The Investigator

I am Xin Yu, a China historian at Washington University in St. Louis.

My research interests include migration, the history of the family, book history, printing technology, visual and material culture, and the digital humanities.

Ming Genealogies

My dissertation surveys genealogies produced in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

Migration and Genealogies

I am doing another project on the influence of migration on genealogy production. The aim of the project is to show how local politics, as reflected in the struggles between native residents and immigrants, might shape the trajectory of the genre of genealogy in local society.

As the case of Longyou, a county in southern China, shows, the competition in cultural production revolving around the genealogy inspired more people to organize lineages and compile genealogies, thus popularizing the genre to the point that almost every village in the early twentieth century had genealogies associated with the residents in the village.