Family History Part 3, Medan search for the Tjong Yong Hian heritage

The Chong 张 Family History Part 1 post was started due to renewed energy in family history work which had the intention to cover interesting information about our family history that I had uncovered over the years. It didn't take long before the effort instead of merely reporting past discoveries became one of data-mining new information that led to this Part 3 post. The new information was that I had discovered a new video on youtube that was about my great grandfather Tjong Yong Hian due to a 100th year Anniversary commemoration of his death in Medan organized by a descendant named Budihardjo Chandra. The other useful information was that the current street name in Medan of Jalan Bogor was formerly Tjong Yong Hian Street.

I had found Budihardjo Chandra's name in two social networks, one is on Google+ and the other LinkedIn. I wrote to him and a month passed by with no response. When the year-end came, I decided I will fly over to the city of Medan from Penang to take my chances in Medan to find Tjong Yong Hian's heritage within a planned 7 days trip. Penang could be my base where I had already started family history work there with contacts already established while I had to visit the new city of Medan and turn it into an adventurous trip.  I guess this is the excitement that comes along with family history work.

Adventure 1 - Penang. Learning about Cheong Fatt Tze and visiting his Blue Mansion.

I had stopped over in Ipoh to pick up some personal things from the Toh family to bring to Stella(a significant name found in my mission journal), the oldest daughter back from the UK who was assisting 'Mama Toh' in getting her old heart pacer replaced at the Penang Hospital. After picking the bag up I stopped at the McDonalds to get a snack and was delayed as I couldn't start the car again and therefore had to call the AAM for assistance. Seems like the adventure started early! They got the car started suggesting that I needed a battery replacement and as it was already past midnite, I decided I will take a slow drive to Penang and would park the car by a tyre/battery shop and wait for it to open and I managed to achieve that.

As they installed the new battery to my car...

... I was enjoying my early morning Penang breakfast of noodles and kept my facebook updated

I eventually caught up with Stella in the striped red shirt above at the hospital with Mama Toh at the hospital and later we went to visit our mutual friend David Soon and family to take the above photo. David standing on the far left with his mother sitting down and sister Sylvia on the right are true Penang-nites.  They know people on the island and soon I was led to contact a well-known architectural firm of Lawrence Loh in Penang who had done conservation work on old mansions, one of which was the Blue Mansion owned by Cheong Fatt Tze. The Cheong supposedly is of our family name but had a different Romanized spelling which commonly happens as registrars of birth or nurses will spell the name in accordance to the sound they hear of the Chinese character name when told to them. I was told there were fixed scheduled tours each day and I caught the 1.30pm  tour of the Blue Mansion.

The whole building was painted blue and no wonder it was known as the Blue Mansion.

It was a guided tour and the group was very large

Soon the guide brought  everyone to the centre courtyard of the Mansion

 This is the view of the indoor courtyard from the upstairs of the building

The upstairs had a wide spacious front hall leading to a balcony

As the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is only one of the two buildings in Asia chosen to be in the top 10 list of the greatest mansions and grand houses by the popular travel guide Lonely Planet, no wonder there are crowds of people interested to pay the fees for a guide and tour of the building. The other building is the Marble Palace Mansion of Kolkata India.

What was interesting to me wasn't how famous the building was but to discover that Cheong Fatt Tze apparently was related to my great grand father Tjong Yong Hian as I read in a print hung on the wall above stating that his nephews were Cheong Yong Hian and Cheong A Fie. (Surname Cheong not as original Tjong known in Indonesia.) However this cannot be confirmed as a fact until I can trace his name in the genealogical records of the Chong/Tjong/Chang or more specifically the 张 family tree that I have researched so far that dates back over a thousand years! In order to facilitate this, I need his name or names in Chinese characters to match the records that I have which are all in Chinese characters and not Romanized. Referring to the wikipedia site for his details, it is written as Cheong Fatt Tze (Chinese: 張弼士; pinyin: Zhāng Bìshì) (1840–1916).

