Contracts and Other Old Documents as Sources for Family History and Genealogy in Taiwan
Born in Taiwan. Resides in Taipei. Researcher, Committee for Taiwan Historical Studies, Association for Asian Studies. Author, Historian.
PRIVATE OLD FAMILY DOCUMENTS COMMONLY SEEN IN OLD TAIWANESE FAMILIES
Old family documents are important materials for compiling family histories and genealogies. They are also primary sources for local and national histories written by genealogists and historians. Approximately fourteen types of old family documents can be commonly seen in old Taiwanese families. They include:
Official Announcements and Documents
These include imperial edicts, announcements, notices, decrees, documents concerning the colonizing of aboriginal or border lands, directives, orders, bulletins, official announcements, medals for gentry, joint contracts and passports.
These include the agreements, contracts and receipts of farms, land trading, presentation, description, exchanges and cultivation; there are generally eight types of contracts and receipts:
a. Contracts of land trading and presentation: This type of contract includes trading of plain lands, farms, gardens, unused lands, fishing ponds, "Feng Shui" (geomancy) lands, and estates.
b. Cultivation licenses: These licenses were issued by the government and allowed the license holder to explore and cultivate virgin plain land.
c. Land leases and cultivation contracts: These kinds of contracts were established between the Chinese or Ping Pu aborigines who had obtained the cultivation license1 and the tenant farmer. Under such contracts, the land proprietor or landlord would let the tenant farmer cultivate the unused plain.
d. Farm land and land leases: Farm land leases were established between the landlord or small farm landowner and the tenant farmer, while land leases were established between the land proprietor and leaseholder.
e. Estate appropriation and land description agreements: An agreement appropriating the estate to others for management or defining the unclear boundary of the land.
f.Official survey certificates: After the virgin land has been explored and cultivated, the landowner would request an official survey of the land from the government for the levy of land taxes. After the authorities had completed the survey work, a land certificate would be issued to the landowner.
g. Land ownership certificates, land survey (measurement) receipts and land register copies: When Taiwan was ruled by the Japanese, a provisional land bureau was established in the thirty-first year of the Meiji reign (1899). In Meiji 36 (1903), the bureau surveyed the ownership of all pieces of land and put them into the survey record. Receipts and certificates of ownership were issued to the landowners who would, when necessary, apply for copies of the land receipts. In 1950, the land registration record replaced the receipt but the owner could still apply for a copy if necessary.
h. Land ownership succession registers, ownership transfer registers: During the Japanese reign and after Taiwan was restored to China, whenever the owner of a piece of land died, his legatees had to apply for the ownership succession register; for land trading, the owner had to apply for the ownership transfer register because the owner had to possess a copy of this kind of register.
Rental Taxes, Property Deed Receipts and Certificates
a. Property deed receipts and certificates were issued to people who had paid taxes to the government after they had bought a piece of farm land or real estate. The receipt or certificate carried the names of the traders, location, area, price, and tax amount of the land.
b. The primary lessor receipt: A kind of contract carrying details of the purchase and sale of the rental relationships or stating the rental relationships between the primary and secondary lessors.
c. Land lease receipts: A kind of tax-levied contract carrying details of the rental relations between the secondary lessor or landlord and tenant or land lessor. A certain amount of deposit or rental was stated.
d. Farm cultivation and border land leases: A kind of tax-levied contract carrying the rental relations between a plain aborigine and a tenant farmer upon a piece of virgin land which had been appropriated to the plain aborigine by the Manchu government. A certain amount of deposit or rental was stated.
e. Miscellaneous duty receipts: These included storage duty, port duty, and transportation duty.
Documents of the Distribution and Management of Properties
A kind of record known as a lotting document or lotting sub agreement, receipt, or a will carrying details or the allotment of properties and money among members or a family.
Mortgage and Loan Documents (I.O.U.)
These include mortgages, mortgage transfers, pawns, loans, loan mortgages, and credit documents. To mortgage real estate (Tien) was to mortgage the ownership of the real estate to the creditor; the creditor was entitled to cultivate or make use of the land or to rent the land to the tenant farmer for cultivation after a certain sum of tax had been paid. To mortgage the receipts or certificates of real estate (Tai Chieh) was to pawn these receipts or certificates to the creditor so that the creditor was entitled to receive the rentals from the real estate as a kind of interest. Credit receipts were documents carrying the amount of cash being lent and borrowed without a mortgage.
Personal Contracts and Agreements
a. Bond service contracts:There were children selling agreements, son selling agreements, adoption agreements, women selling agreements, wife selling agreements, and bondsman contracts. Son selling and adoption contracts were a kind of agreement specifying the trading of a non-relative male.
b. Children adoption and their succession agreements: Most such documents specify the adoption of a male blood relation, mostly nephews or sons of one's brother.In China this kind of relation was described as ko fang.Adoption of a male without relation was not popular in China or in Taiwan in the past.
c. Marriage agreements, marriage-into-the-wife's-family agreements, remarriage agreements, and divorce agreements: There were two kinds of marriage agreements, chein and kun. Chein was a document delivered by the male's family to the female's family; the kun was the reverse, these documents told how proud the family was of this marriage and were full of blessings, such as the hope that the couple would be on good terms forever and that they would bear lots of children. The marriage-into-the-wife's-family agreement was used when the family was without a son or when a widow took a husband. This kind of agreement had three types: a taking in, a taking out, and a taking in and then out. Almost all parties to the marriage participated in a marriage contract, which stated the conditions and terms of the marriage for both the male and female parties. Whenever a widow or divorcee remarried, there was also a marriage contract. Divorce agreements were also known as yu-shu or yu-chi agreements; they were also called li-yuan or tui-hun agreements.
d. Chu (will) tuo-ku or guardianship agreements, and tuo-chiao-chi agreements: The chu and tuo-ku agreements mostly related to family property taken care of by an honest relative or a friend when the heir was still young and not yet able to care for the property, or due to other reasons for which he was unable to care for his property. The will distributed the property of forefathers, while the guardianship agreement selected an honest person or relative to manage the property in order to preserve the property. When the minor grew up, the property would be returned to him. The tou-chiao-chi agreement was used when one had no offspring and requested someone else to assume the responsibility of making offerings to his ancestors.
These included lawsuits and accusations brought when clan properties and tombs were occupied or destroyed. The division of property was included in these sentences and verdicts.
