For Chinese people around the world, today is the day that we celebrate the Chinese New Year. This new year ushers in the Year of the Horse. The symbol of the horse and its rider means, “The Horse is here, success is coming” (馬到成功ma dao cheng gong)! What an inspiring thought to remember throughout 2014.
One of the many notable strengths of the Chinese culture is its emphasis on the value of the family. For more than a thousand years, the Chinese have revered their ancestors and performed acts of reverence and respect on their behalf. The eternal sense of family and their belief of ancestral protection watching over their posterity inspires many to do all they can to live an honorable life, which in turn, brings honor to the ancestral name and happiness to the individual person.
Over the centuries millions pages of family genealogies (jiapu 家谱) have been created and preserved in an effort to maintain the honor of family lines. These genealogies were not just for the rich and famous. Common families often maintained their own family genealogies and passed them down to their living descendants.
FamilySearch.org makes it possible for people of Chinese descent throughout the world to search out their own ancestral lines. FamilySearch has the largest collection of Chinese genealogies in the world outside of China. More than 11 million images of family genealogies are now available at no cost to anyone interested in discovering their own Chinese family history. Because of friendly ongoing relationships between FamilySearch and various archives and libraries throughout China, FamilySearch hopes to be able to add many additional family genealogies to their other valuable record collections.
Two large record collections of valuable history records are now available for anyone to use at no cost. These include:
- Chinese Cemetery Records from 1820—1983. This collection contains 72,747 digitized images of Interment and cremation records from various cemeteries in China.
- Chinese Collection of Genealogies from 1239—2011. This collection contains more than 11,511,027 digitized images of Chinese jaipu. These are Chinese genealogies from various public and private collections. These family genealogies list the origin of the family within China, where the family settled, and gives the generations of the each family listed.
Let’s make the “Year of the Horse” the year that you ride to success (馬到成功 ma dao cheng gong) in finding your family in China. It’s never been easier than it is now.