Post by lachinatown on Apr 4, 2012 16:43:08 GMT -5
It was not laohuaqiao who posted, but me. That is the female unicorn character. The male unicorn character has different right part to it (spells differently in English). And that is what it reads on the headstone. It also match the English "ling".
After more than a year, we have found my grandfathers grave, and managed to get a photo of it.
The 1923 ships manifest lists him (Bing Wing) and his 'brother' : Bing Wing, 15 yrs old - Mother: Chin Shee, Tai Sham, Sun Ning, China Bing Den - 13 years old - Mother: Chin Shao, Tai Sham, Sun Ning, China
When he settled in Massachusetts, he was using the name Gee Wo Dong, and the American nickname of 'Donald.'
Perhaps a native speaker can shed some light on the name change, and also any other clues from the inscription on the stones.
As soon as I figure out how to attach a pic I will post the photo.
Dong, From the tombstone your grandparents came from Guangdong province 廣東省, Taishan county (now a city), 台山縣 Shangge Heung 上閣鄉 Dasan Cun (village) 大三村
Grandfather's name 曾紀和 Grandmother's name 陳玉桃
Shangge Heung (Sheung Kok in Cantonese) is in the town of Doushan 斗山 in Taishan. The last name Dong is from Taishanese dialect, normally Tsang in Cantonese and Ceng in Mandarin. The current Hong Kong Financial Secretary, aka God of Fortune as people called him, Harvard educated John Tsang has ancestral roots from the same region.
Since there are many Chan/Chen villages in Shangge and nearby Liucun Heungs, the fact your grandmother was a Chan is not surprising.
Dong, The two lines down the right and left edge gave the location:
Guangdong province, Taishan county Shangge heung, Dasan Cun
The large character in the middle is the surname Dong. Below it are the words 之墓 meaning "tomb of".
The only other words are 夫人, below your grandmother's name, which is a term of address for a married woman, and 翁 below your grandfather's name, which is a term of address for an old man.
Chin Shi literally means "surname Chin". In the past married Chinese woman's full name was never recorded, only her maiden surname. Chin Shi has the meaning as nee Chin.
Why was Bing Den's mother was given as Chin Shao? Perhaps she was a second wife or concubine of your ggf. The only word that I can think of that sounds like "shao" is 嫂 (sao in Mandarin, sou in Cantonese and thlao in Taishanese), which refers to a younger married woman.
Thank you very much for your assistance; this has been a great help - more than you know.
I've no idea why Bing Den's mother was listed as Chin Shao. We do know both the boys were related (they looked very much alike), but we are not sure at all that they were actually brothers. While Bing Den was called 'Uncle Tom', Wing never once, in his entire life, mentioned a brother or ever called him such.
As usual, when trying to reconstruct the past, answers often lead to more mysteries.
It makes me happy, however, to be able to learn something about these family members, and I now have enough information to inquire in Boston with the Chinese Historical Society there that is very helpful to descendants of immigrants; even the part-Anglo children. These ancestors deserve to be remembered and honored for their place in our lives, and especially when we know they went through many hardships in their lifetimes.
msen: Hi Sis, and welcome to the forum. As you know, I recently returned on a long journey from Florida to see one of our American cousins, sadly, in hospice. Her wish was to reconnect our family and visit with as many as could make the trip to her bedside.
Jun 15, 2013 12:27:50 GMT -5
msen: Oops, I guess i will continue in shoutbox, but merely wanted to reply to you! Long story short, her wish came true and now we have, thanks to forum friends, our village and some names in our father's family. Shout out to Laohuaqiao, FayChee and forum.
Jun 15, 2013 12:32:35 GMT -5