Business Contracts and Accounting
a. Trade agreements and withdrawal of shares: These included agreements establishing and dissolving partnerships.
b. Business receipts and accounts: These included accounts of revenues and expenditures and annual financial statements.
c. Chambers of Commerce documents: These rose from the Chambers of Commerce in the tree chambers of Taiwan. After some improvements they became standardized.
d. "Acknowledging Teacher" cards: These cards were used when requesting a person to teach a vocation or skill; they were also known as yi-pang, kuan-tieh, and keui-tzu agreements.
Irrigation Agreements and Permits
These were agreements to build and repair drains, ditches, and gutters and to decide shares of the irrigation water, fees, and tolls.
These included bilingual documents written in Chinese and romanized transcripts of the Ping Pu tribal language.; Their contents included the cultivation of lands, mortgages, and loans and were common in the south of Taiwan during the time the Dutch were in control of the island (1624-1662) and were used as late as Chia-ching period (1796-1802).
a. These were licenses to Confucian schools, hung pang (candidate papers), student papers, examination papers, permits to study in the county or prefecture Confucian schools, hung pang notices, student papers, and examination papers from the county and prefecture Confucian schools.
b. Successful civil examination essays: There were enrollment records, successful village examination essays (for chujen), successful royal court civil examination essays (for chiensi).
c. Teacher appointment to charity school.
d. Letters, correspondence, and introduction of personal and official affairs.
e. Writings, poetry, and lyrical essays left by literati and scholars.
Horoscopes, Marriage Horoscopes, Selection of Dates for Marriage; Birth and Death Records
Horoscopes2 recorded the year, month, and day of a person's birth: they were called ming-tan. Marriage horoscopes based on the birth dates of the bride and groom were prepared before marriage to see that the bride and groom were appropriately matched. Auspicious dates were also selected for marriages, birthday parties, funerals, and the construction of houses and shrines.Some of the horoscopes recorded the birth dates of the whole clan were also known as sheng-keng records. Some recorded only the death dates of ancestors and were called chi-chen records.
Merit Tablets, Praising-Ancestor Records, Ancestral Offering Records, Prayer Scriptures
When a family member passed away in northern Taiwan, many families asked a Taoist priest to perform meritorious acts to help the deceased's soul pass beyond. When this was done "prayer scriptures" would be written; these were called merit records. Some were called "praising-ancestor" records and were then gathered together in a collection. Ancestral offering records recorded the ancestral properties and the schedule when each clan member was to take responsibility for the offering ceremony; they were also known as chang-huei agreements. Prayer scriptures came from seeking divine help in obtaining good luck, avoiding disaster, and seeking blessings from the Jade Emperor and other Gods.
Records of Conduct, Door Inscriptions, Household Registers, Copies of the Household Census Records, and Others
Records of conduct recorded an individual's brief history. Door inscriptions bore the Ching dynasty house number. during the Japanese occupation, household registers were kept.After restoration to the Republic (after 1945), household records have been kept.3
Introduction of the Collection and Survey of Private Taiwanese Old Family Documents
In most of the old Taiwanese families, old family documents concerning the history and record of the clan were kept. However, due to the change of dynasties and era as well as the expiration of their legal force, their owners or collectors did not take proper care of them, and they have become relatively rare. However, there are still come who preserve these kinds of records.
It can be said that the relative systematization of Taiwan's old records began around the Japanese occupation (Meiji 33 or 1900). During the early years of the occupation, the director of civil affairs, Shinpei Goto, emasixed what he called a "scientific colonial policy."He thought that the customs, habits, social structure of Taiwan's people had to be fully understood so as to properly carry out administrative policy. Because of this, land registry and investigations into traditional customs ere fundamental activites.The governor of Taiwan entrusted Santaro Okamatsu of Kyoto Imperial University to work out an investigation program for Taiwan's traditional culture. Professor Okamatsu edited a report in 1900 called Provisional on Investigations of Laws and Customs in the Island Formosa. He also collected eighty-nine ching dynasty documents from Taiwan, using English to explain old Taiwan's laws and customs.
In Meiji 34 (1901), the Japanese colonial governments established a Provisional commission for the Investigation of Old Customs. Large-scale investigating activities were carried out and old documents and records concerning the old customs were collected: government announcements, private contracts and agreements, and account books in the late Ching dynasty and the early years of the Japanese occupation in Taiwan were also gathered.
As a result, in Meiji 34-40 (1901-1907), eight volumes of the First Report on the Investigation of Taiwan's Old Customs, seventeen volumes of Taiwan's Laws and two volumes of the Second Report on the Investigation of Taiwan's Economy were edited. Traditional documents, old documents, and agreements from the late Ching dynasty and early years of the Japanese occupation in Taiwan were quoted in chapter three of the First Report and n the bibliography of Taiwan's Laws.The Provisional commission also collected a number of old agreements and records and listed them in the bibliography of the Ta-Tsu Chu-Tiao Shu (Primary Lessors' Registry) edited in Meiji 37 (1904). Various documents concerning the primary rental business and others used in the early years of the Japanese occupation and the late ching dynasty were listed and explained in this report.4
Also devoting themselves to the investigation of Taiwan's customs were Yoshinori Ino, Naaojiro Murakami, and Isao Hirayama. Murakami specially collected and studied the aboriginal documents of the Ping Pu tribe. He wrote and edited two books: The Bilingual Formosan Manuscripts and Sinkan Manuscripts.
After 1945 when Taiwan was restored to Chinese control, the Taipei City Historical Research Commission was established in 1956. Some sixty old documents from individuals in northern Taiwan were collected. In 1976, the Committee for Taiwan Historical Studies of the Association for Asian Studies of the U.S.A. decided to systematically collect the old Taiwanese documents. Aware of the disappearance of the original documents after they had been edited into reports and records during the late Ching dynasty and the early years of the Japanese occupation period, and learning that there were, however, preserved in many private individual families a number of government notices and announcements during the late Ching dynasty and the Japanese occupation period, the committee started to collect these materials form the private families. In 1979, 2,712 public and private documents were copied and compiled into books. The original documents were mounted and returned to the owners. 6
Use (application) of the Old Family Documents in Editing the Family History and Genealogy
Imperial Edicts, Announcements, Superior Notices, Decrees, Documents, Directives
Chen Hsi-yu of Lukang Town has collected an imperial edict from Tungchih emperor, issued in 1873 to praise the parents of chen Chi-chih, the administration commissioner. The edict said: "Chen Tsung-yuan, father of chen Chi-chih Shih, administration of commissioner, is benevolent and charitable... Chang Shih, mother of Chen Chi-chih is a paragon of feminine virtue... Huang Tein-chuan of Tianan City has collected an official announcement issued in April 1867 by the Filial Peity Virtuous Deeds Bureau of Wu Huang Min-hsuan, filed by Imperior Student Huang Chao-chang, recording how and when Wu Huang was born and brought up has shown how she behaved virtuously during her marriage and after her husband died."
