China, Imperial Examinations and Related Papers (Han Yu-shan Collection) - FamilySearch Historical Records

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China, Imperial Examinations and Related Papers (Han Yu-Shan Collection)
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type: Imperial Examinations and Relates Papers
Collection years: 1646-1904
Languages: Chinese, Manchu
Title in the Language: 中國, 科舉考試及相關記錄 (韓玉山收藏)
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
The Rudolph East Asian Library, University of California, Los Angeles

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from 1646-1904. It is a collection of palace examinations from the Han Yu-shan Collection of the East Asian Library at UCLA, Los Angeles, California. Han Yu-shan was a professor in the History Department at the university.

Until 1905 Imperial China used civil service examinations to select candidates for government jobs. The exams tested knowledge of classical literature and Confucianism texts. Although the exams were open to all Chinese men, usually only wealthy families had the time and money to devote to studying for the exams. There were four levels of the exam, each one promoting the test taker in social class and eligibility for government jobs.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

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For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Chinese. For help reading them see:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for China, Imperial Examinations and Related Papers (Han Yu-shan Collection).

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

There are nine record types included in this collection:

  • Palace examinations (with names)
  • Anonymous palace examinations
  • Palace examinations (by subject)
  • Palace poetry examinations
  • Palace Manchu language examinations
  • Academy examinations
  • Miscellaneous examinations
  • Palace military examinations
  • Imperial edicts and manuscripts

These materials may contain the following information:

  • Given name
  • Family name
  • Generation name
  • Birth year
  • Chinese birth year
  • Birthplace
  • Examination year
  • Father/grandfather/great-grandfather's names

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and family name.

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Record Type to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use a Western-Chinese Calendar Converter to change the birth year from the Chinese year to the equivalent western year
  • Look for a patriarchal line (father, grandfather, great-grandfather) and use this information to extend your pedigree
  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may also be listed

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Check for variant spellings of the names
  • Your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
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Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.