I have gotten a glimpse of the historical record of the Hakka that settled in Three Gods Village where I live. They arrived in Sichuan during the reign of Kangxi — first in Longquan (not far from where I am) then eventually in this village. The trip took 4 months from Guangdong where they are from and the original Li Clan is now split amongst 12 generations and “middle names.”
The generation that has children now — the adults of the village — are Clan Li, middle name “Guang.” My neighbors are Li Guang Wen and Li Guang Xi. Their older brother is Li Guang Cuan.
But the middle name only extends to the male heir, so any girls are “exempt” … so Li Guang Wen’s daughter is Li Tian Tian. And Li Guang Xi’s younger brother eschews the whole thing altogether and named is son Li Chun Tao. They barely speak the old language — they might claim to to impress visitors and emphasize being unique — but the truth is that after 1949 the culture began dying and as of 1980 it was almost completely dead.
In 2007 one of the elders put together a description of the family history and laid out a map of their travels and pointed out the location of the grave of their common ancestor, near the Technical College in Chengdu.
I will meet him tomorrow and give you a transcript of his essay and a pic or two.