Lin Ying of Tainan has collected the merit tablet given to Chou Ke-chang, chief of the Garrison Command in Taiwan and Penghu in May 1885, which said Taiwan is and important coastal area; therefore is significant to emphasize the maritime patrol and pacification of aborigines. Chou has assumed his utmost responsibility to rule this area; thus, he deserves to be conferred with the title "Liu-Pien Ting-Tai." A merit tablet will be presented to him as a receipt in addition to the submission of his record to the imperial authority.
All these kinds of records can be used as materials to edit the family history and genealogy of the Chen, Wu, and Chou families.
In December, 1879, a Mr. Wu, a baturu of the chief cheng Yung of the Taiwan area Kua Ying recorded an order which said, "According to the report of Cheng Yu-hua, head of the Chengland Farm... Cheng and his forefathers have resided for a life time in Chuichien Village, Hulutun, Changhwa. In January 1878 he was commissioned by Chu Jih-sheng, chairman of the Supervisory Committee of Cultivation, to organize a group of farmers to cultivate the virgin land at Chinlang Villa in Pushihkuo. The cultivation ended successfully." This record can be used in editing and revising the family history since Cheng Yu-hua, who originally lived in Hultun, later moved to Pushihkuo in northern Taiwan and set up a branch family history of his own.7
In the dispatched order collected in Taiwan Tunfan cases,8 a selection recorded by Mr. Sun of the Lakang Maritime Defense Sub-Headquarters of the Borderland Administration of Taiwan Central in November 1881 said, "According to the reports of Hsia Lien-fang, general director of Wulaowan, Hihpei, and Chukan Farms in northern Taiwan, and Pang Jung-chun of the outskirt of Machu..." Hsia Po-chou of Lungtan Village has collected an order dispatched written by Hsiao Lien-fang, Commander of Liutun of northern Taiwan, on the eighth day of the first lunar month of 1882. The order said, "I, the commander, have been appointed to send more servicemen to fulfill the duties; I have then decided to appoint Hsaio Jui-yun as the general tun [military cultivation] leader; five hundred tun servicemen are to be led by him from now on." Hsiao Po-chou has also collected a directive from the acting magistrates of Tamsui County in February 1893, which said, "Hsiaoli Village... invited the villagers and colonists to a meeting and elected Hsiao Jui-yun, an honest and rich man, as the chief of Asiaoli Village." These materials can be used to edit and revise the family history and genealogy of Hsiao Line-fang, who was the descendant of Hsiao La-ying. The materials clearly record that Hsiao had been appointed the general chief of the Wupangwan, Jihpei, Chukan Farms in northern Taiwan in November 1881 and was later promoted to the commander of Luitun (six farms) of northern Taiwan in the first lunar month in 1882. They also note that Hsiao Jui-yun had been commissioned as the general chief of the Remote Land Cultivation Committee in 1882 and the head of the Hsiaoli Village in 1893.
Ho Ying of Yanmei town has collected a Taiwan Medal presented to Ho Peng-lung of Tapuchuang, Taipei County, by Taiwan Governor Maresuke Nogi in 1897. This can be recorded in the family history and genealogy of the Ho clan.
a. Land and real estate trading contracts can be used as the materials to edit and revise one's family history and genealogy. For example, Lai chun-liang of Shulin collected a trading agreement signed by Hisao Ting-kuei of Tantichuang, Haishan, in 1760, which said, "I, Hsia Ting-kuei, possess a piece of farm land which I bought earlier.The land, officially measuring 1.5 acres, is located at the back of a land god shrine in Tantichuang. Because I want to establish another kind of business, I now sell this piece of farm land to Wei Shih of the Lai family and Shen Chuang for 300 dollars." On the agreement were witnesses from three generations of Hsiao family and a seal bearing the name Hung Ke-tu and his little "chief clerk under Chang Wu-wen of Haishanchuang."
This agreement can be used to edit and revise the family history and genealogy of Mr. Lai, who moved to Taiwan from Nanching province in the first year of Chienlung reign, and later resided in Pengchai-chuang, Haishan. This document recorded that Lai-Wei Shih and Sheng Chuan jointly bought 1.5 acres filed at Tantichuang. From the seal on the agreement, we can also learn that the Hung clan, which then resided at Haishan-chuan, were descendents of Hung Ketu, who had worked as the chief clerk under Chang Wu-wen during the twenty-fifth year of the Chienlung reign (1760). The signatures of the witnesses can be used to show that the family of Hsiao Ting-kuei had resided in Tantichuang since the twentieth year of the Chienlung reign. A family tree of the Hsiaos can thus be drawn: Tzu-chiang, uncle; Ting-jun, younger brother; Sheng-lieh, Ke-kung and Hsiaochung, nephews; and Tou and Pao, sons.
b. Cultivation licenses as research materials: On 21 July 1709 (Kanghsi 48), a Mr. Sung, director of chulo County, issued a cultivation license to a tenant farmer, Chen Lai-chang, which said, "According to Chen Lai-chang, there is a piece of unused farm land at Tachia of Upper Tamsui which stretches from Hsuilang, Leili, in the east to Kantou, Palifeng, in the west, from the bottom of Hsinchih Mountain in the south to Lukou, Talang in the north. Farmers are needed to cultivate this land. Thus, a cultivation license is issued to him for tax purposes since the application for the cultivation is in conformity with the regulations."
