Genealogy of the Bi Family of Xin'an


Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document a patriarchal clan’s pedigree and the deeds and events associated with the clan. Included are names of the person, or persons, responsible for issuing the genealogy, as well as prefaces and postscripts. These works are a useful complement to the general historical records and important sources for the study of Chinese history and culture. This genealogy of the Bi family, which originated in Xin'an County, Anhui Province, was compiled by Bi Hui, Bi Lan, Bi Jichuan, and others. It traces the family back as far as the Tang dynasty and the years 685–88, when Bi Jing, the founder of the clan, governed four prefectures. He later was sent to Shezhou, Anhui, where he settled down, establishing a 30-generation family dynasty. Details of the family are compiled in an organized manner. The first eight juan record the genealogical details. Juan nine lists official positions held by family members over the generations. Juan ten details the unsung morals of family members. Juan 11 lists literary achievements; Bi Shangzhong (1416–97), the famed Ming dramatist, is mentioned there and his autobiography is appended. Juan 12 lists virtuous and steadfast widows in the family. Juan 13 discusses the longevity of family members. Juan 14 gives details of mountains and rivers and Juan 15 describes palaces and houses. Juan 16 and Juan 17 contain poems and essays. Only about 100 copies of the work were printed. Each copy carries the name of the receiver of the book with a code name. This copy has an inscription in black ink in a red bell-shaped mark at the end, with the notation that it was received by Bi Dan, a 12th-generation descendant, with the code name Ma. There are eight prefaces and one postscript dated 1508–9.


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17 juan in 2 volumes

Last updated: January 3, 2018