My China Roots is thrilled to announce the release of a new feature allowing you to search for ancestors across our digitized records. The feature relies on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which automatically extracts all Chinese characters from zupu images.

Uncover the lives and stories of your Chinese ancestors

About AncestorSearch

  • 1,373 digitized family tree books from Southern Fujian and Guangdong (more to be uploaded in upcoming months)
  • 6,000 searchable names on average per book
  • Searching is free, but full access to the records is restricted to paying customers 

How does it work? 

Step 1: Fill in your ancestor details. 

Fill in a First Name using Chinese characters. Including a Birth Place is optional, but can help narrow your search.

Screenshot of AncestorSearch: fill in your Chinese surname, ancestor name in Chinese, and ancestor's birth place.

Step 2: Browse your list of results 

Our database will return any records that include the name inputted. To lower the total number of results, change or narrow your search terms. 

Screenshot of ancestor search: list of Chinese record name matches.

Step 3: Review your matches 

Filter out any incorrect or irrelevant matches by looking into your matched records. If you think you’ve found your zupu, or need help making sense of the results, simply click on “Get access” to speak with one of our zupu experts. 

Screenshot of AncestorSearch: use the reviewing pane in the zupu viewer to identify possible ancestor matches

Step 4: Accessing your zupu 

Once you’ve purchased access to your zupu, you can browse all pages at your leisure. Price includes two 30-minute consultations with a zupu expert to find out more about your zupu’s contents.

Screenshot of fully accessible zupu with Chat support from My China Roots

What’s next? 

Over the coming months, we will be working to continually improve AncestorSearch with the following enhancements: 

  • Translation Support: Future versions will include a built-in Chinese-English dictionary and tools to help people who only have their ancestors’ names in letters convert them in Chinese characters.
  • Reading tools: users will be able to view record images side by side with the Chinese transcription.
  • Increased Coverage: we are working with libraries and collectors in China to vastly expand our database of family tree books.

Have a question, comment, or feedback about this new feature? Let us know at [email protected] !

Please share the news with your friends on social media by clicking one of the icons below! The more users we get, the faster we can improve and expand our database to include the entire Chinese Diaspora’s family tree! 

Generations of Chinese Chen posing for a black and white vintage family photo

Unlock your family tree in a few clicks

Clotilde Yap

Clotilde is a London-based product manager with roots in France and Malaysia. A professional foodie by night, she loves exploring cemeteries around the world.

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