Banner Image:Kwong Sue Duk Kee and 3 of his 4 wives and their children

Rosena Constance Chan (nee Ah Poo / Appoo)
Rosena Ah Poo was born at the Ironbark Chinese Camp in 1875 to interpreter James Ah Poo and his wife Elizabeth (nee Heroult). She grew up in a large and well regarded family, and she married Bendigo fruiterer and businessman Samuel Chan on 14 March 1900 at the age of 25. The occasion merited comment in the Bendigo press, with the Independent reporting that “Miss Appoo, a native of Bendigo, was the daughter of the late Mr. James Appoo…who will be remembered as having been Chinese interpreter in the Bendigo law courts since the earlier days of the goldfield….[the bridal party] proceeded to the residence of the bride’s mother at Emu Point, where the wedding breakfast was partaken of. The bride was the recipient of many costly and handsome presents.” Unfortunately Samuel died relatively young, and Rosena was widowed in 1910 with five children. She continued to live in the family home in Myers Street until the 1950s. Rosena Chan is buried in Bendigo Cemetery's Methodist section with her husband Samuel.

In this photo Rosena is pictured with her children Florence, Hilda, Sylvia, Len and Norman.
(AP0197 Collection Golden Dragon Museum)

Gold Museum - Sovereign Hill

20 September 2017 at 10:30

Mong family in traditional processional costume circa 1890. 
The photo was taken in Ballarat's photographic studio, Yeoman & Co.
Some of these exquisite costumes will be on display in our upcoming exhibition, Re-awakening the Dragon, opening 5 October.
We've been able to explore our Chinese processional collection thanks to
Deakin University - Arts and Education and Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for supporting our curatorial and collections internship.

James Sing, a 4th generation Chinese Australian from Far North Queensland, is trying to piece together his family history.

His great grandfather Tam Gee Kee arrived at the Palmer River goldfields in the 1870s. James has photos of people who may be a family from Melbourne; are they descendants of a sibling of Tam Gee Kee? He's very keen to identify this family.

The early Chinese families of Australia were very closely connected, and there is a possibility that someone will recognise the people in the photo (which is from the late 1920 or 1930s). Please get in touch if you can help.

Sing Family of Thursday Island: 

From James Sing

Hi Anthony. I thought you might be interested in this photo of the Sing family in Australia. I haven't connected all the names to the face yet. I do know that the Mum and Dad are my great grandparents Lily and George. The guy on the far left is Johnny Sing. The guy second from the right is my grandfather, James Sing, and the little boy is Roy Sing from Innisfail. I'm not sure which one is Louie Sing, which is the lady you are related to through marriage.

Old family photos like these will really help to extend our family tree. Treasures like this are invaluable, for once we piece the names and important dates together, we'll be able to pass this on to future generations. Look at the matriarch, dressed traditionally in silk tunic and pants with Quin- fashioned coiffure --shaved forehead with the mandatory Manchul plait coiled into a bun at the back; the patriarch Westernised, no queue, in British tropical whites; the girls in Edwardian dresses, where a generation earlier they would be decked out in silk. What were the couple's full names? Other Cantonese would have called her by her fathers' clan name: was his name Sing a given name or a clan name? Where the kid's given traditional names as well ?Were any of the boys educated in Canton?

Thanks to Estelle and Mel Kingsley (daughter and grand-daughter of Louisa Sing) the children have been identified:

from back left, clockwise: John, Louisa (Louie), Lily, Cecilia, (Lizzy) Jimmy, Arthur (front row right to left) Linda, David, Bill, Roy and Emily

Mel Kingsley They were all given Chinese names at birth but were known by their western names. My grandmother is Louisa / Louie was her nickname but her Chinese name was Chili - pronounced Chi Lee. Aunty Emily's Chinese name was Hen Lee.

Mel Kingsley Great grandfather (father in photo) was known as George Sing & Great Grandmother (mother in photo) name was Ah Bow Lum Sing.