All these have been approved and carried out... According to the report of Yang Yung-cho, he had surveyed the farm land applied by Chen Lai-chang for cultivation and found that the fertility of the land was not properly distributed and that some fifty acres had already been cultivated." This is the earliest known of the old documents concerning the development of Taipei City and can be used to edit and revise the family history and genealogy of Chen Lai-chang, or his family record. But what needs to be known is whether Chen's descendants are still residing in Taiwan.
c. Land leases and cultivation contracts as the materials:Chin Ho-wang of Yinkgo collected a cultivation contract established by Hsiao Chao-hsuan, a landlord residing at the bottom of the Chienshanchi mountain of Haishanpao in 1743 (Chienlung 8), which said "Owner Hsiao Chao-hsuan possesses a piece of farm land located at the bottom of Chienshanchi Mountain, Yunganchuang, Haishanpao stretching from the border of the Li farm in the south to Chung Hua-hui's field border in the north. Because of the lack of labor to cultivate the land, this farm is leased to Tsai Che-hsing for cultivation at the bottom price of twenty taels of sivler." A seal of the landlord of Chienshanchuang, Tung Tsai-hsing was marked. This document can be used in editing and revising the family history and genealogy of the Yingko's Hsiao, Tsai, Chung, and Tung families.
d. Farmland leases and land leases: A lease entered between farm owner Li shih-hsieh and his tenant farmer Wu Sheng in April 1751 (Chienlung 16) said, "I, Li Shih-hsieh, posses the Kokokao. Wu Sheng and his party will use ten oxen to cultivate the farm and grow sugarcane, which after refining will be powered into cane sugar. The tools in the mill, if damaged, shall be repaired by the farm owner." This document can be used to edit and revise the family history and genealogy of the Li and Wu families.& It recorded Li's possession of sugar mill and a sugarcane farm, which had been leased to the Wus for sugar production.
e. Estate appropriation and land description agreements: Chin Ho-wang has preserved a contract between Lin Yu-hung and his party in 1651, which said, "I, Lin Yu-hung and my party, appropriate a belt of land near the Yen mountain coverning Tachain, uppper and lower Tsai Ku Lin, left to us by our ancestors, to Chin Yu (or Chin Teh-yu) of Chen Chuan of business opperations." This document can be used to edit and revise the genealogy of chin Teh-yu, ancestor of the Chins (residing then in Ying Ko, Tainan) of Anhsi, Tanshan. the Taiwan Provincial Historical Research Commission has preserved a certificate carrying the mountain border description for Yu Ming, chief of the Kuei Lun She in 1781 (Chienlung 48), which said "The hills of Haishanchuang originally belonged to owner Chang Pi-jung. After negotiation with Chang, Chang will contribute 150 dollars as the operational fund of Keuilunshe and will then take charge of the southeastern side of the hill area counting from the watershed from the Chienshantsai of Taliukeng." This document can be used to revise and edit the family history and genealogy of Chang Pi-jung of Shulin.
f. Official survey certificates: Michael H. Fieugan has collected a land survey certificate issued by a Mr. Cha, who was in charge of the maritime cultivation and food affairs in Kumalan, to a farmer Chiu Sheng in 1815 (Chiaching 20), which said, "The unused land outside the boundary of Komalan had ben earlier cultivated by the immigrants from Changchou, Chanchou, and Kwanghsi and later become productive farm land and in 1810 it was recorded in the official record. In order to add it in the offical map survey, the land was measured one Fam six Li eight Hao (one Fan equals 293.4 pings, on Li equals 29.34 pings, one Hao equals 2.934 pings, one ping equals 36 square feet) and the owner had to pay six Shih of cereals as tax. This survey receipt was thus issued to CHiu Shen of Nanhsing Farm." This can be used to edit and revise the family history and genealogy of CHiu Sheng who ahd moved to Nansing Farm in Ilan for Cultivation.
g. Land ownership certificates, land survey registers and copies: The ownership, location, area, and successtion of land were recorded in these documents. Notwithstanding the fact that these documents recorded both private indicidual possession and public property, they can be used to edit and revise one's family or clan history. For instance, the edition of the clan history of Chen Ho-ho, who moved to Taiwan for Hoshan, made use of the land survey and registration records in Taipei County.
h. Land ownership succession registers: When and owner of a piece of land died, while the ownership needed to be transferred to his legatees, a family tree chart of the heirs was made, starting both the relationship between the owner and his owner. Details of otherproperty that could be passed on were also recorded. All these can be used to edit and revise one's family, clan history, genealogy, and family tree chart.
Rental Taxes, Property Deed Receipts and Certificates
a. Property deed receipts and certificates: Chin Ho-wang has collected a property deed agreement issued by the Fukien Administration Commisssioner to Chin Teh-yu, a land proprietor from hsinkagto, Anhsi County, in February, 1647, which said, "Land proprietor Chin Teh-yu has bought the hill areas of Shuangken Rock at Lintengohsia, Hsinkangto, at the price of eight taels of silver." This document, together with the contract collected by Chin Ho-wang and entered between Lin Tang-chiao and his party in 1644 (Tsungcheng 17), which said, "Receiving Chin Teh-yu's livestock allowances and "Tieh Fei" charge in eight taels of silver together and thus appropriate four "Sheng" (unit to measure grains) of rice produced at the hill areas of Shuangken Rock to him," can be used to edit and revise the genealogy of Chin Teh-yu and his family history and Anhsi, Tangshan, before his desendants moved to Yingko, Taiwan.
Lai Chin-liang has collected the Pu-Tzu-No. 2897 attachment to the deed certificate issued by the Rukien Administration Commissioner to Lai Meng-lang, a land proprietor of "Tanfangtin" in January, 1765 (Chienlung 30), which said, "Lai Mang-lang and his party have bought eleven 'chais' [measure unit for land] of farmland [one chia is equivalent to 105,624 square feet]at the price of 1,245 taels of silver from Liu Hsiu-me and her party of Pengchochuang." This document together with the agreement together with the agreement mentioned before concerning Mrs. Lai Wei Shih purchasing the farmland of Hsiao Ting-kuei at Tantichuang, Haishan, can be used to edit and revise the family history of the Lai family of Pencho, Chulin. They recorded that the Lais had become rich since residing in Pengcho, and had purchased eleven chais of farmland. They can also be used as materials to edit and revise the genealogy of Lai Fu-lang.
b. The primary leaser receipt: Chin Ho-wang has collected a tax payment reciept given to tenant farmer Tsai Che-hsing by landlord Tung Chen-hsing of Cheinshan in 1797, which said, "Tenant farmer Tsai Che-hsing of Cheinshanchuang has paid two piculs [1 picul roughly equivalent to 120-160 pounds] and seven pecks of grains as payment for the tax for Chianching 2 ." This document, together with the cultivation contract established by Hsiao Chao-hsuan of Chienshanchi in 1743 (Chienlung 8) can be used to edit and revise the family history of the Tsai and Tung families.
Lai Min-hsun of Panchiao has collected a primary leaser contract established by Chang Chun-shih, the eldest-son branch of land owner Chang Chi-fa of Haishanchuang in 1863 (Tungchih 2), which said, "Chang Chu-shih has sold 46 piculs and 8 'sheng' of grains, paid by his tenant farmer Chen Shang-yung of Tachuwei Village as rentals to 560 dollars. Ah Hou and Chang Fa, the younger brothers, have recorded the traiding and Shan-ching signed as a witness." This document, together with the certificate issued to Yu-ming, cheif of Kueilunshe in 1783 (Chienlung 48) carrying the description of the hill areas, can be used to revise and edit the family history, clan history, and genealogy of Chang Pi-jung of Shulin, and the family and clan histories and genealogy of the owner Chang Teh Chun Store.
