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Personnel Records of the Office of the Imperial Household

Research Use: Allow identification of individuals by name, unit, and date of service. Include Information on age, native place, and lineage; some provide pedigrees. Many allow identification of family relationships and calculation of year of birth. Include the names of Chinese, Manchus, and Mongols that might not be available elsewhere.

Record Type: The Office of the Imperial Household was an institution established by the Qing dynasty to control the affairs of the emperor. All matters related to ceremonies, storehouses, finance, contributions, animal husbandry, security, and criminal justice within the palace were entrusted to the Imperial Household. The Grand Secretariat helped the emperor in managing national government affairs. Each of these institutions maintained personnel records.

Time Period: 1653-1911.

Contents: Vary according to the specific type of record. Various rosters and records were also maintained on the officers and workers that provide names and other information about these individuals and often their families. Most include names of officers, age, native place, rank, banner unit, sub-banner unit, name of captain, comments about performance and promotions, physical descriptions, and entitlements. Some include parentage and wives. These rosters and records include: metropolitan inspection roster (1777-1911), banner emoluments roster (1814-1911), Eight Banners roster (1816-1911), various metropolitan inspection registers (1729-1911), and resume lists (1790-1910). Other records include: lists of gazetted officers (1851-1911), official pass roster of the imperial household office (1851-1911), memorials to the emperor regarding promotions (1736-1911), recommendations for promotion (1806-1911), accounts department roster of Three Banner estate heads (1840-1911), Three Banner land records, miscellaneous personnel records (1734-1911), and yellow volume welfare rolls (1653-1658). There are also personnel records of the various units of the imperial household, some of which provide considerable information on wives and daughters: the accounts department (1840-1911), the department of the household guard and imperial hunt (1809-1911), the theatrical bureau (1860-1911), the palace stud (1774-1910), and Eight Banner personnel (1816-1911).

Location: First Historical Archives, Beijing, China.

Percentage in Family History Library Collection: 100% of known material.

Population Coverage: Estimated at 50 to 70% of the elite, ruling class, less than 5% of the general population.

Imperial Examinations in the Han Yu-shan Collection

Online Records

Reliability: Very reliable.[1]

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: China,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1997.