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NAA: SP244/2, N1950/2/4918

Choy Hing family photograph noting adopted child Pauline Ah Hee, James Choy Hing, Mrs James Choy Hing,2 of James Choy Hing's children and Pauline Ah Hee

James Choy Hing b.1869 arrived 1889Merchant Daughter 7, son 4, adopted daughter 12 500 pounds equity business 20 Campbell St 

Fanny Choy Hing b.1879 canton 18 arrived in Sydney Son 4y Daughter 6y 10 Alberta St Sydney

Pauline Ah Hee b. Dubbo1894




Meu Loong was a prominent furniture manufacturer in Melbourne, trading as Quong Lee and Co where he worked since arriving at 22. He married Yiet Kai who arrived here when she was 11. They had 4 children here before visiting Leong Shan, Canton in 1916, intending to return. A doctor's certificate was sent to Customs from China declaring the name and birth of their 5th child, as required by the Immigration Restriction Act. Despite extending their return certificate to 1925, it lapsed when they remained in Canton.





Hukam and Utcher Singh

Peter Hong Nam was one of the founders of Melbourne Kuo Min Tang Society. The KMT hall at Melbourne Chinatown was registered under his name before it sold to KMT. His story is being researched by Dr Mei-fen Kuo  |  ARC DECRA Research Fellow
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
University of Queensland  Brisbane 4072  Australia
Phone: +61 7 33653321
See Fun Shem or Lee Fun Shem or Harold Shem 228 Little Bourke St Melbourne 22.1.1895
Father Kwan Ah Shem, Tea Merchant
Brother See Cheng

Ying Lan or Elsie Pon b.18.10.1896 (m.See Fun Shem)  and Nun Han Pon b.22.10.1911, 199 Little Bourke St Melbourne. Father Cheok Lan, Storekeeper aka Leng Lee Sister Ying Lan Brothers Fon Tuck and Sam Chin


This photo of George Young (En Young Fong) and his family was taken before they returned to the village of Gar Yew in 1900. He made his fortune as a sand tailer on the Bendigo goldfields where he employed 70 labourers at Eaglehawk retrieving gold. His eldest daughter Clara used this photo to establish her identity when she returned to Victoria in 1917.

Clara is the girl standing,  Harry is the eldest boy then Willie, Frank Mary and Lily She remembered little of the town where she was born as her father prohibited the children from leaving their home and tutors visited to educate them.

 George Young

Born c. 1835

Guangdong Province, China Died c. December 1901
Occupation: mining manager Alternative Names•En Young Fun (full Chinese)

•Kee Yung (full Chinese (surname only))
•Zuo Zhi Yang (pinyin)
•左治羊 (simplified Chinese characters)
George Young arrived in Australia in 1856-7 and settled in Eaglehawk where he was the mining manger in a firm that extracted gold from tailings using cyanide. In 1917 it was recalled by the Eaglehawk manager of the Commercial Bank of Australia that he employed about 70 men in his firm. In 1884 he successfully applied through Sergent John Gleeson for Victorian naturalisation. His application was processed along with five others.

According to an article in the Australasian he was 'highly respected' in Eaglehawk for his 'uprightness and integrity'. The Bendigo Advertiser described him as being 'held in high esteem' and being 'a kind and benevolent man'. He made donations to the Bendigo Benevolent Asylum and Hospital on a number of occasions and was involved in organising the Chinese performance in the Bendigo Easter Fair in 1879.

In June 1900, after his elder brother's death in 1899, George Young returned to China at his father's request to manage the family property. His Chinese-born wife and six Australian-born children accompanied him. Prior to his departure a portrait of the Young family was published in the Australasian and given to prominent citizens of Eaglehawk. A banquet was also given by the citizens of Eaglehawk to see the family off and George Young was presented with an illuminated address.