Postdated developments:
My research of our own Chong lineage(Tjong in Indonesia) led me to find a blogpost of Eugene Khoo who covered the Overseas Chinese of the British Empire wrote in his post wrote the following, "Chong Fatt Tze's affairs in the Straits Settlements was under the management of his cousin Thio Chee Non also known by the name Chong Yit Nam and Chong Chee Non who was the Kapitan of Deli. "Thio Chee Non" also known as 'Chong Yit Nam' and 'Chong Chee Non' are the other names of my great grandfather that I discovered only later as he was known to me initially as Tjong Yong Hian who was the Kapitan China in Deli or Medan today according to the book by Queeny Chang. 

Above is a screenshot of the blog post of Eugene Khoo which can be read by clicking here.

The above record from FamilySearch shows the father of Tjong Yong Hian (ref: KT3M-D38) and his children on the left column. The right column shows the father of Tjong Yong Hian's father (ref: KT3M-DD6) and his children on the right column. 

If Cheong Fatt Tze 張弼士 is an uncle of Tjong Yong Hian, he would have to be a sibling of the father of Tjong Yong Hian (ref: KT3M-D38) whose name should be listed among the children listed on the right column. Cheong Fatt Tze's Chinese name 張弼士 does not match any of the names on the 5 children found on the right column nor is there a match of his date of birth in the year 1840 to any of the names there. The possibilities of the miss match I can think of are 1) His name was left out in the genealogical records 2) He carries a different Chinese name from 張弼士 which is possible as many of the ancestors seem to have several Chinese names. 3) He is not a real uncle which can only be verified by examining his own family tree in his Genealogy book or Zu Pu 族谱.

Soon it was time for me to head out to Medan

Adventure 2 - Medan, North Sumatra. History of Tjong A Fie and his heritage home

The first two days in Medan was disappointing as little progress was made towards finding the Tjong Yong Hian heritage as when the taxi driver/guide I used was told to find the Museum, which I had viewed on the youtube video in Malaysia, I was led to other places.

The driver to me to public tourist sites such as the Sultan's Palace.....

... which I recognized from the photo in Queen Chang's book where she wrote of memories of her visit there when she was just married, "The visit to the Sultan of Deli's palace was a great treat. Crowds of the Sultan's subjects were waiting in the brightly illuminated palace gardens to welcome us. As our yellow Fiat convertible drew up at the foot of the marble red-carpeted stairs, the guards of honor, wearing their uniforms of yellow and green, presented arms (lances). Ceremoniously, we were brought to the Sultan who received us with affection. 'My daughter,' he said, 'welcome, welcome!' "

The Sultan then would be Sultan Ma'Mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah who lived during the time of my Great Grand Father and his brother A Fie from 1873 - 1924 as stated in the above information found below his portrait at the palace. The two brothers Yong Hian the elder and younger A Fie must have been very good friends with the Sultan of Deli and had worked together in the community they lived in.

A memorial photo was taken of me dressed in a Sultan's attire holding the book, Memories of a Nyonya, by Queeny Chang that had led me on this adventure to Medan in search of the Tjong Yong Hian heritage. 

The taxi driver/guide when asked about Tjong Yong Hian home or museum brought me to this home instead which was the home of the younger brother of my great grandfather named Tjong A Fie

The home had a courtyard in the centre with a view from upstairs that is quite similar to the view of the photo shown above at the home of Chong Fatt Tze or Blue Mansion in Penang

Watch this video of the interior of the home of Tjong Ah Fie in Medan, the younger brother of my great-grand father TjongYoung Hian whom I'm tracing his history in Medan that will lead to my trip to China to find his ancestral home. Continue to scroll down following my adventure to find my family roots and it will lead you to other parts or posts that has the happy ending to find his home in China!