Lin Lien-chih of Taipei has collected several land lease receipts that were given by Lin Pen-yuan (recorded by Lin Hsun-mei), owner of Keelung Street, to Lein Fang, the tenant, from 1890 to 1899, which said, "This is to certify that the tenant Lien Fang of Keelung Street has paid the land rental--four dollars per year for 1890, 1892, 1898. Seal affixed by owner Lin Pen-yuan." Such a record can be used to revise and edit the family history of the Lin family in Panchiao and the Lien family in Keelung Street.
d. Farm cultivation and aboriginal land lease recipts: chen Ping-hsun of Sanhsia has collected a grain-receiving receipt made by Nan Hsieh-hsing, leader of Wulaowan and Kangtsaishe Village in 1854 (Hsien-feng 4), which recorded, "Receiving 30 piculs and seven shengs of grain from tenant farmer Wen Kai as the seasonal rental for the use of 57 chais of land for the use of 57 chais of land at Shihsantien, Sanchiaoyung of Sanshe." Fifteen tenants' signatures are found.
Wu Keui of Taipei City has collected some rental payment receipts issued to Wu Lang-yuan, a tenant farmer, from 1865 to 1873 by aboriine Yang Chin-ying of Talagshe and affixed with Yang's seal as well as that of Ma Yi-sheng, cief of Kueileshe; receipts issued to tenant farmer Wu Yuan-chi for the same purpose from 1889-1904. These receipts (from aboriginal primary lessors) all recorded the "signatures and seals of ma Yi-sheng and Ma Fu-cheng, chiefs of Kueileshe." These materials can be used to edit and revise the name history, tribal history, and family history of the Pin Pu tribe.
e. Miscellaneous tax and duty receipts: Wu Wang of Wu Chai-hsing, chief clerk of Shuaokuan Villa at the side of Kuanyingshan in 1832, stating that the chief clerk had already paid the sugar duty in an amount of two "chiens" nin "fengs" and five "lis" (Chinese monetary unit). Huang Tien-heng of Tainan City has collected a receipt given to Lin Chin-ching by a Mr. Yen, department head of Fengshan County in 1869 (Tunshchih 8), stating that Lin had paid the sugar duty in the amount of eight chiens five fengs; a receipt given to Su Chin-Feng by a Mr. Ting, a department president of the Fengshan County in 1851, stating the transportation duty for the Hsienfeng 1 (1851) had been paid by Su int eh amount of one tael of silver; a receipt given to Huang Chu-sheng by a Mr. Wang of the department head of Chiayi County in 1845, stating that Hung had paid the port duty at seven "chiens". All these can be used to revise and edit the family history of the Wu, Lin, Su and Huang families for the recorded that Wu and Lin had engaged in the sugar business during the Ching dynasty, while the Su had engaged in transportation and the Huang in port and maritime business.
Documents fo the Distribution and Management of Properties
In Taiwan, documents concerning the distripution of properties usually recorded the names of the families of the divided brothers and the leader of the clan, the details of ancestors' properties, family properties, and ancestral offering affairs. For instance, Lin Pei-wen of Taipei City has collected an allotment document written y the sixth branch of the Lin family of An Tai Tan in 1850 (Taokuang 30) and an agreement about the Liang's Store of An Tai Tang. These documents recorded in detail the names of the brother's families including those of the brothers, nephews, grandchildren, grandparents, and parents, how they established their own business or purchased properties, and how each branch family divided and properties, the ancestor offering of An Tai Tang, and how much property, land or residences each family would get. All these can be used to edit and revise the family history, clan history, and genealogy of the Lin of An Tai Tang.
Mortgages and Loan (I.O.U.) Documents
Chen Ping-hsun of Sanhsia has collected a farm land selling contract established by Chin-sheng (or Chen Kuang-pang) and his four brothers in Taokuang 22 (1842), which said, "Chen Chin-sheng or Chen Kuang-pang and his four brothers who had earlier jointly succeeded 15 chais of farm land which had been purchased by thier father Chu-ming form Che Si-hsiang of Sanchiaoyung Village. Because of the lack of money to establish business, the land mentioned above is thus mortgaged to the Lin Cheng Store at 1,570 (aboriginal) dollars."
Cheng Ping-hsun has also collected a loan (I.O.U.) document written by a tenant farmer Ting Wen-kai in 1816, which said, "Due to the lack of money to cultivate the 57 chais of farm land at Sanshe, Nankan, Kueilun, I, Ting Wen-kai, a tenant farmer of Pangfu Village, here borrow $3,000 "Fu Yen" (Chinese monetary unit) from Chen Hsiang at an interest rate of 50 piculs of trains per year." These materials can be used to revise the family history, clan history, and genealogy of the Lin, Chen and Ting families of Sanhsia.
Contracts and Agreements of Personnel Affairs
a. Bond servise contracts: The Taiwan Branch Library perserves a son selling agreement (or Ming Ling Shu) of Pan Tung and his wife Ho Shih in 1826 to sell their son; "Because of worsening finacial conditions, we Pan Tung and wife Ho Shih, agree to sell Pan Chin-tu, three-years old, 3rd son, born at Mou hour on the second day of the first moon, 1824, to Chang Lung as his adopted son for thirty dollars; and we agree with no objections to let Chin-tu change his name and be the son of Chan Lung whatever Chang Lung wants." Liu Shih=chin of San Hsia has kept a son selling agreement of Chang Fan-po, which states, "Owing to the poor financial condition of the family, I, Chang Fan-po and wife Cheng Shih, agreed to sell Chang Chin-sheng, one year old, 3rd son, born at Wei hour on the 7th day of the second moon, 1864, to Liu Chein-ning for 18 dollars as his adopted son." These bond service contracts can be used to revise the genealogy and family history of the Chan and Liu families.
b. Son-adopting agreements and adoption agreements: Ta Hsi Wu Chiu-chao has perserved an adoption agreement by Wu-Huan-chang and his wife Yang Shih "... to adopt Wu Chiu-tso, our second son, one year old, born at Ho our, on the 9th day of the twelve moon, 1910, as their son. We also agree to pay them 12 dollars for the living costs of Chiu-tso." This agreement can be used revising the clan history and the genealogy of the Wu family.
