Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chinese Surnames

My surname is Ong (as known in Malaysia) but in China it's known as Weng. Maybe it's how the Hainanese people pronounced it. My paternal grandparents were from Hainan Island.

In China, when a local baby was given birth, the baby could follow either the father or mother's surname. In Malaysia, we have to take the father's surname.

My surname is not that popular in the sense not many people shared the same surname. Following are the top surnames being shared in China:-
* 93 million with the family name Wang (normally known as Wong in Malaysia)
* 92 million people shared the surname Li (Li = Lee)
* 88 million were called Zhang (Zhang = Chong or Cheong)
* 20 million shared between Chen, Zhou and Lin surnames (Chen = Chan)

And if you are interested to know your family tree back in China, Shanghai Library is currently compiling the world's largest genealogical database, containing about 50,000 Chinese family trees, by the end of this year. Wow!!! Alternatively, you can join the political arena where your political foes will definitely find out on your behalf as they will dig till the cow comes home on your historical background to bring you down.

This database will comprise tens of thousands of characters, records Chinese families' lives and histories going back 1,000 years which includes overseas Chinese too. Data contributions are coming from overseas Chinese libraries in USA, Singapore, Holland and Taiwan. Once compiled, the data will be available online for the public to access.

Will I be related to any one of the China emperors????
Tags: Ong, Weng, Hainanese, Hainan Island, China, Wang, Wong, Li, Lee, Zhang, Chong, Cheong, Chen, Zhou, Lin, Chan, Shanghai Library, Genealogical Database, Chinese Family Tree, Overseas Chinese

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4 Comments:

Blogger lynnx01 said...

Interesting! I am a Wong (Huang). I wonder how come Malaysian chinese don't follow the mandarin pronounciation in our birth cert.

13 June, 2007 11:07  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

in singapore, they follow the hanyu pinyin which is similar with china's spellings

in m'sia, beats me....

13 June, 2007 11:35  
Blogger *venNEe said...

I think for Malaysia they follow our mother tongue language. For my case my mandarin surname is actually YAN, but in cantonese it's pronounced as YIM, so its registered as YIM.

13 June, 2007 12:54  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

yeah vennee, u are right. my mind wasn't thinking that well just now

13 June, 2007 13:37  

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