The upstairs had a wide spacious front hall too leading to the front of the house but with no balcony as in the Blue Mansion. Another significant difference is that in this home, there are many more historical artwork or photos for display of the Tjong A Fie heritage

When I saw Queeny Chang's photo holding up her book, I was inspired to hold mine up for this another memorial photo taken in Medan! The label below the photo frame read, "Tjong Foek Yin alias Queen Chang when she was 85 years old. Queeny Chang is the author of Memories of  Nonya" (The letter 'a' being left out before Nonya)

I appreciated the family tree chart framed on the wall that was not present at the home of Cheong Fatt Tze. On the far left is Queeny's photo noting the years she had lived, 1896 - 1986. It was fortunate that I found her in 1982 in Singapore and also met her again in 1984 with my wife Geok Lee as recorded in my journal here.

There were old black and white photos....
... with descriptive caption labels 

 There were more recent colored photos too...
... and the guide at the museum home pointed out to me that Mimi Tjong on the right of the photo above was an active Tjong descendant living in Medan. I had a wish in my heart to find her if possible as she might lead me to where the Tjong Yong Hian museum might be but wasn't sure how that could happen. 

Meanwhile I felt that the taxi driver and guide I was using seemed incompetent and was trying to stick around me too much by calling me too often on my local cell phone number that he had helped me acquire and was too persistent to wait for me to take me around first thing in the morning at the hotel lobby. I had met two women from Malaysia at the hotel at breakfast in the morning, a mother of 6 children too who accompanied her best friend's daughter to visit Medan. They had done their travel research to know how to get to Lake Toba by a chartered taxi and invited me to join them. They had joined me in touring the above places looking for my great grand father's museum but as what we experienced, we didn't have much luck. I had expected the taxi driver and guide we had could lead me to find the Tjong Yong Hian Museum at the 'Jalan Bogor' area that I had learned from the video but he led me instead to the Tjong A Fie museum! 

After visiting the Tjong A Fie museum, we were driving in the area of Jln Bogor according to the google map I was following on my iPad and passed a large street signboard that caught my eye. I immediately told the driver to stop for me to take the above photo. I was puzzled that the street name was that of my great grandfather as in the video, the narrator had said Jalan Bogor was the current street name that formerly was in the name of Tjong Yong Hian! As all museums close after 5pm, we got the driver to take us to some local street markets to see what it was like. We returned back to the hotel later, had dinner and did some travel planning.

My dampened spirit from a failed search to find the heritage of my great grand father was uplifted when I saw a carolling group outside the hotel bringing the Christmas mood to the city! It was after all just about 2 weeks before Christmas!

On further discussion with the two women,  I decided it was a good time to take a break to follow them as they had a clear travel plan to visit Lake Toba and the Samosir Island while I only had studied the map of Medan to focus on 'Jalan Bogor' to find the museum of Tjong Yong Hian that eluded us. 

Adventure 3 - Exploring Samosir Island on Lake Toba, North Sumatra.

As per my Never Ending Christmas Story of 2013, I ended up bringing two maidens to Lake Toba. What if the trip became an 'Indiana Jones' experience, I thought in my mind as I was out on an adventure digging up information of my ancestors in a land filled with interesting relics?

The younger of the two women with her iPad had searched another group taxi deal unlike what I had arranged for a taxi all for ourselves. Firstly we had to wait for hours before they had all the passengers they wanted and when everyone had too much luggage, they solved their problem by tying them to the roof of the Toyota Avanza! There is still a squeeze of about 9 people into the vehicle that I would describe in Malay as 'seperti hendak masuk kambing ke kandang' ie as if we were goats to be put into a cage! It would be a 4 to 5-hour ride to Prapat where we were to catch a ferry to cross over to the paradise island of Samosir!