The Bendigo Advertiser were quick to publish a glowing eulogy of his life after George Young died in China in December 1901.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Prosperous Chinese miner [photograph]', Australasian, 31 March 1900, p. 703; Victorian Births, deaths and marriages; NAA(Vic), MP56/12, item 6; NAA(Vic), A712, 1884/B4266; NAA(Vic), B13/0, 1917/3260; Personal communication, Ray Wallace, 26 November 2004; Bendigo Advertiser, 23/5/1876, 23/12/1901 (courtesy Bendigo Golden Dragon Museum Bendigo Advertiser index).
Prepared by: Sophie Couchman, La Trobe University

Young, Clara (1888 - )
• Young, Frank (c. 1899 - )
• Young, George (c. 1835 - c. 1901) Father not born in Australia - aka Eng Young Fung
• Young, Harry (c. 1893 - )
• Young, Lily (1896 - )
• Young, Mary (1894 - )
• Young, Mrs (c. 1868 - ) - Mother may not have been born in Australia
• Young, Willie (1890 - )

Father George  Mother Wing SING
At Eaglehawk  1888  Reg#28843
Father Geo  Mother Foung YOUNG
At Eaglehawk 1899  Reg#2600

Father George  Mother Wing SING
At Eaglehawk 1893  Reg#3196

YOUNG Lillie
Father Geo  Mother Foung YOUNG
At Eaglehawk  1896  Reg#19390

Father Geo  Mother Mary YOUNG
At Eaglehawk  1894  Reg#28731

YOUNG William
Father Geo  Mother Wing SING
At Eaglehawk  1890  Reg#31889

The children's birth certificates would have the ages, places of birth of the parents along with the date and place of their marriage.

The Bendigo Advertiser 15 May 1900


A well-known and respected Chinese resident, Mr. George Young, is on the eve of taking a trip to China with his wife and family, and in our advertising' columns he says "good bye" and returns thanks to his old friends for kindness shown to him. A meeting of Mr. Young's friends will be held on "Wednesday night" to take steps to formally wish him farewell. He has been a colonist for over 50 years, and in this district has always shown a charitable and good natured interest in local movements.
The following departed Victoria on the EASTERN for Hong Kong via Ports 
YOUNG Clara 11 years   
YOUNG Frank 1   
YOUNG George 62 years    
YOUNG Harry 7 years   
YOUNG Lily 3 years   
YOUNG Mary 5 years   
YOUNG Nan 32 years      
YOUNG Willie  9 years   

The Bendigo Advertiser 13 Sep 1901


A few days ago a prominent resident of the borough received a letter from a former Chinese resident, named George Young, who is now residing in the interior of China. The writer resided in the borough for about 25 years, and when, he was going away, about two years ago, the residents presented him with an illuminated address as a mark of the respect in which he was held by them, he sends his best respects to all his friends, and says that one of his sons is engaged to be married. He states that if China was under British law it would be a good country. He also states that robbers are plentiful in China, and in addition to keeping watchmen day and night to protect him, he has to be always well armed himself.

Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918)

 Wednesday 23 December 1885  Page

A Chinese Wedding.— Last Sunday afternoon some excitement prevailed at the Ironbark Chinese Camp, the occasion being a dinner given to his countrymen by Mr George Young, of Specimen Hill, Eaglehawk, and formerly hotelkeeper at the Camp. Mr Young was married in Melbourne about a fortnight ago to a Chinese lady, who has recently been brought out from China by the bridegroom's brother. The happy couple arrived in Sandhurst on Thursday last, and were present at the dinner on Sunday. Abont 200 sat down to the tables, including Mr .Tames Ah Poo, Chinese interpreter, who was untiring in his efforts to make the affair a success. After partaking of the edibles some speeches were indulged in, in the way of wishing Mr and Mrs Young future prosperity.

The company than separated.


 Marm Deen Family

Gock Quay Family, Surry Hills, Sydney

Paul Gock Quay was born in Canton in 1878 and arrived in Australia when he was 12. He spent 3 years in Parramata, 6 in Hay and Sydney 7, where his occupation was Fruit Merchant, Commission Agent and Green Grocer. In 1903 he listed his financial interests as a property in Tamworth worth 400 pounds and a business in Sydney worth 600 pounds. He was single at the time but went to China to pursue business interests and bring his fiance (wife?) out with him.

