2016 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

The Ouyang Surname Genealogy and the Making of Local Lineages

Xi He

Department of History, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Since the Song dynasty, the genealogical diagram designed by Ouyang Xiu has been regarded as a model in genealogical compilations. However, set up a genealogical diagram at his parents’ grave in his family home in Jiangxi province, he did not set up a lineage in Jiangxi. Nevertheless, the examples in this essay show that local lineage groups that were not related by birth to Ouyang Xiu, in different historical periods, for different reasons, set up lineage relationships with him. The historical process in which Ouyang Xiu’s genealogical diagram came to play a part in the building of lineage connections mirrored the changing meaning of the lineage from the Song through the Qing. As the centre of ancestral sacrifice shifted from the grave in the Song and the Yuan, to the ancestral hall and its properties from the mid-Ming, the language of descent came to be more and more a means of expressing power. Therefore, the territorial lineage came to be looked upon as a model of the village. Although the ideas that made up the lineage remained unchanged for a millennium, they were expressed in different forms throughout and they contributed to different social structures.


Keywords: lineage, genealogy, Ouyang Xiu