The mother of 6 in yellow sure wasn't looking very happy discussing the dilemma with the other women folk! So they elected me as the Man to sort out the problem. Well, I called another company willing to send their vehicle to come to pick us up but the problem is that this taxi company we were at had already collected our money in advance about over 5 hours ago in the morning and it was mid-afternoon by now! So with anger in my tone, acting like the displeased King, I addressed the problem of trying to "put us goats into a tight cage" and that since they obviously couldn't fit all of us in, I asked them to refund the money for the 3 of us as I had already arranged for another taxi to come to get us to Prapat

Now here was the response I got from the 2 staff in the little office. One, the woman administrator in blue earlier seen on her desk with the phone busy calling for help but is now seen on the sofa lying back as if she had a headache with groans of pain released. The other, the driver in red who had efficiently tied the excess bags on top of the vehicle, with help from a couple of his coolies in gray (fortunately not the bags were not ours but belonged to the other local passengers), is now seen puffing on his cigarette thinking hard of a solution. (The person in a striped tee shirt is one of the passengers)  Can you imagine none of the staff responded to me at all in words nor even looked at me at all but just kept very quiet for about an hour in the pose of the pic above as if I didn't exist at all!

I told the lady please call her boss if she couldn't approve the refund of our money but she just kept quiet with her head leaned to the side as if in pain! The driver was just very cool in deep thoughts and I must say they all acted very cool and was not in anyway offended by my stern voice mixed with an appeal of common sense to be applied in our dilemma. I had phone contact with the other driver who was on the way to pick us and I urged them to quickly make a decision as an hour of silence had already transpired. The driver in red finally just stood up and announced the decision. He simply told the passenger in a striped shirt and another woman that they were not going on this trip and that was it!!!!  As the noble King, I expressed that this was not fair to the 2 local passengers but they seem to accept the decision in peace with no complaints at all either!!!  I called back to the other driver to cancel explaining that the company would not do a refund but was getting us going on the trip now! Mind you, the fare each was only RP70,000 which was about RM25!

Depending on how you look at it, if you enjoy the exciting 'Indiana Jones' ride, you got more than what you paid for! You can hear the screams in the video and the laughter! You can also count how many cars the driver can overtake on a single lane road with oncoming vehicles from the opposite direction!

We arrived safely in the dark evening with pouring rain in the township of Prapat but it was a sunny new day the next morning for us to take the boat across to Samosir island.

However way you look at the exciting ride on the road from Medan, once you're on the boat towards Samosir Island, you just know everything is going to be smooth sailing!

We found a beautiful resort named "Bagus Bay" to establish as our base

Imagine waking up every morning to see this idyllic view!

Wake up earlier and you can catch the spectacular view of the sunrise!

There must be something in this place that seems to be renewing my energy level. If you look at the top right of both photos above, you will see a floating platform out on the lake about at least half a kilometer away!

Suddenly, I felt like I was Superman and dived into the water to swim to the platform out in the lake!

Can you see Superman standing on the platform? 

Now I found that the girls were equally energetic as they suggested renting motorbikes to explore the island!

This we did by riding to the highest hills

or riding to as close to the water as possible!

But these girls still have the extra energy to shop and shop, driving the toughest bargains that even cause the local traders to have headaches! hahaha The above is what they call, "Deals on Wheels!"

As for the King, he is satisfied to just sit even on ancient stone chairs, talking to local craftsmen who are basically of the Batak Karo tribe in Lake Toba, learning their history and greeting language of "Mejuah-juah" which means Peace and Joy to All of Us!

Even witnessing a Batak Caro wedding ceremony would be more interesting to me than shopping...

...or watching the ladies planting padi in the fields...

...or the men winnowing the harvest

Even watching the Buffaloes cross the road is more interesting than shopping!

One thing I found that the mother of 6 had as much energy as me, the father of 6, in playing with the children! Watch the video clip below :

If you're wondering where all those fireworks came from, just look what this mother of 6 is carrying with her, on the bike behind after shopping in a nearby village town! HoHoHo

After a while, you get to understand how in Indonesia they can pack overloaded items of baggage or people on top of their vehicles!

Soon it was time to take a farewell picture together as the girls had to fly back home a couple of days earlier than me. We certainly had an adventurous and fun time together as the pics and videos show!