He was one of 8 (or 15?) partners of Wing On and Co with an annual turnover 49,000 pounds. He was a shareholder in Hop Chong & Co,Hay and Yow Yee,Tamworth, Western Confectionary Co Sydney. He lived with his wife Rose and 7 children at 8 Mary St Surry Hills. His 2 brothers were also  partners, one a general storekeeper at Moree Pen Kee & Co. His financial interests amounted to over 5000 pounds when he sponsored his nephew, Gock Lum Shong,,12, to come to Sydney for his education. Wing On Co, well as its Sydney premises, had country stores and a banana plantation in Fiji.

 Louie Gung Family Melbourne :Yun Ping Hee Yu 32, Victor Ting Quong 6.9, Allen Ming Quong 5, Ack Dorothy 3.9, Samuel 1.10, Meeoy Louey Gung,  Elsie 3 weeks not included. Louie Gung was a partner in the Furniture Manufactory of  with his brother, Harry.

Sydney Louey Gung, taken in Australia, in the 1930s-1940s. Sydney Louey Gung was born in Canton, China in 1880 or 1878. It is thought that he first arrived in Victoria around 1900, and established a laundry business in Bendigo. He eventually established the Geraldton Fruit Company, which he ran with his family until the 1950s. In 1912 he returned to China and married Yun Ping Louey Gung, with whom he had seven children. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s he frequently travelled between Melbourne and China. He passed away in 1954 and was buried in the Melbourne Cemetery. The Gung family collection documents their experiences of immigrating and living in Australia from the 1920s to the 1960s and the gradual easing of the White Australia policy.

In 1912 Sydney had married , with whom he had seven children. Yun Ping was born in Celestial Avenue, Melbourne on 8 February 1890.The children were Maisie, Dorothy, Grace, Christine, Victor, Samuel and Melbourne.

O'Hoy Family of Bendigo


Sam War Family Warwick

 Chun Tie Family Georgetown Croydon Normanton and Townsville

 Kwong Sue Duk Kee

Kwong Sue Duk (1853-1929): His Life and Family in Australia

By Rosalie Hiah, Kwong Sue Duk Foundation (June 2001)

Kwong Sue Duk was a prosperous and generous Chinese gentleman who had four wives and twenty-four children, and made Australia his chosen home, during and after the nineteenth century northern Australian gold rush period.

Kwong Sue Duk was born in Guangdong Province, China, in 1853 and ventured abroad to the California goldfields at an early age to seek his fortune. After several years, he earned enough money for his family and passage home to Toishan, China, then embarked on an education in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1874, Kwong Sue Duk married his first wife, Gee An Gow.

In 1875, after the birth of his first son (Kong Sing), Kwong soon heard of the gold rush of Australia and took a ship to Cooktown, North Queensland. He made several trips home to China and in 1879 a daughter (Jon Gee) was born. In 1882, Kwong arrived in the prospering township of Southport in the Northern Territory, where he eventually established a successful general trade store and real estate enterprise, operating under his business name, Sun Mow Loong. He became well respected and influential amongst the Chinese and European communities and was consulted over many matters concerning the Chinese.

In 1884, Kwong Sue Duk married his second wife, Chun Ngor Gwei, and obtained his naturalisation certificate in Australia. Kwong moved to Palmerston (early Darwin) and in March 1887 he met and married his third wife, Yuen Yuk Lau. He returned to China and another daughter (Toy Mee) was born to his first wife. Not long after the birth, he travelled back to Australia to tend to his thriving businesses and to buy a number of rental properties. In 1888, Kwong's third wife gave birth to a daughter, Ly Kin.

He returned to China in 1889, and subsequently brought out his first wife and three children to Palmerston, where she later bore him another daughter (Sum Gwai). Kwong and his three wives lived in harmony and supported the family together. Over the next twelve years, eleven more children were born - Thomas, Edward, Leslie, Elsie, Fred, Lim, Maizie, William, Kathleen, May and Lily. By 1902, there were sixteen Kwong children. Kwong prospered well in the remote Northern Territory, purchasing rental properties and at least five large gold mining leases.

