Genealogy/China

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Many Chinese families have extensive genealogical records, and in most cases there will be copies of these records at the local records division which is under the jurisdiction of the Public Security Bureau (i.e. the police). However, because the records people generally have a police/bureaucratic mindset, it is unlikely that you will get access to the records by going directly to them.

Instead, the easiest way to get access to these records is to go through the local overseas Chinese bureau of the particular village that you are interested in. Because overseas Chinese bureaus are specifically tasked with increasing links with overseas Chinese in the hopes of getting investment, they are usually extremely helpful and generally have the bureaucratic pull necessary to gain access to genealogical records.

The type of records that you will find will usually contain a family tree of male members, often going back several hundred years, with a paragraph of noteworthy accomplishments of the male members of a family going back several hundred years.