What's a gapou (jiapu) 家譜?

Gapou (jiapu) 家譜, also called zukpou (zupu) 族譜, is a type of traditional Chinese genealogical record that chronicles the origins, lineages, and history of individual families and clans. It traces the male line from the lineage founder, who first settled in an area, to the current generations. The scope of a gapou (jiapu) 家譜 can range anywhere from a few pages with the names of a few generations to hundreds of pages with dozens and dozens of generations.

Notice how I said "traces the male line." If you hope to find the name of some female Kwan relatives in these traditional gapou (jiapu) 家譜, you can forgot about it. Kwan daughters are totally excluded from the gapou (jiapu) 家譜. If the wives of Kwan males are listed, they are usually just listed with their maiden surnames.

The reason why a single gapou (jiapu) 家譜 can span hundred and even thousands of years is because it is a continuous work in progress; it is considered the responsibility of each generation to maintain, update, and pass down these genealogical records. These records are painstakingly compiled and are treated as family heirlooms, that are passed down from one generation to the next.

To learn more about visit Jiapu, an Introduction.