Depending on which dialect it is written in romanised form, we meet it as Tsang, Zeng, Tsen, Chen etc. Roger Chen sent me a diagram of the family tree that he has created for his own particular family, and also the accompanying reasons for the name Tsang, its origins, and his own particular family history. Since the latter is personal, I feel that if you want to view these yourself, then you should request copies from Mr. Roger Chen. I will pass the message on if you email me.
The following calligraphy is from part of the Clan Records or Tuk Pu that Mr. Chen had copied from his Ancestral Home, and records the family's Generation names. I have taken this opportunity to convert his "Page7" file format into the HTML as you see below.
This 'poem' is taken from the teachings of Chen Zi, a student of Confucius. It has been modified over the years; the most recent of which is the addi-tion of the last four "five-charac-ter" lines, added in 1948 pre-sumable after the founding of the Republic of China.
The poem reads from top to bot-tom, right to left. The literal meaning of the right head-ing is:
"CHEN assigned name words"
i.e for the CHEN families, the poem for the assigned names.
The CHEN family poem:
The gist of the poem is:
Hakka Mean-ing Fen woon gin son yen Seek out knowl-edge from all over. Hin yeuk chou gee gong Expand, devel-op and pass on all important knowledge. Sow hen kin fan seung Get together, multiply and celebrate all good fortunes. Lin det wee seun yeu Hand down the good teachings of your parents. Kin jow nyam hen young Aim high, and control your own destiny. Din sim hoi gok yeun Defend and maintain the family honour and reputation. Het fook jen gaa sang Don't dishonour your name. Gen tow soon on tin For security, build on a solid foundation. Fan soo sow yee seung Strive to reform or build on the present. Yee mun fon gin sui Use your good fortune and education to benefit your family. Yeun syack say see chong Everlasting prosperity for all generations.
For the past 20+ years I've been working on my family tree, and it's only since I bought a computer in 1993 that I earnestly began to compile it. It previously existed as a collection of pieces of paper and photographs in a box. I "published" the first copy of my family tree with a limited edition of 30+ copies only to family members who contributed to the information pool. So many copies of it were made, and literally went round the world, that I had to update it last November. I am a CHEN, a hakka person from Jamaica and now living in Canada. My grandfather was from Tien Sim Wei, near Fung Gunn (Tien Tong Wei train station) and in 1985 I returned there to gather information on my genealogy. The attached "page7" document is from my family tree, and it gives the full "chook poo" for the CHEN family. The "Tspoem2.tif" is the scan of the original document. I have attempted to give the meaning of the "poem". Migr.net gives my analysis of the situation that caused my grandfather to migrate to Jamaica. I have also attached a copy of my genealogy that shows my relation to the founder of the village. He was also from Lung Gung, or Long Gang (as you call it). My generation name, or "sue pui", is KIN, as in "sow hen kin fan seung". I believe your dates maybe 10 years too late; I reckon it to be : sow : 1880, hen: 1910, kin: 1940, fan: 1970, seung: 2000. I want to add to your understanding of the derivative of the character "CHEN". Etymologically it is derived from"what people say at the door when they are leaving", and by extension is used in the sense of "to add to" or "more". However to get to the root of our name CHEN, it can be traced back directly to Emperor Shao Kang of the Xia Dynasty 4180 years ago. He gave his youngest son, Qu Li, the state of Chen, and his descendants lived there in peace for 2000 years. This State of Chen was written with a " " radical to the right of the "CHEN" character as we now know it. During the Spring & Autumn period, King Wu, the then ruler of the State of Chen was exiled, and he fled to the State of Lu in what is now Shandong Province, close to the birthplace of Confucius. He adopted the name of his former state as his family name, but dropped the " " radical. I hope the above and the attachments are useful to you. Could you pass this on to Joseph Tsang also....
Dylan: I'm glad my contribution was of help to you. I have been working on my family tree since my mother passed away in 1973..that's 24 yrs. My name is Roger. Hun as in the "HAN" or chinese people. My family did not adopt the geaneology name when I got married because we could not have contacted the family village during the 1960's to have it registered. I discovered in 1985 that all the geanological records were destroyed by the red guards, but I was able to get a copy of one of my cousin's because it was hidden away at great risk. > : This State of Chen was > : written with a " " radical to the right of the "CHEN" character as we > : now know it. > > Would that be the person radical number 9 ? With regards to the radical, it is elongated 'B' (WP[8,3] .. greek lower case 'b'), same as in the CHIN /CHAN character (B + Dung). I hope you understand what I'm getting at. I first found the origin of the family names from the "Tung Shu" .. a book that is readily available from any chinese book store, especially at this time of the year, and certainly as chines new year approaches. That book is a well of information. But unless you have a live in translator, you have to be patient and rely on the availability of your friends who read chinese. > I'm afraid that I do not know where Tien Sim Wei (lit. heaven heart > village?) or Fung Gunn (?) is. :( Tien, as in field; Sim, as in heart; Wei, ..village I've attached a map showing where these places are in relation to Hong Kong. In the past, he closest train station was Ten Tong Wei, but today it is Jow Muk Tow. > If I have your permission, I would like to post a copy of the files you > have sent me on my site. I see that you have also posted a copy to the > Hakka Forum. I would however, like to convert the .tif file to a .gif file > for size considerations. The is a reduction by one half with no loss in > visible clarity. As you know, downloading from the net takes time and > smaller files are more appreciated. By all means, you can incorporate what I have given you on your site. One day when I learn how to create a site, I may follow your example. > Hitherto, I was unware that the Su Bui or Sue Pui as you called them, had > any significant meaning other than a list of words, rather than the longer > poetic setting that your longer list provided. You have caused me to > rethink and examine the small fragment of my geaneology in a new light. For > that I am most grateful. Just another titbit about the Sue Pui. I have another copy from the CHENS from Malaysia, and first five stanzas are the same, but stanzas 6 and 7 are different. As your mother will tell you (I assume she does read chinese) the last four stanzas were added in celebration of China becoming a republic. roger
This was sent to me by Roger, and details a smaller set of additions to the first 25 generation names.
|To the left, I have created a character of the old version of the Tsang character to demonstrate Roger's point.|