Chan Surname SIG

Chan China Roots Journal

This journal chronicles the trek made to:

  • Chan Family Heritage Village Temple where I put my grandfather’s name on the temple walls and secured the Chan Zupu for Guangdong
  • Tomb and Memorial of Chen Feng Tai, the Chen progenitor in Guangdong
  • Chen Mo Temple, the eldest son of Chan Feng Tai the progenitor of the Toishan and Chungshan region.
  • Mil Til, the Chan ancestral village to secure my jiapu as the first emissary from America in 117 years

This can also be used as an example of documenting your family history using techniques like photo layering, word wrapping, tables to create photo montages and more.

Photos: Chen Feng Tai – Chen Guangzhou Progenitor and his 7 Sons

From Chen historian, Gene Chin, from his presentation, “Chen Genealogy and Lineage”.

If your Chen family had its roots in Guangdong, it is likely you are descended from one of the seven sons of Chen Feng Tai. Once you can establish your village linage, sometimes through the generational poem to one of Feng Tai’s seven sons, then you have linkage to his father that is clearly documented to Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor … the first emperor of China.

Characters: Chan Surname – Traditional, Ancient and Stylized

Chen History Synopsis

With thanks to John Jue with for this contribution.

Chen is comprised of two Chinese word characters. The left radical represents an “ear;” while the right radical is a word for “east.” When the two radicals are combined to form our surname, it may be interpreted as “Listening to the East.”

Our roots were planted in the Far East in the land called “Middle Kingdom.” Shundi, who was the nine generation descendant of Huangdi, was the seminal primogenitor. The Kingdom of Chen was established by Chen Hugong in the inaugural years of the Zhou Dynasty. In a span of nearly seven hundred fifty years, the Chen clan grew during the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese History. Confucius lived in the Kingdom of Chen as recorded in the classical text: Records of the Grand Historian.

A local Han Dynasty magistrate, Chen Shi, stood out as a “Beacon.” He served as a benchmark common ancestor for genealogy tracking. His direct lineal descendants were highly accomplished individuals. Some were advisers to Cao-Cao during the “Three Kingdom” turmoil. Others were military generals to Cao-Cao’s successors. Chen Shi is highly respected among Chen’s in China, Taiwan, and United States as well as other countries. The Chen Dynasty was established during the Southern and
Northern Dynasties period. It lasted a brief 32 years before the Golden Age of the Tang Dynasty. We
could not corroborate that our lineage included the second and third emperor, despite claims to the

A northern military-governor was exiled to Southern China in the Soong Dynasty. Chen Hu and his entourage crossed over the Yangtze River to Fujian. His descendant, Chen Wen, settled down as the primogenitor of Guangdong Chen’s. Three generations later, Chen Hui, who had seven sons, all migrated to different locations in the southern region called Guzhou; and the clan settled in an area of what is now Taishan.

The seven brothers were considered genealogic benchmarks for the Guangdong Chen’s. They were, as follows: Mo, Xuan, Ying, Kai, Run, Tu, and Ren. The four older sons held the equivalent of a doctoral degree as “Jinshi” by passing the imperial examination. We are descendants of one of these Chen brothers.


2 thoughts on “Chan Surname SIG”

  1. Hi Barbara,
    I personally cannot answer your question, but I know four people that may be able to shed some light.

    To help with research, what is your end goal with the is information? Can you elaborate with any more details on your question?

    Thanks you!


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