Introduction

The purpose of this page is to provide readers some assistance in understanding the challenges of Chinese Heritage research, in particular such matters as:

  • Reading Chinese on the Web
  • Chinese Date System
  • Chinese Names etc.

Our intention is to keep growing this Page, as and when we have questions from visitors on what is "common knowledge" to students of Chinese Heritage.

{This Page is provided with the courtesy of the Chinese Heritage Interest Network}


Reading Chinese on the Web

In accessing Chinese heritage web sites, if you come across Chinese characters, your pc may not display Chinese characters correctly unless you select the View encoding { View, Fonts, Chinese Traditional (Big5) or "Chinese Simplified (GB) }.  To view Chinese characters, you need to have the latest version of Internet Explorer (ideally IE 6 and above).    To install Chinese reading capability, suggest you try this sequence:

Start   Setting   Control Panel   Internet   Options   General   Language   Add.

Select Chinese Big5 etc.

If you still encounter difficulties, we suggest you browse through the web and you will find the appropriate solution for your browser.


Date System used by the Chinese Pioneers:

 Date: one needs to take care, as there is never certainty if the word moon corresponds to the relevant Gregorian month, or the Chinese Lunar Calender, which is a lunisolar Calender, formed

 Month and Day: The month and day of death is written as “moon” and “day”.   In trying to deduce the date of death, even though it is clearly written on the headstone, one needs to understand the Chinese Calender system.

Year: The Chinese Pioneers chose to use a Chinese Emperor Era name (年號) to record the year of their passing.  This is the Emperor Era Name, Emperor Reign Period, or regnal title used when traditionally numbering years in an emperor's reign (for deeper exposition on this subject, see reference  www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Chinese-year.   Thus, the date in Chinese could be, “Guang Xu Reign year number 2”which corresponds to CE 1876.

In rare cases, they choose to use the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Terrestrial Branches, a 60-year cycle Chinese calendar system (干支) in use since the 12th century BCE.  For the convenience of the reader and future researchers, we have generated such a calendar, from CE 1821 to CE1911.

Chinese Emperor Era name (年號)

