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Help Locating Tan/Chen/陈 from Amoy/Xiamen/厦门 ? 1850-1900
Posted by: JT (ID *****6750) Date: June 21, 2007 at 09:51:01
  of 684

I am looking for any information that would help me locate my ancestors/relatives/ancestral village in and around Amoy, Fukian Province, China. My relatives emigrated from Amoy to Semarang, Java, Indonesia, around 1898-1901. I have the following information:

Reliable Information (all my relatives agree):

My Great-great-great grandfather, Tan Ing Hoe, was a merchant in or around Amoy/Xiamen/厦门市 in the 1800s. Around 1871-1882 he bought or was awarded some kind of honorary title which caused him to order his descendants to become scholars. He also chose the following generation names for his family: “Ing Po See Hong Kie,” which means “Always Protect the World’s Great Foundations.” I believe the Chinese translation to be Yong Bao Shi Hong Ji 永保世宏基。

His son, Tan Po Duan, died in/around Xiamen in approximately 1892-1898.

His grandson, my great-grandfather Tan See To (陈世涛), was born around 1880-1886, and then emigrated to Semarang, Java, Indonesia around 1898-1901, when he was 15, approximately 3 years after his father’s death. In Semarang, he worked for an umbrella importer who was a good friend of his father's, from China.

His great-grandson, my grandfather Tan Hong Djoen (陈逢春 – his name does not follow the chosen generation names) was born in Semarang, and returned to China for high school. I believe that he studied at a school run by the Rockefeller Foundation in the American Concession of Xiamen before returning to Indonesia. Some of his photos are stamped “The China Studio, Amoy.”

While in high school in China, my grandfather visited our ancestral village, where he saw my great-great-great grandfather Tan Ing Hoe’s tombstone, carved with his title.

Because my family is from Indonesia, all the names above are transliterated according to their spellings of the Hokkien dialect, which I believe to be Minnanhua (闽南话)

Less reliable information (i.e. not all my relatives agree):

Some of my relatives believe that we originally came from Hangzhou before moving to Amoy. Nonetheless, it appears that my great-great-great grandfather was buried in Fujian, near Amoy or some other city with an American concession.

Some of my relatives also think that our ancestral village was called Eng Djwan Tan or Eng Djuan Tan. They describe it as a small village where everyone was named Tan (陈)。 They add that the Djwan/Djuan is not the same as the Djoen/春 in my grandfather’s name. I don’t know what this village might be called in Mandarin or where in Fujian province it may be, other than near Amoy.


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