In January 1897, a tropical cyclone damaged much of the town, including Kwong's properties. His first wife had difficulty adjusting to the harsh conditions and in 1898 he travelled with her to China where she chose to remain with their four children. In 1899, Kwong met and married his fourth wife, Wong Kwei Far, and returned with her to Palmerston.

The cyclone of 1897 and the dwindling economy of the Northern Territory had left Kwong Sue Duk in a poor financial state and in 1902 he sought relief in the growing economy of the Cairns region in North Queensland. The family set up a store and business in Cairns where he sold mostly Chinese goods. In the back of the store he had an office where he dispensed Chinese herbal remedies. Displaying their respect for him, both Chinese and European patients called him 'Dr Kwong'. Whilst in Cairns, five more children were born, Harry, Annie, Maud, Victor and Kong Won, to third and fourth wives. Kong Won died at an early age and to compensate for this loss, Kwong later adopted Violet and her brother, Lawrence.

In 1907, Kwong Sue Duk and his large family boarded a ship for Hong Kong to visit his family and to select suitable wives for his sons. In 1909, Ida, the youngest of the 24 children, was born. He returned in 1910 to settle in Townsville, Queensland, and in 1913 most of the family followed. Kwong established another successful Chinese herbal medicine practice in Little Flinders Street.

In 1917, Kwong made another major move to Melbourne, the thriving capital of Victoria, where a large Chinese population existed, with more eligible bachelors for his daughters (who were now of a marriageable age). Kwong Sue Duk continued his herbal medicine practice in Melbourne and country Victoria, including the townships of Ballarat and Bendigo.

Whilst the children were establishing their own lives, wives two, three and four moved to stay with them, and Kwong Sue Duk travelled to visit them all. In 1925, at the age of 72 years, he visited his son in Shanghai and his family in Hong Kong. In 1927, he returned to Melbourne to visit his children and their families, and then retired to live in Townsville where many of his eldest children had settled. He continued with his herbal medicine practice from Townsville until he died at the age of 76 on the 17th February 1929.

Many of the children of Kwong Sue Duk established careers and families in North America and South East Asia. However, a large proportion of the descendant families settled in Australia, and through the years have played important roles in the development and colour of the Australian community. Kwong Sue Duk's descendants now number around 860, and include five generations spread across eleven countries of the world.

Rosalie Hiah and Warren Lee Long, 'Kwong Sue Duk' in Northern Territory Dictionary of Biography, Vol.3, 1996

Nui Bo and Victor Kwong, 'Biographical Sketch of Kwong Sue Duk' 1982.

 Nom Chong Family Braidwood Sydney
Shoong Foon Nom Chong migrated to Australia from China in the 1860s and ran a successful store serving the goldfields of Mongarlowe, he later opened two stores in Braidwood.
Together with Quong Tart he founded the Oriental Bank, which had branches in Araluen and Braidwood. The bank was involved primarily in buying gold and exporting it to China. Shoong Foon’s brother, Chee Dock, joined him in 1877, and he inherited and subsequently extended his brother’s businesses.
In the 1920s and 1930s the Nom Chong family diversified into trucking and owned one of the first service stations in Braidwood. They had a fleet of three trucks, which ran between Braidwood, the south coast of New South Wales and Sydney. The truck door is a material remnant of one aspect of the extensive business interests of this entrepreneurial Chinese Australian family.
One of Shoong Foon’s sons, William Nom Chong, established a large market garden business in Goulburn. William’s son, Lionel Nom Chong, owned several businesses in the district and resided in Canberra until his death in 2001. Their long-term business association with the region – nearly a century, from the 1860s to the 1950s – is an important story of Chinese migration into the region.

James Choy Hing and Family adopted daughter Pauline Ah Hee

A friend in Sydney, Wiillie,Mrs. Jung Luk, Harry

Willie, Charlie, Eva and Harry Hin

The original Gee Kee family

Top Ellen Henry Pat Willy and Jack
Bottom Albert Lily Great Grandma Gee Kee Tam Gee Kee and Maud.

Tam Gee Kee

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