This paper analyzes the criteria for inclusion in a lineage genealogy, the rules governing who is eligible to be included, in the genealogies of the Zhu surname of Zhangxiangdu, Jingxian, Anhui. Different editions of a genealogy may have very significant differences in how this issue is discussed and may even be mutually contradictory. These contending positions are the product of competition between different branches of the lineage over discursive authority and the pursuit of their interests. The article argues that as lineages gradually became the basis of the social order in Ming and Qing, the genealogy transcended its original cultural function to record and promote "harmony " among the membership. Genealogies were adapted to suit the larger lineage system, serving as a mechanism for the functioning of society. The spillover effects included a new function as a population register.