Flourishing Family Tree - The longest in the world 551-479 BC
I thought my family tree going back to Kenneth MCALPIN 800AD was pretty big. But it's small potatoes compared to the tree of The Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius 551-479 BC.
He has the longest family tree in the world.
It spans eighty three generations of decendants contained in 80 volumes and includes more than two million names.
The tree begins with Confucius but let's not forget that he was decended from King Cheng Tang 1675-1646 BC of the Shang Dynasty.
The Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee in 1998 began an international project involving more than 450 genealogy branches, set up around the world to revise this tree. This huge effort was to coincide with the 2560th. anniversary of the birth of Confucius in 2009.
The pedigree had only ever been revised four times before, the last time the clan register was updated was back in 1937 when 600,000 names were added.
According to custom it should be revised at 30-year intervals but in 1967 the terror and persecution of the Cultural Revolution made that impossible
Kong Deyong, a 77th-generation descendant of the great thinker led this massive upgrade by the 450 genealogists, which produced another 1.3 million living members. and finished in 2007 in plenty of time for the celebrations.
With family records scattered or destroyed, the restoration of the complete genealogy has taken more than a decade of international research, conducted by individual Kong clans in China, but also in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Kong Ming, a 33-year-old businessman from Shanghai, began researching his branch of the family from the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in 1998 when his elderly grandfather dug up the coffin in which he had hidden the family records to escape persecution during the Cultural Revolution.
He spent more than £40,000 reconstructing the 800-year-old history of the family, sending out 100,000 direct marketing leaflets and putting posters all over the city to recover the links that had been lost over time. He believes it was money well spent.
More than 40,000 overseas descendants were added to the fifth edition of the Confucius Genealogy, with 34,000 of them from the Republic of Korea.
The descendants flourished on the Korean Peninsula after the 54th-generation descendant arrived there at the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368)
Happily the genealogists managed to recover 900 descendants in Taiwan and two branches which have been lost for more than 1,000 years in Shanxi and Henan provinces,