皇帝 皇帝 Emperor Yr CE Year 天干地支 Pinyin
道 光 道 光 1 Dao guang 1 1821 辛巳 xinsi
Dao guang 道 光 2 Dao guang 2 1822 壬午 renwu
1821 to 1850 道 光 3 Dao guang 3 1823 癸未 guiwei
道 光 4 Dao guang 4 1824 甲申 jiashen
道 光 5 Dao guang 5 1825 乙酉 yiyou
道 光 6 Dao guang 6 1826 丙戌 bingxu
道 光 7 Dao guang 7 1827 丁亥 dinghai
道 光 8 Dao guang 8 1828 戊子 wuzi
道 光 9 Dao guang 9 1829 己丑 jichou
道 光 10 Dao guang 10 1830 庚寅 gengyin
道 光 11 Dao guang 11 1831 辛卯 xinmao
道 光 12 Dao guang 12 1832 壬辰 renchen
道 光 13 Dao guang 13 1833 癸巳 guisi
道 光 14 Dao guang 14 1834 甲午 jiawu
道 光 15 Dao guang 15 1835 乙未 yiwei
道 光 16 Dao guang 16 1836 丙申 bingshen
道 光 17 Dao guang 17 1837 丁酉 dingyou
道 光 18 Dao guang 18 1838 戊戌 wuxu
道 光 19 Dao guang 19 1839 己亥 jihai
道 光 20 Dao guang 20 1840 庚子 gengzi
道 光 21 Dao guang 21 1841 辛丑 xinchou
道 光 22 Dao guang 22 1842 壬寅 renyin
道 光 23 Dao guang 23 1843 癸卯 guimao
道 光 24 Dao guang 24 1844 甲辰 jiachen
道 光 25 Dao guang 25 1845 乙巳 yisi
道 光 26 Dao guang 26 1846 丙午 bingwu
道 光 27 Dao guang 27 1847 丁未 dingwei
道 光 28 Dao guang 28 1848 戊申 wushen
道 光 29 Dao guang 29 1849 己酉 jiyou
道 光 30 Dao guang 30 1850 庚戌 gengxu
咸 豐 咸 豐 1 Xian feng 1 1 1851 辛亥 xinhai
Xian feng 咸 豐 2 Xian feng 2 2 1852 壬子 renzi
1850 to 1861 咸 豐 3 Xian feng 3 3 1853 癸丑 guichou
咸 豐 4 Xian feng 4 4 1854 甲寅 jiayin
咸 豐 5 Xian feng 5 5 1855 乙卯 yimao
咸 豐 6 Xian feng 6 6 1856 丙辰 bingchen
咸 豐 7 Xian feng 7 7 1857 丁巳 dingsi
咸 豐 8 Xian feng 8 8 1858 戊午 wuwu
咸 豐 9 Xian feng 9 9 1859 己未 jiwei
咸 豐 10 Xian feng 10 10 1860 庚申 gengshen
咸 豐 11 Xian feng 11 11 1861 辛酉 xinyou
同 治 同 治 1 Tong zhi 1 1 1862 壬戌 renxu
Tong zhi 同 治 2 Tong zhi 2 2 1863 癸亥 guihai
1862 to 1874 同 治 3 Tong zhi 3 3 1864 甲子 jiazi
同 治 4 Tong zhi 4 4 1865 乙丑 yichou
(慈禧太后) 同 治 5 Tong zhi 5 5 1866 丙寅 bingyin
同 治 6 Tong zhi 6 6 1867 丁卯 dingmao
同 治 7 Tong zhi 7 7 1868 戊辰 wuchen
同 治 8 Tong zhi 8 8 1869 己巳 jisi
同 治 9 Tong zhi 9 9 1870 庚午 gengwu
同 治 10 Tong zhi 10 10 1871 辛未 xinwei
同 治 11 Tong zhi 11 11 1872 壬申 renshen
同 治 12 Tong zhi 12 12 1873 癸酉 guiyou
同 治 13 Tong zhi 13 13 1874 甲戌 jiaxu
光 緒 光 緒 1 Guang xu 1 1 1875 乙亥 yihai
Guang xu 光 緒 2 Guang xu 2 2 1876 丙子 bingzi
1875 to 1908 光 緒 3 Guang xu 3 3 1877 丁丑 dingchou
光 緒 4 Guang xu 4 4 1878 戊寅 wuyin
光 緒 5 Guang xu 5 5 1879 己卯 jimao
光 緒 6 Guang xu 6 6 1880 庚辰 gengchen
光 緒 7 Guang xu 7 7 1881 辛巳 xinsi
光 緒 8 Guang xu 8 8 1882 壬午 renwu
光 緒 9 Guang xu 9 9 1883 癸未 guiwei
光 緒 10 Guang xu 10 10 1884 甲申 jiashen
光 緒 11 Guang xu 11 11 1885 乙酉 yiyou
光 緒 12 Guang xu 12 12 1886 丙戌 bingxu
光 緒 13 Guang xu 13 13 1887 丁亥 dinghai
光 緒 14 Guang xu 14 14 1888 戊子 wuzi
光 緒 15 Guang xu 15 15 1889 己丑 jichou
光 緒 16 Guang xu 16 16 1890 庚寅 gengyin
光 緒 17 Guang xu 17 17 1891 辛卯 xinmao
光 緒 18 Guang xu 18 18 1892 壬辰 renchen
光 緒 19 Guang xu 19 19 1893 癸巳 guisi
光 緒 20 Guang xu 20 20 1894 甲午 jiawu
光 緒 21 Guang xu 21 21 1895 乙未 yiwei
光 緒 22 Guang xu 22 22 1896 丙申 bingshen
光 緒 23 Guang xu 23 23 1897 丁酉 dingyou
光 緒 24 Guang xu 24 24 1898 戊戌 wuxu
光 緒 25 Guang xu 25 25 1899 己亥 jihai
光 緒 26 Guang xu 26 26 1900 庚子 gengzi
光 緒 27 Guang xu 27 27 1901 辛丑 xinchou
光 緒 28 Guang xu 28 28 1902 壬寅 renyin
光 緒 29 Guang xu 29 29 1903 癸卯 guimao
光 緒 30 Guang xu 30 30 1904 甲辰 jiachen
光 緒 31 Guang xu 31 31 1905 乙巳 yisi
光 緒 32 Guang xu 32 32 1906 丙午 bingwu
光 緒 33 Guang xu 33 33 1907 丁未 dingwei
光 緒 34 Guang xu 34 34 1908 戊申 wushen
宣 統 宣 統 1 Pu yi 1 1 1909 己酉 jiyou
Pu yi 宣 統 2 Pu yi 2 2 1910 庚戌 gengxu
1908 to 1911 宣 統 3 Pu yi 3 3 1911 辛亥 xinhai