Some of you know I traveled to OoSyak Village in November, and some of you didn't. But I thought I'd give all of you a quick summary of my accomplishments.......Ask questions if you need to: (Plus a yearly letter from Kristl and her adventures in China got me thinking about writing this....thanks! Kristl)
1. First, I knew where grandfather's ancestral home was. I entered it in 2007 at my first visit to China. I have some pictures I took inside the place, etc. It was collaborated by Aunty Dolly when she saw the photos.
2. This year, my goal to was find grandfather's gravesite, since it is listed in the "jook pu" (sp??) or ancestry book that Aunty Dolly has and let me borrow. I have scanned that book that is written in Chinese. I have learned to read some of the characters. Anyways, long story short.....I found grandfather's grave with the help of Zheng Chiu Yee ( former mayor of oosyak county---who is quite interested in genealogy and overseas chinese people--I actually met her in 2007) and my other help is Basilio Chen (translator and a member of Oo Syak Gee Lu Society, though he lives in SFO). He was the biggest help since 2007. He knows a lot about the history of Zhengs, Changs, Chengs, Chens, etc. (all written with the same chinese character.) I have photos taken of gravesite. I did bai san (sp?).
3. I actually found a real FIRST cousin to most of us. He might be a second cousin once removed to some of you. Anyways, he is the grandson of Chang Kee's 3rd brother. That is another story as I am untangling this mystery. It looks like our GREAT grandfather had two wives. (Just like our grandfather, Chang Kee) His first wife had two sons and his second wife had three sons. Chang Kee is from the second wife. I have pictures with this cousin. He is actually the one taking care of the house and he also takes care of the gravesite in oosyak, though he lives in Shunde, about a 2 hour ride away from Oosyak. When he found out that I was in town, he made the trip with his youngest son to OoSyak. He remembers Chang Kee's sons. His family line is another story, that I will eventually get to at another time. He tells glorious stories about Chang Kee whenever he returned to China.
4. We who are first cousins, ie. our fathers or mothers were Chang Kee's children, are of the 26th generation. That is another story. Anyways, while in OoSyak, we were traveling with friends from OoSyak Society, who was attending a convention is Xinhui. We traveled with her, with the intention of visiting the vilage because her husband's fathers are from OoSyak. The people who looked at our ancestry pages found out that we were in the same ancestry book. Anyways, Ken Chang had 2 ancestry books. One that I have a copy of from Aunty Dolly and another that I did not have. As I am reading through this book, I am trying to translate the names of our ancestors, eventually I'll need to ask some Chinese experts on names. Our genealogy can be traced back to the first generation.....with that comes a story from my friend Basilio Chen, who knows a lot about the history. His ancestors also come from OoSyak. Anyways, as I am gathering "names" with Chinese characters, I find that our genealogy is intertwined with Ken Chang's in the very, very, very early generations. So, I'm still working on this.
5. How do I know which generation we are?? The ancestry book says so. So most of us are the 26th generation and some of us are the 27th generation. The funny part.....my friend Ken Chang comes from the 27th generation and he is older than me by about 15 years. So the joke is.....he calls me aunty, because I come from an earlier generation, but I think in actuality we are cousins, so many removed, etc.
6. Finally, thought I'd make a "plug" for a trip being planned for OoSyak village around October or November 2012. We will also be visiting other parts of China. I'd like to stay at Sam Heong (San Xiang) for at least 3 days and 4 nights. I've seen most of important parts of the place, but I thought if any of you are interested in visiting your grandparent or great grandparent village.....let me know.
That's all I can think of now. Ask questions, make inquirires, etc. (I'll let you know when I get some pictures together on Picassa.)
Hope you enjoyed this short story of my trip and my findings.