Postdated Events: We met again in Malaysia

Christmas Day 25 December 2014

We had a reunion in Malaysia a year later when I paid them a visit in their hometown of Lenggong. Click here to view the reunion photos.

Adventure 4 - Climbing the Hills of Berastagi.

Strange how life sometimes has sudden twists and turns that create pleasant surprises. In this case, I was to follow the two Malaysian women friends in the direction of Medan where they would be dropped off first at the airport and the taxi would then take me to the hotel in Medan to continue my search for the Tjong Yong Hian museum. We had arranged the group taxi ride with the reliable company known as Bagus the day before and we showed up at their corner shop lot by the ferry terminal at Parapat early before the appointed time of 10am. The younger one went to 'shop' around the market stalls by the pier so the two of us decided to order some food for your breakfast from a stall just opposite the taxi meeting point and wait for her to join us. By 10am we had finished all the fish and vegetables we had ordered but there was still no sign of our last minute shopper! We hurried back to the corner shop lot meeting point and she wasn't there either!

We met the taxi operator and told him that we were missing the one friend. Now her companion went to look for her and left me at the shop. Much time went by again and the two women were not to be seen! The first vehicle had left and the operator mentioned that in the second vehicle to Medan, there was only room for the two women. He offered me another taxi that was heading to Brastagi knowing that I had more time and could spend an extra night there to enjoy the hills and hot springs there! The two girls finally showed up and I quickly briefed them on the new plan and said our goodbyes before heading to the other taxi. In the taxi were two women who are from Singapore and they were on the same ferry that brought us to Prapat and happened to have chatted with my two Malaysian friends. We got acquainted with each other quickly and now I'm in a trio again this time with plans to climb up Gunung Sibayak together with a guide!

On the way to Berastagi, the driver stopped at Sipiso-Piso Waterfall which is the highest waterfall in Indonesia with a height of 120 meters.

As the waterfall is located north of Lake Toba, we could get a last view of the magnificent lake again

While my new Singaporean lady friends had booked themselves in a fancy hotel, I got a comfortable guest house owned by a Dutchman who bought this property in the early days when it was cheap and today has become a valuable property in Berastagi. I was given directions to a hill nearby where I could see the two famous mountains in the area. One is Gunung Senibung which has recently has shot ashes 700m in the air and cannot be accessed by the public and the other is Sibayak that we plan to climb.

I was told that I could catch a good view of the sunset from the nearby hill so with my running shoes on, I took off to find that nearby hill and to get a feel of the area.

Along the way, I passed by a couple of horse riders which brought back memories when I first came to Brastagi during my student summer break holidays in Australia where I had brought an Aussie friend with me in the late 70s. I remember we rode some of the horses which were smaller sized ones as the ones in the photo but Berastagi wasn't as built up as it is now.

The sun was quickly setting and I could see Gunung Senibung in the far horizon as I passed a local neighborhood mosque

I found the small hill in the suburb which I think is what was recommended to me and climbed it.

As I reached to the top of the small hill slope, I saw on the horizon in the direction where the sun was setting Gunung Senibung with some visible smoke coming out of its peak.

On the opposite side of the horizon where the sun would be rising, I could see Gunung Sibayak on the other end of the Berastagi township. A hired vehicle will come to pick me up at 4.30am to bring us to the foothill to start our climb in the morning

I got back down to the town to find a restaurant nearby to have a healthy dinner of fish and local vegetables

I read the local paper in Bahasa Indonesia that on 16th Dec, just the day before, the Gunung Sinabung erupted again to give out hot ashes to a height of as high as 700 meters

We started climbing Gunung Sibayak early in the morning before 5am on a narrow forest trail in the dark:

The guide was leading in front and I was tailing at the back with my torch.

The moon was bright to assist us

As we got closer to the top, there was no more vegetation but mainly rock and sand.

Watch the video clip below to share the experience of the climb but listen to the lyrics of the song carefully to see if you have fulfilled your Childhood Dream!

