(The back side of the stele)
THÂN ĐẠI LANG - THE PROGENITOR RECLAIMED NEW LAND
(Death anniversary: July 10th, lunar year)
Our history books have printed: more than 700 years ago, in the dangerous area of Ô Châu, there imprinted the marks of our ancestors, who went southward to pacify, to open and develop new land where sacred forests and noxious water were still all over. Generation after generation did not feel tired after the long walk to open more land.
The will of men states: ‘wrap the corpse in horse hide, death in battle field’; and ‘death is considered as light as feather’. Bái Đáp River or Bồ River glorified the combat achievement in the famous quelling of Chiêm nation. The land of Ô Lý - Thuận Hoá noted the merits of our ancestors. Putting off army uniform, his Highness Thân, the Great, together with Đỗ the Great and Nguyễn the Great called for immigrants to build up hamlets and villages in the new land. They formed An Mục - An Lỗ village, where there was only benevolence and righteousness, justice and peaceful life.
The Thân family inhabited there and have introduced to the nation its talented members of pen-and-sword abilities. The blessing handed down by our ancestors has budded and blossomed out, leading to the development of the Than family into seven branches: Ngọc, Nguyên, Mạnh, Khoa, Văn, Hữu, Khởi, in which the order of the branches is not identified.
Bồ River flows southward and integrated with Hương river. It is where An Lỗ village was originated. The Than members immigrated to live in Thuận Hoá region. Its ninth generation immigrated and formed new branches: his Highness Thân Văn Thanh (born 1665) immigrated to Cư Hoá - Nguyệt Biều (here after, his descendants would bear the middle name Bá, Trọng, Thúc, Quý in family order); his Highness Thân Văn Thẩm (born 1671), to Dương Xuân Hạ (Thân Văn); his Highness Thân Đình Bảo, to Thanh Tiên (Thân Đình). Cư Hoá village had the sense of honor resulting to the imperial change of the name into Cư Chánh, which met the will of the inhabitants. Nguyệt Biều village, on the other hand, nourishes the success in mandarinhood…
From those first steps of the immigrants who migrated southward to reclaim new land, his Highness Thân the Great became the progenitor of the Thân family of Thuận Hoá region. In 1917,i.e., the year of Snake (Đinh Tỵ), under the second year of reigning of King Khải Định, he was conferred the title “Khai Canh Thân Đại lang, Dực Bảo Trung hưng Linh Phò Chi thần”.
The Thân family tree has developed since then. Its branches for ever strengthen the family root, and at the same time, stretch to overseas. Swords on the back, pens in hand, the Thân descendants have proved the prophecy
The first generations are civilian
The second generations would be cultural distinguished.
The third generations would be high officers beside the Kings
The forth, fifth and the following generations would gloriously move forward.
It is said that in the capital area there was the saying “ The First is the Than Family, the second is the Ha family, …”. That saying was the result of the fact that The Forefather Hearted Emperor Minh Mạng was predestined to be served by the three brilliant ministers Thân Văn Duy, Hà Tôn Quyền, and Lý Văn Phức. It was stated at that time that “Thân, Lý, Hà, thiên hạ vô đa; Thân, Hà, Lý, thiên hạ vô kỷ; Hà, Lý, Thân, thiên hạ vô nhân”, i.e., there were few to compare with those three men in terms of number, talent and intellectual faculties.
That is what is meant by the family name. That is what is meant by famous and outstanding family.
The merits of our ancestors are deep and uncountable. Posthumous fame sounds in thousands of years, glorifying our family. We know that “the stone stele would be worn out in a hundred years”, however, after years of wars and of natural disasters, our ancestral temple and our family records have been broken up so many times; still, we would respectfully leave some words as a vestige on the stele to meet the wishes of the descendants in the future.
Your descendants respectfully present the words.
Mid summer of the year of Buffalo (2009)
To be offered thoughtfully by the family of Thân Trọng Quang