This site is devoted to the genealogy of Chinese families from an area of Guangdong, China (中國廣東)commonly known as Siyi (四邑) or four counties. The counties are Xinhui (新會), Taishan (台山), Kaiping (開平), and Enping (恩平). The families in this area have much in common besides geographic location. The great majority trace their origin to China’s central plain. Each faamily may have different reasons for leaving the Central Plains and migrated southward. The most common would be fleeing the turmoil caused by an invading nomad tribe, internal uprising or natural disaster. This southward journey happened in multiple stages and over hundreds of years. Each major unrest or disaster drove them further south until they finally settled in their current locations. In many cases this final settlement took place five to six hundred years ago.
Due to crowded living condition and lack of agrarian land the migration, however, continued. At first a small number headed to the South Pacific. Since the 1850′s an increasing large number had crossed the Pacific and Indian Oceans in search of work. This is not a true migration in that they seldom settled in their new locations due to cultural and political reasons. This, however, began to change in the latter half of the 20th century as the Western nations amended their immigration policies primarily because of the overseas Chinese’s contributions to the war effort during World War II. This coupled with events in China made many decided to have their families joined them and settled in the foreign land.
A place of great significant during this southward migration is Zhujixiang, Nanxiong (南雄珠璣巷). A vast majority of the families in the Pearl River Delta area trace their roots to there. One can say it is Pearl River Delta genealogy’s equivalent to the Americans’ Mayflower and Plymouth Rock.
The surnames we are actively researching are: Chan, Chow, Der, Kwan, Lee, Mak, Wong, and Zhao (陳周謝關李麥黃趙). So far we only have time to compile some of the information on the Chow (周), Der (謝), Lee (李), and Zhao (趙).