A Concise Genealogy of the Dahuai Wang Family


Presented here is a genealogical work of the Wang family of Huantai, Shandong Province, printed during the Chongzhen (1628‒44), the last reign of the Ming dynasty. Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document a patriarchal clan’s pedigree, deeds, and events. As a rule they are composed of a preface, table of contents, rules of compilation, rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen, images of the ancestral temple, tombs, portraits, pedigree charts, and biographies of worthy members of the clan. The Wang family was a prominent family known for their benevolence and kindness. They often handed out food to the poor under the big Huai tree (locust or pagoda tree) in front of their house. Thus the word Dahuai (big Huai tree) was always attached to their surname Wang. The compilation and eventual publication of this work took a number of years. It was compiled by the fifth-generation descendant Wang Zhiyuan, who also wrote the preface, dated 1604. The work was recorded by the sixth-generation descendant Wang Xiangjin (1561‒1653), who wrote the postscript, dated 1642. It finally was published by Wang Yuyin, the second son of Wang Xiangjin. These individuals were all prominent members of the Wang family. Wang Zhiyuan was a vice president of the Board of Revenue. Wang Xiangjin, who received his jin shi degree in 1604, was a scholar, official, and an expert in agriculture. He also took a post at the Hanlin Academy and was a censor on the circuit of Huguang District. He was forced to resign his post but later was reinstalled as surveillance commissioner of Henan and principal administration commissioner of Zhejiang. He committed suicide when Li Zicheng (circa 1605‒45), a rebel leader, took Beijing, helped topple the Ming dynasty, and ruled briefly as emperor of the short-lived Shun dynasty. In addition to the preface and postscript, the work contains biographies of the family, family instructions, and family rules.

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Wang Yuyin


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2 juan, 2 volumes

Last updated: January 10, 2018