Was nice to relax in the hot springs pool after the strenuous climb!

Adventure 5 - Medan again. Finding the Tjong Yong Hian book, burial ground, and museum.

Soon it was time to head back to Medan city and after all the adventures at the Lake, Waterfalls, and Mountains of Northern Sumatra. I was refreshed to solve the puzzle of the Tjong Yong Hian museum. Heading to Medan in the same chartered taxi, I made sure the ladies were dropped off safely to their hotel first. Luckily with the iPad and google maps in my hand, the taxi driver who seemed to have missed the hotel was guided back to find it again and we dropped off the women at the hotel of their choice. Looking at the time of about 4pm, the desperation that turned into inspiration instead of perspiration told me to tell the driver to drop me off at the same Jalan Bogor sign that had turned to become Jl Tjong Yong Hian. I didn't want to waste time checking into a hotel as if the museum existed, it would close at 5pm so I was on a rush to find it fast!

Here was the Tjong Yong Hian street sign again!

I noticed the shops nearby seemed to have Chinese owners and this was the shop I first walked in to ask about the heritage of Tjong Yong Hian on the street that now bears his name.

The shop owner, the man dressed in shorts with a dark shirt was very responsive to me.

He drew out this book from his drawer which was in Chinese and was about my great grandfather Tjong Yong Hian! I asked him where he got it from and he said someone had given the book to every shop on the street! When I told him that I was a Tjong descendant looking for his heritage, he quickly told me to follow him to another shop nearby to meet a man who knew where the Tjongs lived today in Medan. I was given a street name Jln Perniagaan with a sketched map of where to find Chang Hong Cuen with his Chinese name written for me. He told me it was not far from where we were and it was a street with many textile shops and I could find two homes there close to each other that belonged to the Tjong family!

He put me on a one-seater motorized rickshaw and we sped off with my backpack and iPad with google map again to find Jln Perniagaan. It was only a 15-minute ride through traffic in the Chinese district of Medan and I recognized the textile shops on that street. 

I got off the motorized rickshaw and asked the textile shop owner where could I find the Tjong home and they pointed to me to the next lane up the street and I walked there to find a high walled home with a sliding solid steel gate as the main entrance. It was ajar and I could walk into the premise of the inner home where a lady had just walked out of the house door. I asked her if this was the Tjong residence and as I spoke to her, she looked like the same Mimi Tjong that I had seen in the photos at the Tjong A Fie museum on my 2nd day in Medan.

The above is another photo of her with the US Consult of Medan that I had photographed from the Tjong A Fie Museum. She acknowledged who she was when I bumped into her coming out of the home. I explained that I was a Tjong Yong Hian descendant and was looking for living relatives in Medan. She quickly pointed the direction to another home that was just a few shops away on the same street. I, therefore, proceeded toward the other residence as she seemed in a rush to head out of the home and did not have time to have a further dialogue with me.

A few shops away up the street was another lane leading to a similar high walled home with a solid sliding steel gate as the main entrance. This time around I had to speak to several men sitting in the what looked like a garage on the inner grounds of the home. Here I was with my backpack and sling bag explaining who I was, a descendant of Tjong Yong Hian from Malaysia and was looking for a living relative. Soon I was put on an intercom with a man who affirmed that he was Budihardjo Chandra.

I first knew of his name from coming across the youtube video in 2013 that was produced in 2011 on the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the death of Tjong Yong Hian.

He apologized for not immediately letting me come into his home as I had not given any notification of my visit. I quickly responded that I had actually emailed or sent messages to him on Google+ and LinkedIn to connect to him but did not receive any response and decided to come personally myself to Medan to search for the family history information of my great grandfather. He replied that his secretary handled his correspondences and may not have informed him of my communication. Satisfied with my explanation, he came out of the house to receive me in.

