Tsang Family Generation Names.

After I recieved email regarding the Tsang Family's Generation Names from Joseph Tsang from Mauritius and also recently from Roger I. Chen who resides in Canada, I have decided to devote an entire page towards publicising their families' Generation Names. Previously, I had been given five of the names from my mother since her maiden name is Tsang also. My mother has never been educated, so she passed the information on orally to me. The male relatives of the same generation as my mother has the generation name Hen2.

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.

© Roger I. Chen Start here:
1.3 Meaning of the Poem

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.

© Roger I. Chen, finishes here.
Furthermore, Roger writes on 4th December 1997:

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 " "


I hope the above and the attachments are useful to you.  Could you pass

this on to Joseph Tsang also....

and after a little editing, his next email :


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.


Malaysian version of the generation names

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.

Tsang Generation Names from Malaysia : Sung Generation Names Page
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This page was last updated on Sunday 7th December 1997.
© Dylan W.H.S. 1996-1997
You may e-mail me here and I shall try to get back to you promptly.