c. Marriage breaking of breaching agrements, divorce agreements: For instance, Lin Wan-chuan of Hsintein Town has a marriage agreement jointly made by Lin Huan, Teng Hui and Wang Feng-liang, stating that, "Lin Huan, Teng Hai and Lin's brother and sister-in-law ans Wang Feng-liang agree that Wang Feng-laing will marry Teng Fa, nephew of Teng Hai. It is because Wang Feng-Liang's husband Lin Shih-sheng, eldest son of Lin's brother ans sister-in-law, died suddenly, and is survived by his four-year-old son Lin Tien-sung and his widow Wang Feng-liang. Wereas Feng-liang as only 32 years of age, we all agree to this marriage with the following conditions. Lin Tien-sheng will be cared for and adopted as the son of Lin Huan when 16 years old. After marrying Feng Fa, the first son of Feng-liang will belong to the Teng family, while the second son will belong to the Lin family. If there are many children, the Teng and Lin families will share them between themselves. If no child is born, then Lin Tien-sheng will be cared for by both families."
Lin Wan-chuan also perseves a divorce agreement which was made by cheng Shih of the Hsieh family for her son Hsieh Wu-tou, agrees to the divorce of her daughter-in-law Chu Huan-laing, 30, and adopted bride of the Hsiah family when she was a child, who married Hsiah in 1835, because her son died in June, 1863, and the family's finanical condition is poor. She also agrees to marry Huan-liang to me--Lin Tung. I will pay Chen Shih 12 dollars via the matchmaker to arrange this marriage." This agreement can also be used in preparing the genealogy of the Lin, Teng, Hsieh, and Liu families.
d. Wills and adoption agreements: Wu Hei of Taipei has collected a will signed by Wu Shih-hai in 1898 on which was recorded, "Whereas I have six sons who have all been adopted by my brothers as their sons, my first son Wu Jui-hsing unfortuanately died after being adoped by my third brother Wu San-ho; foruth son Wu Han-tso was adopted by my fith brother Wu Ma-cheng; fifth son Wu Lai-hung also died after being adopte by my sixth brother Wu Wen-liang. Thse four adopted sons have shared their uncles' properties and are now reuniting and living together. However, my sixth son Wu Yao-hsiang also died after being adopted by my second brother Wu Lung-hsi. The property that was originally given to Yao-hsiang has been passed to another adopted son hia Ssu of my second brother Wu Lung-hsi. Though Hai Ssu has been living together with us, he is still not of our blood. Therefore, except for a certain amount going to my wife as pension, my grandson as living and given to some other family expenditure, all of my propety is to be evenly distributed among my brothers' families. detailed distribution should be made openly among themselve." This material can be used as revistion information for the Wu family history and genealogy.
Appeals, Court Cases, Accusations
For instance, Feng-Hsi-Nan-Yuan Chen Shih, who moved to Taipei, sued in court because the land of her ancestral graveyard temple had been illegally occupied by other people. her representative, Chen Hsien-shen, appealed to high officials of government--from county government to provincial government, from provincial government to district government, from district government to Tai Chih minister Chief commissioner Liu Ming-shuan of the Emperor Representative Ministry--to accuse a man named Lin and eleven government officials of the above illegal acts. This court suit was used by Chen Hsin-shen in the revistion of Chen's genealogy.
Business Contracts and Accountings
a. Trade ageements and withdrawl of shares: Ma Chang-fa and his partners in 1882 entered into a stock agreement, which records, "Lin Hsin-fa and Ma Chang-fa of Feng 1, Huang Yo-Chi, Shih Mo-Chi and Wang Tsai-chi of Chungcheng enter into business relationship. In order to enlarge the business, we agree to set up a corporation company, namely "Chin Jung Fa," located at Hou Street, Neikung, to run a cloth business. There are a total of five shares of this company. Lin Hsin-fa invested one share of 500 silver coins, Ma Chang-fa invested one share of 300 silver coins, totalling 2,400 silver coins. Whenever profits are made, Wang Tsai-chi and Shih Mo-chi are allowed to share each an extra 10 percent bonus in addition to the evenly distributed bonus according to the amount of investment by shareholder."13 This stock cooperation contract can be used in the revistion of family history and genealogies of the Ma, Lin, Wang, Shih, and Huang families.
b. Business receipts and accounts: Li Chao-jan of Taipei perserved the annual accounts in 1912 of Chun Chi company's branch, in chich were recorded the sum Li chun-sheng saved in the Hong Kong Kei Fu Company, Tainan Mining Company, Bank of Taiwan, and Commercial and Industrial Bank. It also states clearly that this account belongs to the Chun Chi Company of Li Chun-sheng, and the property of Li Chun-sheng at the end of 1912 amounted to 255,044 dollars.
In the Li Cheih Chi Company accounts of 1912, the property, real estate, business, and debts are clearly recorded. It also stated that this was an account of the Li Chieh Chi Company of Li Chun-sheng and the property of Li Chun-sheng at the end of 1912 amounted to $827,310. These account records can be used to revise the family history and genealogy of the Li family.
c. Chambers of commerce (guild) documents: Three noted guilds in Tainin. In 1725, initiators of the three noted guilds in Tainan included Su Wan-li as leader of the north Tainan guild, Chin Yung-hsun as head of the south Tainan guild, and Li Sheng-hsing as the harbor guild chief.14 This material can be used in the revision of clan histories and genealogies of the Su, Chin, and Li families.
d. Apprenticeship letters or placards or "adknoledging teacher" cards: Yeh Ming-tran sent an apprenticeship recommendation on March 5,1906 to his master to learn carving skills; "Yeh Ming-tran of Changhua Street is interested in the occupation of handicrafts, therfore, he would like to ask Lo Mu-chi of Tsung Yeh Street to be his teacher to teach him book printing skills for three years. Yeh Mu, father of yeh Ming-tran, Guarantor [sealed]." This record can be used to revise the family history and genealogy of the Yeh Family.
