,721,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibertysFate View Post
I see all sorts of information, websites, etc. for those of European descent, even African, but what about the rest of us?

I find it so hard as an Asian-American to learn anything about anyone from my family beyond my grandparents. It's really hard to rely on last name since the spelling is based on Western dialect. I've had a few people who have similar last name (it only looks similar) and were Eastern European descent asking me if I might be related to them.
It would be great to find a source for that! Like you, I have no idea about my family history beyond my grandparents. Not speaking the language does not make it any easier.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:07 AM
 
Location: Somewhere on Earth
1,052 posts, read 1,449,844 times
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Unfortunately...it is quite difficult for Asian Americans to trace back their genealogy because our families are immigrants. Plus, many wars have ravaged the Asian countries, which means that their birth certificates and what not were destroyed and families were separated.

I'm not sure about other Asian countries, but I know that if you were born in a rural village in China, you were less likely to have a birth certificate...
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:55 PM
 
173 posts, read 761,227 times
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I'm Chinese American and I'm very fortunate that my family records have been preserved intact. My dad said they had to hide the records to save them from destruction during the Cultural Revolution. Our records are detailed and extensive. I can trace my lineage all the way back to 627 AD to a viceroy who was an imperial counselor in the early Tang dynasty. Our family records have details of every member of the family including dates of birth and death, their spouses and children, and what they did/accomplished in their life. When my dad retired he went back to China and poured through these records to create our personal family tree. As a gift he presented me with a book of all my ancestors and details about each one of them going back 40 generations to the original guy.

My dad said records like this weren't uncommon due to ancestral worship.

It is possible that your family back in Asia might have records similar to this that have not been destroyed, but I'm not sure where you would go to find this information
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,777 posts, read 7,129,741 times
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When I first started my family search adventures , a friend told me about Cyndi'sList, an all-purpose directory for genealogical searches. It forms a good first step.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Be aware that you will have to be creative to deal with stumbling blocks , just like other American's of immigrant stock. A Chinese-American friend of my sister's once told me that his original immigrant ancestors were illegal(not sure what that means in 1860) and conveniently changed thier family name when the San Francisco records building burnt down. This forum is a great resource, too. I have had lots of offers for look-ups after I had exhausted my own resources. Good luck
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,800 posts, read 11,782,480 times
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My parents immigrated from China.. I'm thinking of doing a Genealogy search but I think I may have to rely on word of mouth from older family members as records may be destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.

Also, I can't read much Chinese and even for someone who can, it can still be difficult to read Chinese characters from hundreds of years ago that have already drastically evolved over the centuries.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
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I know of 3 people that are from China and have what I think is called a house registry. From what I understand they are related somehow to whom ever the house was called after. One of these friends stated that their family record is extensive. I would imagine that the hard part is finding the link to a specific house. Still if the line is only a few generations back then it could be much easier to find. It is the needle in the haystack that could offer you a wealth of information once the dots are finnally connected.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:12 PM
 
234 posts, read 824,253 times
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Here are some starting places for research on Asian genealogy:
Cyndi's List - China, Hong Kong & Taiwan
Cyndi's List - Japan
Cyndi's List - Asia & The Pacific

Because you are Asian, your ancestors probably came here through Angel Island: Cyndi's List - China, Hong Kong & Taiwan - Angel Island, California

I wish you good luck in your search.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:32 PM
 
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I realize this thread is VERY old but I can give you some Chinese American genealogy pointers if you like. I have been doing this exact research for over 10 years and help you navigate the process. I have been able to trace many branches of my tree using a variety of oral history, archival records both here and abroad, visiting relatives here and abroad, trudging around cemeteries, dna testing, and who knows what else. I do this for myself as well as for friends and whoever needs a helping hand, as it is very daunting.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:32 PM
 
3,978 posts, read 3,370,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post

Also, I can't read much Chinese and even for someone who can, it can still be difficult to read Chinese characters from hundreds of years ago that have already drastically evolved over the centuries.
The current Chinese language/writing has been in existence for thousands of years. Whatever it said/read centuries ago, it says/reads the same today.
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