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Outside the Rings: Utah couple helping Chinese people trace their ancestry

Outside the Rings: Utah couple helping Chinese people trace their ancestry



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No one can ever question Jill Edwards' love for her husband Brian. How can you, after she followed him from Pleasant Grove to live in Beijing?

"Of course, it was tough at first," she said. It was tough at first for both of them, especially with three of their four children, but they believe in what Brian was doing and how they felt his job could really help Chinese people.

Brian explained, "Well, we're setting up a Web site. We're going to target users in China, and we're trying to help them do their history online."

Brian works for the company that has produced Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com. He's in Beijing to get jiapu.cn going, so Chinese families can look up their ancestors.

"Actually, they're really into it. Historically, keeping touch of your family history and keeping track of family records is really important to the Chinese people, and so it's a wonderful fit with China, and the Chinese people, because they really want to understand their ancestors," Brian said.

If you go to the Web site, just know it's not in English. "If they can speak and read Chinese, they can go online and see a family tree," Brian said.

There's no doubt genealogy is big in Utah. The Edwards are hoping it'll be a success in China, too. Already, they've helped a family go back thousands of years, all the way to Confuscious. "It's about 65 volumes worth of information," Brian said.

And for Jill, there are even more volumes worth of memories. "I love it here. We live in a neighborhood that has a good support group. It's a great thing to know where they came from, and I think it helps them know who they are. It's wonderful," she said.

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Alex Cabrero

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