The Preface of Ma Hufang Ma’s Genealogy in Zhengde Period of Ming Dynasty
This is a first edit translation. Needs to be worked on further.
I used to believe the politics of ancient times are perfect! So excellent! The well-irrigated fields are implemented to nourish the people, and the household system is implemented to manage the people. All the people from the same town use the same well, even though they do not belong to the same kinship of different ethnic groups. They help each other if they are poor. People who are sick should also be given help. Those who have had a happy event should share the celebration. Once an elderly person passed away, everyone should go to express their condolences and help with funeral matters. The neighbors in the village are living in harmony and helping each other, just like heaven arranged Goodness for them to live together. However, the legal system of our later generations has been slack, and education has fallen behind. Nowadays, people think about their own families, and every family thinks about their own interests. In this way, even the father, son, and brothers have to be separated and cannot be united. Together, it is a pity do not live as a family? Who can guarantee that they will not be bullied or abandoned when they are in difficulty? People should help each other. Alas, the good and friendly customs of loving each other can no longer be seen! I understood the reason why former emperors ruled the world. The only thing that can change the current customs is our genealogy. Ma Bozhen of Wushan likes to study ancient times and study hard. Ma Bozhen is about to grow old. One day, he summoned the people of his clan to discuss the construction of the Ma clan’s ancestral hall to worship his ancestors. However, because of the numerous development of the Ma clan’s descendants, the branches for different reasons, they could not discuss as a group how to construct the ancestral hall. Therefore, Ma Bozhen began to edit the Ma family tree, carefully verifying the birth, marriage, and death of the people of their clan, and recorded them in detail. After several years of hard work, Ma Bozhen took this information to the Ma family members and showed them the compiled genealogy. I would like to write a preface to their Ma family tree. This Ma family tree, in search of the roots, records in detail the situation of thousands of individuals in their clan in a Ma family tree. Ma Bozhen’s ancestor Jingzong is admirable. If you look at this Ma family tree carefully, it records in detail who is the father, who is the ancestors, and where whose ancestors came from. All the Ma clan members in the century know that they are from the same family. In the past, Su Zizhu said that people who read our genealogy would have a feeling of respect for ancestors. Today I further explained that people who read the Ma family tree would respect the Ma Family. The family relationship between the clansmen will gradually form, and there will no longer exist tensions between them, no longer with the strong bully the weak and exhibit other bad behavior. Ma Bozhen has the aspirations to edit and produce the Ma family tree, and the compilation of the family tree will be completed. The good traditional customs handed down from ancient times can reappear in the world, as the emperor rules the world. This document shall serve as a preface.
Written respectfully by Wen Yuan, a minister of the Emperor with a Jinshi degree