Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide the historical background of genealogical records and analyze the value of Chinese genealogical research through the study of names and genealogical resources. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the historical evolution and value of Chinese genealogical records, with the focus on researching the Islamic Chinese names used by the people living in Guilin. The highlight of this paper includes the analysis and evolution of the Islamic Chinese names commonly adopted by the local people in Guilin. It concludes with the recommendations on emphasizing and making the best use of genealogical records to enhance the research value of Chinese overseas studies. Findings – The paper covers the history of Islam and describes how the religion was introduced into China, as well as Muslims' ethnicity and identity. It also places focus on the importance of building a research collection in Asian history and Chinese genealogy. Research limitations/implications – This research study has a strong subject focus on Chinese genealogy, Asian history, and Islamic Chinese surnames. It is a narrow field that few researchers have delved into. Practical implications – The results of this study will assist students, researchers, and the general public in tracing the origin of their surnames and developing their interest in the social and historical value of Chinese local history and genealogies. Social implications – The study of Chinese surnames is, by itself, a particular field for researching the social and political implications of contemporary Chinese society during the time the family members lived. Originality/value – Very little research has been done in the area of Chinese local history and genealogy. The paper would be of value to researchers such as historians, sociologists, ethnologists and archaeologists, as well as students and anyone interested in researching a surname origin, its history and evolution.
Collection Building – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 28, 2013
Keywords: China; Local history; Genealogy; Islam; History; Records management; Chinese genealogy; Islamic Chinese names; Jiapu; Guilin (Guangxi Province); Resource‐sharing; Overseas Chinese studies
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