Monday, September 10, 2007

Confucius' Family Tree Being Compiled

One great thing about being famous: there will likely be folks who will trace your family tree for you. Such a practice attempts to find skeletons in one's closet, or at the very least uncover unusual familial relationships as some politicians in the US have recently discovered. Confucius' is apparently no exception.

Two hours ago, the Associated Press sent out a notice that the 2,500+ year old Confucius' family tree is being updated, as it has been every 60 years. Women are being added, for a change.

If women were not part of a Chinese family in the past, then there really is an ancient Chinese secret!

Seriously, Ol' Myrt here understands that the roll of women in male-dominated societies through the world has come out of the dark ages in varying time frames, depending on what the Western world might term the growth of education and proliferation of social enlightenment in those varied societies.

"Kung Hsiang-chi, identified as a descendant who is responsible for the project in Taiwan, told the Liberty Times the pedigree will for the first time include the philosopher's female descendants, who were never listed before in keeping with the Chinese tradition of allowing only males to carry the family line." See: Associated Press article Confucius' Family Tree Being Compiled.

Ol' Myrt here attended two Chinese genealogy classes at last year's Northern Utah Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree, and learned that except for the most recent generations, women were in fact not listed on the family pedigree chart. It wasn't a matter of carrying a name, it was a matter of a girl not being listed on the Chinese family tree with her brothers. Anciently, her only hope of preserving her birth name and identity was to marry a famous warrior or government official. More recently, all the brothers would be listed in the family papers, and then perhaps a sister, but clearly not in birth order if she was the eldest.

I'm already packing for this weekend's jamboree. I cannot wait to discover the latest genealogy tips at this Saturday's event.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

(c) 2007 Pat Richley, All Rights Reserved.

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