Sun Yat-sen’s ancestors lived in Dongguan centuries ago—their genealogy helps to give Dongguan even more meaning. Sun’s early ancestors all lived in Shangsha village, Chang’an, Dongguan. They referred to Shangsha as “home.”Around the year of 1350 BC, Sun’s first ancestor Chang De Gong was influenced by the new national revolutionary doctrine and became good friends with He Zhen who was living in Dongguan. So, he decided to move from Nanxiong to Shangsha. The Sun family had been living in Shangsha until the fifth ancestor Li Zan Gong moved away to Zhongshan, which is well known as Sun Yat-sen’s home.
Shangsha formed into a village about 900 years ago with its superb location—facing the sea with a mountain behind, suitable for villagers to make a living by tillage or fishing. In the beginning, there were villagers with multiple family names such as Cao, Liang, Wang, Jiang, etc. Later, people with the family name “Sun” came along and joined from elsewhere and they multiplied by a huge number—forming the very heart of that village. So far, it’s the 26th generation of Sun. Sun Yat-sen was the 18th generation. Nowadays, only the Cao family and Liang family reside at Shangsha village besides the Sun family, and the “Sun” name still maintains the essence of the place.