Irrigation Agreements and Permits
Liu Shih-chin has preserved a waterwork contract with Tung Wang-chi in 1784 on which was recorded, "Whereas Tung Wang-chi is preparing to construct a waterway to irrigate cultivated lands from Nan River, Hengshui, and my friend Cheng Tsai-wu has a piece of cultivated land at Fuchou, Hanghsikuo, which needs water for irrigation, therefore, Chen sent someone to negotiate for the waterwork construction for his land. Owing to our friendship, I would not charge him for the water supply rent, just ask him for 200 silver coins for the construction. After the construction, Chen is allowed to use one-third of the water of the waterway to irrigate his land." And lin Tiao-chang of Panchiao has perserved an agreement made between the owner Lin Teng-hsun, and tenants including Lin Yun of Hsichou, Wu-Shih-Liu-Feng, Wu Chang, in 1775 in which was recorded, "Since the landowner and all tenants have been working for the cultivation of land in Chih Tu Ling for years, we agreed to construct a waterway from Chinglungkou River, a river belonging to Lin Ten-hsun, to induce water to irrigate farmland which lacks water irrigation. Chang Chung-i was chosen as the head to be responsible for the construction project. The construction cost amounted to 700 silver coins. Sealed with the stamps of Teng-hsun, grandson of Lin Cheng-tsu, land owner." This contract can be used in the revistion of the genealogies and family histories of the Tung and Chen families of Henghsi, Sanhsia, and Lin Cheng-tsu, landowner of Chih Tu Ling, Panchiao, and Lin Yun, tenant of Shenkang.
As mentioned above, the Plain Aborigine Tribe's Fan-Tzu-Chih (contracts written in aborigine language) included contracts written in romanized script of the aborigine language and both the aborigine and Chinese languages. Content of the contrats covered cultivation permits, ownership lease agreements, nonreturnable sales contracts. For instance, in 1790, a Hsinkang aborigine, Tapbari Saram, and Takalang entered into a mortgage contract in which "Hsinkang-She aborigine Tapbari Saram and others, etc., inherited from parents five pieces of land with houses and garden." In this document, the name was written in a romanization of the Han language as Tapbari. In 1813, in an ownership lease agreement made by Hsinkang-She aborogine Li Tung-yuan and others was sealed with Hsinkang-She owner aborigine Takalang. All people of Tapbari families of the hsinkang She Plain Aborigine Tribe kept their surnames in the chen-lung period and changed them to Li in the Chaiching period.16 These contracts of the plain aborigine tribes can be used to revise the family history and genealogy for the Lis.
a. Confucian school licenses, hung pang (name list of successful examination canidates in red), books, examination papers: For example, the Tainan City Ethnological Culture Products Museum collected a license which was given by a Tainan Confucian perfecture president Su to student Su Hsiao-ming, in which it is written,"I, student Su Hsiao-ming, from a family with good heritage, am willing to learn under the guidance of teacher of the school and also willing to join the Confucius worship dance and ceremonies held each year... The license is jointly granted by this school and the Tainan government... co-witnessed by great grandfather Su Cheng-lai, grandfather Su Chai-chun, and father Su Feng-hsiang." A manuscript which copied the names of canidates passing the Taiwan Provincial Civil Service Examination of the Tainan Perfecture stored by Huan Tien-hung in 1894, included a total of twenty-seven newly passed canidates including Chen ming-tien. Others like the Tainan City Ethnological Culture Products Museum in 1882 collected books of Chu-Jen (1882) Tsai Kuo-lin and Chin-Shih (1890) Hsu Nan-ying, which they studied at the Hai Tung School in their childhood. These books were printed with Confucius' sayings. This information can be used in revising the genealogy of the Hsu, Tsai, Chen and Su families.
b. Civil examination corrected test papers and essays: Chen Tun-hou of Mucha, Taipei, has collected copies of the enrollment cards of civil examinastion corrected papers (1852) done by Wang Ming-mo of the Tainan Perfecture. These cards included the names of the Wang's ancestors for nine generations, names of his teachers, and names of his examination papers. Written in changhua Hsien Shih Pao-hsiu's biographic sketch and his civil examination corrected pepers (1874) were his personal experiences, names of his ancestors for twenty-two generations, names of his teachers, and test results. In 1862, a Tsinchiang Chu Jen Huang Mou-hsi's examination results revorded the names of his ancestors for three generations and his examination results. These testimonies are the best information to use in revising the family history and genealogy of the Wang, Shih, and Huang families.
c. Charity school teachers appointment decrees: A government decree appointed Ho Tang-lung as teacher of a charity school in Tamsui (formally called Hung mao) Harbor by the Hsinchu Hsien government. It read, "Decree of appointing a teacher: Whereas Hsu Ksi-kung, a noted merchant in Tamsui [Hung Mao Harbor], who offers 88 shihs [piculs] annually to establish a charity school... We have appointed Ho Tang-lung to teach over there after he passed an examination." This decree can also be used in revising the genealogy of the ho and Hsu families.
d. Letters, correspondence, appeals, and petitions: For instance, an appeal made by Tainan Chin Shih (1846) Shih Tsung-fang to the magistrate of Tainan, collected by Huang Tien-chuan, recorded: "In regards to the investigation of stone cutting of ancestral tombs for house construction, I, Tainan Chin Shih Tsung-fang, originally a native of Tsingchiang Hsien, Fukien, bought a piece of graveyard at Ssu Ta-shan, Pu Tou Hsiang, Ku Chiang Pu, Hui An Hsien, during the Kangsi Emperor period, to bury our ancestors of the past nine generations... It was last year when Wang Tien and his gangs who in view of the economic value of the stone within the graveyard, cut stones at the left hand side of the tomb to construct houses... I beg your excellency to make an investigation and arrest them for their guilt." This appeal can be used in the revistion of the Shih family's genealogy.
Chen Hui-sheng, who moved from Chao Fu Village, Cheng Ping County, Kwangtung Town, resided at Toufen and said in a letter of 1 March 1868 to his relative of his native place, "After resettling in Taiwan for the past eighty years, we want to know how our family members in Kwangtung Town are? As I know grandfather has four sons including Tuan-piao and Jui-piao, I wish to know if they are still at home; and Kuei-paio who moved with us to here had two sons, Feng-chiu and Feng-tai, both of whom have no child. WHile Hua-piao had four sons, namley Feng-chi, Feng-chao, Feng-chiu and Feng-lu, all reside in Taiwan and have many children." And then, chen Tien-shu, a nephew of Chen Hui-sheng, replied from Kwangtung Town, Mainland, "We reveived your letter in April... Our village has suffered from great disaster. Originally, Kuei-piao, our uncle, had more than several hundred grandsons and male servants before the disaster, now there are left only not more than twenty people in his family. Kuei-piao, granduncle, has five children while my grandfather Chen Chu-ju has a son, Chen Hsin-hsien; and he has a son, Che-san; Che-san has two sons Shih-i and Shih-wan; they have reunited after a period of separation. At present only my son and I have survived after this disaster. Such changes have caused us to be unable to obey our ancestors' desire to create more descendants. So please return to our village whenever you have any achievement."17 Since then, they had contacted each other within the Kwanghsu imperial reign. From these letters, we can get information to revise the Chen's genealogy.
e. Writings, poems, and lyrical esay: Huang Tien-chuan has stored a total of eight poems written to record his own feelings in his sixties and can also be used to revise the genealogy of the Shih family.
