Author Topic: American, British or European Colonial Families in China?  (Read 576 times)

Offline seemex

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American, British or European Colonial Families in China?
« on: Saturday 18 December 21 23:53 GMT (UK) »
Do you have a colonial family link to China?
In the 1800s entrepreneurs from America, Europe and elsewhere, sought to make their fortunes in Asia. Wool and cotton imports and exports, tea and spices, dairy products, tobacco, manufacturing, shipping, printed media are just a few of the enterprises they began. Besides building their businesses in China, they often built their families there too.

From Shanghai and Tientsin in the north, to Foochow, and Formosa, Hong Kong and southward into the Malay Peninsula, some of today's largest companies got their start in Asia. P&O Lines, Hong Kong Shanghai Bank and Cathay Pacific ( a division of the Swire Group ) all began with these adventurous men.

My own great grandfather was from Manchester, England, and sailed to China. He arrived in Foochow the day after Abraham Lincoln's death in April, 1865. He was 21 and had been employed as a tea inspector for the W R Adamson Company.
In my own research, I've discovered many connections I'd never imagined. Many well to do Chinese, sent their sons to school in England and the United States. Some even married and returned to China with their spouses. I was surprised to see how many children were send to the US and resided in such diverse locations as Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Tennessee.

So, my quest continues here with my search for the origins of my great grandMOTHER. Despite knowing most of her details, I can't find a trace of her origins.
Anyway, maybe someone reading this will take a second look at they information that they thought surely must be a mistake! After all, how could we have an ancestor from China when all our family came over on the Mayflower?
So please don't discard that erroneous information. It might just be true! :)
Hunter, Southam Thomson, White, Cock, Beesley

Offline Hillhurst

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Re: American, British or European Colonial Families in China?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 19 December 21 00:41 GMT (UK) »
Find My Past have recently added this record collection - available as PDF images.

Asia, Far East Directories & Chronicles 1833-1941

"Did your ancestors work or reside in the Far East? Discover more with this collection of directories and chronicles that cover the international community in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malaysia, Siam, Dutch East Indies, Borneo and The Philippines.

These British books were published between 1833-1941, to give listings of active corporations, foreign residents and government agencies of all nationalities for each particular year, together with their addresses in countries including Borneo, China, Indo-China, Japan, Korea and The Philippines.

They were compiled annually from many different local sources, and include names and addresses of Western corporations, institutions, consulates and foreign residents. Details of the residents include addresses, occupations and employers".

Online Erato

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Re: American, British or European Colonial Families in China?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 19 December 21 01:32 GMT (UK) »
There are also a few English language Chinese newspapers available online.  I found a relative's marriage in 1908 in the Hong Kong Weekly Press.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr, Davis

Offline seemex

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Re: American, British or European Colonial Families in China?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 19 December 21 06:22 GMT (UK) »
I've been through all the chronicles and I have a Hong List for 1937. I've searched the available papers through the Hong Kong library and public records as well as the Carl Smith cards. I did have access to the SCMP and NCH at one point but no longer. They're available through some universities if they have Proquest subscriptions but it too expensive for most. Just the big city libraries or universities. Our UBC here in Vancouver has access but in person only and with Covid, that's not available on line. Even alumni can't access it anymore. My hope is to find a living relative that may have info that they don't realize is important. Grasping at straws. I think I will never know now. I'm just tired. Thanks
PS: I'm always willing to assist anyone who is still looking for info!
Hunter, Southam Thomson, White, Cock, Beesley