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my Family

My ancestors originated from Kaiping 開平 county (Hoy Ping in Cantonese) on the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, China.

It was from this region that many early emigrants from China left their homeland to help build the new nation that is now, Canada.

Throughout the mid 1800′s, members of my clan came to Canada to work on the railroad, and to this day, their remains are scattered across the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

At a young age, my paternal grandfather left his home forever to come to a strange land, then known as Gam Shan, 金山 [Gold Mountain]. Having paid the $500 head tax then unjustly imposed on all Chinese, he worked throughout western Canada and befriended a number of First Nations (aboriginal) peoples. Eventually becoming an accepted member of their communities.

Grandpa Wong was one of at least 12 members of our family who paid the Head tax.

TopMy ancestral village

 

Village name: Wing On Le (Yong’an Le)

Hoy Ping county
Guangdong province, China

Located in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, on the Pearl River delta, are the economic powerhouses of Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzen and Zhuhai.

Nestled next to these major cities are the four counties (known in Chinese as “Siyi”). “Siyi” is the Mandarin pronounciation of “Sei-yup” in Cantonese.

My paternal ancestors originated from Kaiping in the small village of Yong’an Le or Wing On Li (in Cantonese), near the market town of Beihe (Bak Hap). In fact, there are a cluster of four villages here.

Together the village clusters are known as Magonglung (Majionglong). The family clans that live here share the surnames of Wong (Huang), Seto (Szeto) and Kwan/Quan (Guan) (Guan).

Majionglong, diaolou cluster in my ancestral village

 

View from atop one of the Majionglong diaolou, looking west