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The descendants

Photo of Jack LeeJack Lee (íZíZíZíZíZíZŔ│íZ)is the first of many Lee Dong's world wide descendants I met online. He is one of Lee Chun's (íZíZíZńżíZ) descendants, 34th generation, and currently resides in Victoria, BC, Canada. Jack has published a genealogy book on this branch, The Immortality of Heritage and Roots - A Record of the Lee Family Clan: Genealogy of Jack Wai Yen Lee (íZíZíZŠ░íZíZíZíZíZíZęšíZíZň«ÂŔíZíZ). He is Canadian born but traces his roots to Tin Lieu Village, Xinhui, Guangdong (íZíZ░ŠíZíZň┤íZŔą┐šíZ░ň»«íZíZíZ). It was Lee Jone Tieu (íZíZíZň«íZŠóíZ), the 21st generation, in approximately 1680, who moved to and settled there. This book is available from the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Illinois, in the Genealogy Department.

I'm from Lee Hon's branch, more specifically his great great grandson, Lee Duanfu (íZíZíZšź»ňĄź) who according to the clan records was an officer with the title Dai Fu (ňĄžňĄź) in the Yuan Dynasty (íZíZíZíZíZíZ). He moved from Wunbu, Xinahui (íZíZ░ŠíZíZíZíZ▓Šşą), to Tiantai (ňĄęňíZíZ) and was buried in Sumloun Shan (ńŞíZíZíZíZň▒íZ), Shunde (íZíZíZňżíZ). His grandson, Lee Si-li (íZíZíZń╗ąšŽ«), moved to and settled in Daigong Tsun, Taishan (íZíZ░ň▒▒ňĄžšÂ▒íZíZíZ). As a way of reminding the descendants of their roots, all descendants of Lee Hon's branch always refer themselves as Lee Shi from Wunbu (íZíZ▓ŠşąíZíZíZŠ░íZ). The reason being Wunbu was where Lee Hon was dispatched to settle by his mother after the Exodus from Nanxiong (íZíZíZíZíZíZ).

So when about did this happened? Since Lee Duanfu was an official during the the Yuan Dynasty which lasted from 1279 to 1368 then Lee Duanfu would have to be born between 1320 and 1340. We can test this by going backward. We know Lee Duanfu is the 5th generation while my father who was born in 1899 is the 23rd generation, a difference of 18 generations. If we use 25 years for each generation then Lee Duanfu would have been born on 1449, way after the Yuan Dynasty. What if we increase the generation years by 5 to 30? The answer is 1359. Not bang on but much closer.

What happens if we work our way forward from Lee Dong? Then we have no choice but to accept that Lee Dong took part in the 1126 campaign. Let say his sons at the time was in their twenties which means they were born on 1100 or there about. Again using 25 years per generation, Lee Duanfu's year of birth would be 1225. What do you know? It works. As a check let's try it on the 23rd generation again. What do we get? 1675? What about using 30 years? 1790? Still no joy.

The Exodus from Nanxiong may hold the key to this puzzle. From the story of Wu Fei we know the event took place near the end of the South Song Dynasty, most likely between 1275 and 1279. Again assuming Lee's Dong's sons were in their twenties we'll use 1250 as the base year. Applying the 25 years rule yield 1854 for the 23rd generation. Not bad when consider it averages out to less than 2 years per generation.

Most zupus do include an additional four generations prior to Lee Dong. Thus subtracting 125 years from 1250 and what do we get? 1125 which is a year off from the Campaign of 1126. Coincident? Maybe. From the forwards in the zupu Chune gave me it seems people had struggled with this time differences as no later than the early Qing dynasty.

Migration had played an important role in the Lee clan/family history. From family records we know that since the 900's the family had migrated southward from China's central plain until it reached the Pearl River delta. During the ensuing 1,100 years members from different branches had settled in Xinhui (íZíZ░ŠíZíZ), Kaiping (íZíZíZň╣íZ), Taishan (íZíZ░ň▒▒), Shunde (íZíZíZňżíZ), Zhongshan (ńŞşň▒▒), and Guangxi (ň╗íZą┐íZíZíZ). Family records disclosed that one of Lee Dong's uncle went to Vietnam which in my opinion was to escape the consequences of a failed military campaign.

Of course, in the past 150 years many crossed the Pacific Ocean and endured untold hardships to provide for family members at home. Most of these early workers came to North America's west coast, moving eastward in search of work and finally settled in Toronto, Montreal and New York. Since 1949 many decided to bring their families over and set roots in a foreign country. Today the strongest contingent is in Canada with heavy concentration in Montreal and Toronto. There are pockets in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Oakland, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. An indication of how extensive Lee Dong's descendants had became is that its genealogy records were published in the USA Lee Association's 1996 Boston Convention.