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  • Only Hanyu Pinyin have been used for Chinese names and these are shown in Italic

    All maps obtained from Google


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  • Chinese Tombstones_2 (墓碑_2)

    This tombstone is from the Bukit Brown Cemetery in Singapore which is said to be the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China. This grave belongs to a lady and contains three columns of information. The script is read from top to bottom for each column and then from right to left.

    The right hand column _ 安溪 民国壬于年四月十七日吉, shows she came from An’xi (安溪) which is located in Central Fujian Province (福建省). This is followed by 壬于 year or the 31st year of the Republic of China on the 4th month and 17th day which translates to May 31, 1942 on the Gregorian calendar but it does not say whether it was her birth date or her death date. It is most likely the latter. By adding “sheng” (生) for born or “zu” (卒)/“zhong” (終) for died would have clarified the situation.

    The center column _ P8 謝門張氏桩娘茔 shows a grave marker number of P8 followed by the surname of the Xie family (謝門) with her surname of Zhang (張氏) and name of Zhuangniang (桩娘).

    The left hand column _ 厚垵 男 萬益 永全 萬联, shows her village as Hou’an (厚垵) which is probably today’s Hou’an (后垵) (different first character but same pronunciation) in the town of An’xi (安溪). This is followed by “male” (男) and three sons’ names, Wanyi (萬益) Yongquan (永全) and Wanlian (萬联).

    The above is a simple and plain but well preserved tombstone from the Chinese Cemetery in Kingston, Jamaica (courtesy of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica). The Chinese script was hand carved and contains the barest of information. The script is read from right to left and from top to bottom for each of the three columns.

    The right hand column says he came from Xin’an (新安) or to-day’s Bao’an (寶安) in Shenzhen Prefecture (深圳市) and from the village of Buji (布吉). This place is very close to the Shenzhen Hong Kong border and to the north. It is reachable by the Shenzhen City subway at the Buji Station (布吉站) stop. The middle column identifies it as the grave of Zeng Guangfu (曾廣傅). The left hand column shows he died in the year 1911 (〡〩一〡) on the 7th month (七月) and 29th day (廿九日). The dating protocol does not indicate whether it is according to the Chinese lunar calendar or Gregorian calendar. As well, it does not mention when he was born or his age at death.

    The above is a tombstone (courtesy Dennis Ching, Hawaii) from the Chinese Permanent Cemetery in Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island. It consists of four columns and reads from right to left and from top to bottom.

    The 1st right hand column: 生於清同治九年正月十九日丑時 Born in Qing Dynasty Tongzhi era 9th year, 1st month, 19th day between 1.00 - 3.00 am. This translates to February 18, 1870.

    The 2nd right hand column: 終於民國廿九年八月廿六日戌時 Died Republic of China 29th year, 8th month, 26th day between 7.00 – 9.00 pm. This translates to September 30, 1940.

    The center column (large Chinese characters): 顯考陳公職高墓 My late father Chen Zhigao’s grave.

    The left hand side (in clusters):

    Top cluster: Record of four sons (子), the common Generation name of Guan (觀) applicable for each of the bottom four names from the right and reading to the left: Sheng (生), Fu (福), Shou (壽) and Yun (運).

    Middle cluster: Record of next three sons (子), the common Generation name Guan (觀) applicable for each of the bottom three names from the right and reading to the left: Lai (來), Sheng (勝) and Feng (鳳).

    Bottom cluster: Record of three grandchildren (孫), from right to left: Nongfang (能芳), Changxing (長興) and Shui’an (水安).

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