We had a very warm meeting together where we discussed much family history matters and he presented to me a Mandarin copy of the book of Tjong Yong Hian that I had first seen from the Chinese shopkeeper that led me to his home. He explained that he gave all the shops along Jln Bogor a copy of the book as part of his effort to change the name back to Jln Tjong Yong Hian. He didn't want to offend the shopkeepers there who have been doing business on that street for a long time and information from the book would help them realize the historic value of the Tjong Yong Hian name. The Mayor and City Council officials had approved of the name change since the time of the making of the video presentation of the 100th Anniversary commemoration of the death of our great grand father in 2011. This explained why I was surprised that Jalan Bogor was no longer the street name as it had switched back to the original name again through the effort of my cousin whom I had just got to meet for the first time.

He was more senior than me in age and is about a year older than my oldest sister in our family who lives in Penang but we belong to the same generation from our great grand father and are therefore cousins of each other. He therefore became a great resource of information for me. I asked about Chong Fatt Tze in Penang and mentioned about the framed print on the wall of his home museum which said he was the uncle of Tjong Yong Hian and his younger brother A Fie. My cousin said he was not an uncle but was the person that Tjong Yong Hian first worked for and learned about business when he came to Batavia from China before moving to Medan to start his own business.

I asked about the Museum of Tjong Yong Hian and was told that it is built by the burial site of our great grandfather as his original home has been demolished. He added that it has not been officially opened yet which explains to me why my taxi driver cum guide did not know about it and could not bring me there earlier. Later on his wife appeared and was introduced to me. He gave me her cell phone number so that I could contact her in the morning to open up the museum for me. He suggested that I stayed in a hotel near to the memorial grave site and had his driver bring me to the hotel so that the next day I could have quick access to it as my flight home was in the afternoon.

That night I could hardly sleep in the hotel due to the excitement of how my trip was ending. I quickly unpacked....
...enjoyed a warm bath to allow all the info I had gathered to soak into me!

I got myself organized with my notebook and gadgets, called the two Singaporean friends to find out that they were busy shopping in a nearby mall but had no time or too much stuff to join me for a drink in the hotel haha
The hotel was in a shopping complex call the Cambridge and enjoyed the Christmas decorations signifying that it's time to go home soon for Christmas!

I browsed through the book and the info compiled

In the morning I was at the Memorial burial ground of my great grand father.

His grave and that of his wife are found in the grounds of what is simply called a flower garden as read from the arch entrance to the Memorial ground. The Museum was added as a separate building in the grounds

My cousin's wife was there to give me a personal tour!

The museum was a modern gallery of old photos, artwork and furniture

Here are some enlarged old photos or portraits...

... with smaller framed photos as well

There were modern day photos too of the family

With  family tree charts on display

She presented me an English copy of the book so now I have both versions of it!

A major discrepancy found in the family tree chart displayed in the museum and published in both versions of the Memorial book of Tjong Yong Hian is they only showed that he had 3 sons while the family tree chart published in Queeny Chang's book and the names extracted from the family's official genealogy book (zu pu 族谱)for our Family Search records show there were 4 sons. The relevant supporting evidence is listed below :

From the Chinese version of the book Legacy of Tjong Yong Hian

From the English version of the book Legacy of Tjong Yong Hian

From Queeny Chang's book, "Memories of a Nonya"

From family history record with names submitted to Family Search extracted from the family's Zu Pu or Genealogy book

A search in the Chinese website provides this link to a website that reported from reading the above tombstone of Tjong Yong Hian, that he has 5 sons - Bu Qing, Han Qing, Chen Qing, Ming Green, Ben Long and 20 grandchildren

Post-dated developments :

Mar 2018
The home of Tjong Yong Hian in Songkou, Meizhou after a period of time for renovations was launched as a Memorial Museum as per the video below from the local media in China.

In the year-end of 2015, I had successfully visited the home of my great-grandfather Tjong Yong Hian where renovations were just beginning, shared in this journal post.

To be continued by clicking Family History Part 4 here.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Hi please contact me at i am tjong tsoeng liong's grandson. thank you. andy tan