Huang Qiaoshan Biography

117th Generation Ancestor

Huang Qiaoshan

(AD 871- AD 953)

Huang Qiaoshan was a native of Heping ,Shaowu , Fujian 福建, China. His personal name was Huang Yue 黄岳, aliases Huang Renjing 黄仁静 and Huang Qinggang 黄青岗. He was also known by the name Huang Qiao 黄峭.

Huang Qiaoshan was born into a family of ancient lineage on the 15th day of the 4th month in the 12th year of Xiantong 咸通 (AD 871) , according to the Huang Clan Genealogy of Shaowu (later dates in the Five Dynasties’ Period or Song dynasty given in some Huang genealogies are erroneous and inaccurate- refer to a Research Article (In Chinese)). Huang Qiaoshan’s great-grandfather, Huang Ying was a native of Gushi 固始, Henan 河南 in north China, who had migrated south to Shaowu, Fujian. Huang Qiaoshan’s father, Huang Xi 黄锡 (AD 845-AD 917) was the Magistrate of Heyang 河阳 (present-day Zixi county 资溪, Jiangxi Province 江西省).

During the last years of the Tang dynasty (AD618-907), there were widespread disorders and bandit gangs ravaged the countryside and attacked cities. Huang Qiaoshan helped organize a militia to protect the Shaowu countryside. News of his courage reached the Prince of Longxi 陇西郡王, Li Keyong 李克用, who appointed Huang Qiaoshan as a “battalion leader” 千夫长. Later, Huang Qiaoshan scored military merits and he was conferred “Qian Hu Hou” 千户侯 (Marquis of a Thousand Households) by Emperor Zhaozong 唐昭宗 in AD 895. The following year (AD 896), he was promoted to the position of “Vice-Minister of Works” 工部侍郎.

In AD 907, the Tang dynasty was overthrown by the traitorous official, Zhu Wen , who founded the Later Liang dynasty (AD 907-AD 923). Huang Qiaoshan, who was a loyal official of Tang, grieved and refused food for several days. He refused to be involved in the power struggle between Later Liang and Later Tang which followed. He retired from politics and returned to his ancestral hometown of Heping, Shaowu. At Heping, Shaowu, he founded the “Heping Academy” . During this time, he also composed the famous poem “Four Seasons” . Heping Academy, which is one of the earliest academies in Fujian province had helped raise the level of education in Shaowu and nurtured many talents. During the Song dynasty (AD960-AD 1279) alone, Shaowu gave China 3 Prime Ministers, 6 Ministers of War and 136 Presented (Jinshi) Scholars for China.

According to legend, when Huang Qiaoshan was born, his father, Huang Xi planted a small camphor tree, and made a wish: “When you grow big, my descendants will prosper” . Many years later, this small tree grew into a big tall tree with many branches and lush leaves (This thousand-year old Camphor tree is still standing today in Shaowu! See Picture). Huang Qiaoshan had three wives- Shangguan Shi , Wu Shi and Zheng Shi and 21 sons, 155 grandsons, 334 great-grandsons, a total of 510 persons in the family (not yet counting his daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters-in-law!).

After the fall of the Tang dynasty, China entered a turbulent period known as the “Five Dynasties’ Period” (AD 907- AD 960). Huang Qiaoshan saw the rise and fall of short-lived dynasties, and sighed over the turmoil of his time. He firmly believed that the best way for the family’s survival in the time of uncertainty was to disperse his family members. One day in AD 951, Huang Qiaoshan, who was 79 (80 sui) then, held a banquet where he invited his fellow clansmen. At the banquet, he gathered all his family members and instructed his 18 younger sons and their families to move out and live separately (only the eldest son from each of his three wives and their families were to remain at Shaowu). Huang Qiaoshan composed a poem “Ren Zu Shi” and instructed it to be pass down through the generations so that future descendants would recognize one another and know their family roots. The sons of Huang Qiaoshan obeyed their father’s words with heavy hearts. An auspicious day was chosen for them to set out. The 18 sons of Huang Qiaoshan and their families set out to live in 18 different places where they established their own lineages. Huang Qiaoshan’s far-sightedness had helped his descendants survived the turbulent periods in Chinese history in the centuries that followed and ensured their prosperity. Over a millennium of development, the descendants of Huang Qiaoshan became very numerous and have spread all over China and overseas, and their numbers is estimated at 12 million today (which is two-fifths of all Chinese with the surname Huang today).

Huang Qiaoshan passed away peacefully on 10th day of 11th month in the 3rd year of Guangshun (AD 953) at the age of 81 (82 sui) and was buried near his father’s tomb on the slope of a hill in his hometown of Heping, Shaowu. The tomb of Huang Qiaoshan was designated a “Cultural Protected Site” by the People’s Government of Shaowu, Fujian Province, China on 15th April 1986. On 26th November 2003 and 16th December 2006, the Webmaster visited and paid respects at the ancestral tombs during his root searching trips to China.

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