Horoscopes, Marriage Horoscopes, Lucky Day Choosing Scripts, Death Day Scripts
Since many Taiwanese people believe in destiny, they usually have their children's (Pa Tzu) horoscope foretold after they are born. Pa Tzu was calculated in accordance with "Kan Chih Shu" (Chinese celestial stems and terrestrial branches system codes). However, modern men do not toally count their Pa Tzu by Kan Shih code. For instance, they have the month and date written in numbers and the hour written by chih code. Like a firl who was born on the horoscope of right, Mou hour, tenth day of the tenth month of the Ting Mou year. (Equivalent to 7:00-9:00, 10 October 1927.) Right means female, left means male. Marriage Pa Tzu are used by fourtune tellers to calculate whether the man and woman are suited for marriage. For instance, if the man's Pa Tzu is Wu hour, twenty-first day of the ninth moon, Hsin Yu year (1921), of Chien (male), and the woman's Pa Tzu is Cheng hour, twenty-ninth day of the second moon, Tingmou year (1927), of Kun (female), then the fourtune teller would probably decide that the man and the woman were not suitable for marriage because the male is on the four directions and the female on eight directions, which are not compatible codes according to Ching. Date-choosing scripts include marriage date choosing scripts, new building landbreaking date choosing scripts, funeral holding, bone packing, and refining scripts. The marriage and construction scripts were always written with lucky dates suitable to do things and the Pa Tzu of people. Birthdays, death dates and funeral dates were recorded in other scripts.
Some have birthday scripts and death scripts. For instance, Chen Ching-lien of Hohsiang Villiage, Chiangchun Hsiang, Tainan County, stored birthday scripts that recorded the birthdays of his ancestors from the first to the eleventh generations who came to Taiwan. Tseng Jen-hsien of Hsia Shen-chiu, Pancho City, has collected his ancestors' death memorial date records, which include the first six elder sons of Tseng family. This is good information for use in the revision of genealogy.
Merit and Achievement Rolls, Ancestors Praising Pamphlets, Records of Public Ancestral Offering
For instance, Wang Shih-ting of Hsia Chou, Panchiao City, has collected fifteen volumes of achievement records from 1872 to 1957 in which were revorded for his native place and resettlement area in Taiwan the names, birthdays, and death days of his ancestors during this period. And Chen Liang-sheng of Peitou, Taipei, has perserved a copy of Chen's achievement record in Peitou, Fentou, and Hsiang Kung-tsu, in chich were recorded the birthdays, death days, and names of his ancestors for twenty generations. Chen Tze-chen of Peitou has perserved an ancestral recommendatioon pamphlet, and a Chen's achievement record of Manlung Hao, Peitou, recording the birthdays, death days, names, origianal native places, and writings of his ancestors for fourty-three generations. These achievement records and ancestor recommendation pamphlets can be used for the revistion of the Wang and Chen genealogies.
Wang Tseng-chieh of Hsichou, Pnchiao City, has kept twelve Wang ancestral public worship records, that record the arrangement of holding worship ceremonies, expenditures, loans, interests, cultivation taxes for worshiping, public worship ceremonies fro 1901 to 1976, and ancestral record writing charges, ancestral record revision expenditures for 15 December 1910, public worship property representative inheritant charges, ancestral gravestone re-erection fares in 1913. These records can be used in the revision of Wang's genealogy.
Others, like Chou Kung of Shen Kang Hsiang, Changhua Hsien, preserved a worship writing of Chou Tu-ching, a Taoist disciple of the Ting Chuan Chou gravestone temple, Panhsinpao, Changhua County, in which the writing showed worship of Hsiang En Chu Emperor, Chu Fu Huan Ye, Hun Tien Emperor, and Tai Tze Ye god statues. These sacrificial worship writings included the names, birthdays, Pa Tzu of his wife and himself and of his eldest son, second son, and eldest son-in-law. This can be adopted as Chou family genealogical information.
Record of Conduct or Biographical Sketches, Door Inscriptions or Address Tablets, Household Registers, Domicile Copies and Others
Biographical sketches have been required by the government for cnidates applying for the civil examination in the Ching dynasty. During the Japanese occupation period, those who applied for a job had to hand in a biographical sketch which recorded their name, birthday, native place, address, education and experience. Therefore, those who worked have their own biographical sketches. For instance, Li Chao-jen of Taipei City has collected the biographical sketches of his great-grandfather, Li Chun-sheng, a noted personality during the Japanese occupation period and the late Ching dynasty, which recorded is birthday and positions in the local government during the period. These sketches can be used as the revision information for the Li family genealogy.
Door inscriptions or address tablets were required during the Ching dynasty. For instance, Liu Shih-chin collected an address tablet issued by the Tamsui Hsien director Li and given to Chiang Tsai of the fifh household, 1st Pai, 17th Chai, Hang Hsi Nan, Hai Pao Shan, on which was recordes the name of Chiang Tsai, forty-six, native place at Anhsi County, a worker, wife of Lin Shih, seven sons, two daughters, totalling eight males and three females; district administratior of his family Lin Chin-yuan; names of grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, etc. In the Japanese occupation period, each family had a domicile tablet that recorded the name of the head of household, names of the family members, birthdays, and addresses. After Taiwan's restoration, the government set up the household registration system to record the naes of the head of household, and members, blood types, I.D. Card numbers, birth order, date of birth, native place, names of parents, name of spouse, address, and moving in and out registration dates.
Household registration was set up during the Japanese occupation period to record detailed remarks about the head of the household and its members. All people were required to apply for such registration. This domicle information can be used in the revision of genealogies.
There are still many old family document sources and books recording these documents in colleges, libraries, and public and privat cultural organizations in Taiwan. We also can find examples of using old family documents as sources to revise genealogies. Recently, however, there are not too many people using old family documents for genealogy revistion information.
As mentioned above, old family documents are ideal data for revisting genealogies. Therefore, we have to call the public's attention to the need to better preserve all old family documents and bring them to the attention of all genealogy eitores who can use them to compile a better genealogy--preserving the cultural heritage of the society.