Tan Family Tree

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  • ID: I138
  • Name: TAN Kim Ching
  • Suffix: J.P.
  • Name: TAN Jin Zhong
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 16 OCT 1829 in Malacca, Malaysia 1
  • Will: 2 MAY 1888
  • Death: 27 FEB 1892 in Singapore 2
  • Burial: 20 APR 1892 Thirteen Mile, Changi Road, Singapore 3
  • Burial: ABT 1940 Block 4 Division C, Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore 4
  • Note: Relocated to BBC
  • Note:
    Mr. Tan Kim Ching, the eldest of the four sons of Tan Tock Seng, was born in Singapore in 1829. On his father's death the firm of " Tan Tock-seng" was changed to " Tan Kim-ching " and the business was carried on at River-side (now Boat Quay) from 1851 to 1859 by Tan Kim Ching as sole owner. In 1860 the firm was known as " Tan Kim-ching & Brother," chop Chin Seng Ho, Tan Swee Lim, a brother, having been admitted a partner, but a few months later Tan Swee Lim left the firm. The business which finally became known as Kim Ching & Co. chop Chin Seng attained considerable success, owning rice mills at Saigon, Siam and elsewhere. Mr. Tan Kim Ching was Consul-General and Special Commissioner for Siam in the Straits Settlements and had the title of 'Phya Anukul Siamkitch Upanick Sit Siam Rath' conferred on him by the King of Siam. He had great influence on the Chinese outside the Colony, especially in the northern States bordering on Siam, viz. Kelantan and Patani. In Sir Andrew Clarke's time he was instrumental in settling a difficulty, which had arisen between the Siamese Government and Perak, for which he received a special letter of thanks from the Governor. He was a commander of the Third Class of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, and the recipient of a special letter and honour from China for his contribution to the Famine Fund in 1890. Reference has been made to the timely assistance he gave in 1852 to the Hospital founded by his father in the shape of wings to the Hospital buildings at a cost of $2,000. When the Tanjong Pagar Dock Co. Ltd. was started in 1863 Mr. Kim Ching's name was on the list of the committee of promoters. He was made a J.P. in 1865. Towards the end of his life a prosecution was instituted against him for keeping slaves, but he was discharged. He died in February 1892 and his remains were interred at his private burial ground at the thirteenth mile on the Changi Road. Although he was buried in Changi, his grave was transferred to Bukit Brown in 1940. At his death, he was the owner of the steamers Siam and Singapore, and of a large number of concessions, including some at Mount Ophir, Kampong Rusa, Patani and various others, which had not been prospected. As head of the Hokien Huay-kuan, which was located in the Chinese temple " Thian-hok-kiong " in Telok Ayer Street, he was styled " Capitan China." It was then quite the regular thing for Hokien Chinese marriages to be registered in his office, and for the marriage certificate to bear his chop, although until the death of Mr. Tan Beng Swee (of chop " Hong Hin ") in 1884, by arrangement the marriage register was kept by Mr. Beng Swee and marriage certificates were impressed with chop " Hong Hin." All the sons of Mr. Kim Ching predeceased him, but the five grandsons, Boo Liat, Cheow Pin, Kwee Liang, Kwee Swee and Kwee Wah (all sons of the late Tan Soon Toh) are well-known members of the Chinese community. His daughter, Tan Cheng Gay Neo, who had been taught Chinese and also a little English, was the first among those appointed trustees of his estate to take out probate of his will- one of the rare instances of a Chinese lady being appointed and assuming the duties of executrix of the will of a Chinese testator. 1888, the company opened a branch in Hong Kong. 1849, when the Chinese school Chung Wen Ge was built, he donated $100. 1852, he donated $3000 to finance renovations and repairs to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. 1854, he donated $150 to the building of the Chui Eng School. 1863, he came up with $120,000 to set up the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company (the forerunner of PSA today). From the 1860s to 1890s, he was one of the important leaders of the Hokkien Huay Kuan (formerly situated at the Thian Hock Keng). 1864, he was elected to the Grand Jury as one of the 5 Chinese members. 1871, he was decorated Justice of Peace. He was also consul for Japan, Thailand and Russia and was given a royal rank by the Thai king. 1890, he bought a title from the Ching government. 1888, he was appointed to the Municipal Council. He was also the first Asian member of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. There is a Kim Cheng Street named after him in Singapore today. TAN Kim Ching was the man who introduced the British governess Anna LEONOWENS to the King of Siam. This is what formed the basis of the famous musical entitled "The King and I" by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

    Kim Ching's gravestone was found in Bukit Brown Cemetery in 2005. According to the history records, Tan Kim Cheng was born in 1829 and died in 1892. He was buried at a private cemetery along Changi Road. No one knows how his tomb was moved from Changi to Bukit Brown.

    Vaughan, Jonas Daniel, 1825-1891 in The manners and customs of the Chinese of the Straits Settlements, 1879, p. 22:

    "It is usual in the Straits to speak of well-to-do Chinamen as gentlemen but as a fact, very few of them would be entitled to the distinction in China; and none with exception perhaps of the Honorable Mr. Whampoa, a member of the Legislative Council of this Colony, and Consul for China, and Mr. Tan Kim Ching the Siamese Consul who has some Chinese rank, none would be allowed to stand upright in the presence of a Mandarin."

    Daily Adviser, 30 March 1892, Pg 3
    Local and general:
    The funeral of the late Mr Tan Kim Ching, the Consul General for Siam, will take place on the 20th proximo. The cortege will leave the house in North Bridge Road at 930am and will proceed to the deceased’s plantation in Changhie, where the interment will take place at 10 o’clock in the night, the processions of banners and musicians going as far as the 4th milestone only. Mr Tan Kee Chuan, the fourth and only surviving son the deceased, has arrived from Hongkong to attend the funeral.

    (Sort out “Local and General” according to date… access pg 613… above item to be found towards bottom of column)
  • Note:
    Manuscript by Tan Thoon Lip written probably in the late 1940s-50s. It was his attempt to write the history of the Tan Tock Seng clan. Here is a section regarding Tan Kim Ching, his personality, his graves and incidents of tomb robbery. "The history of the Tan family beginning from Tan Watt Tiong should prove of some interest. There are no documents from which may be traced the rise of that family to prominence the Straits Sttlements, and they who could tell from hearsay of this family are now rapidly dying out. Tan Watt tinge left his native village in Chian, Hi-Teng, and set up business in Malacca. Presumably he brought out his wife with him, for in 1798 was born his son Tock Seng, who at an early age went southwards to Singapore. From a modest beginning as a vegetable grower he became a man to be looked up to in his community, and respected. Today his name is perpetrated [sic] in a hospital. His father preferred Malacca, and lies peacefully on the slope of some hill out side town. He [Tock Seng] himself lived long in Singapore and on his death in 1850 was buried there.
    His son Tan Kim Ching was a remarkable man. Born in 1892 he survived his all his legitimate sons. His issue number over a full score. He kept a harem, and in his family house in North Bridge Road, was looked upon with fear and respect. A dignitary of some sort, it was natural tribute of some form or other [to] be paid him. Often such tributes consisted of a young woman. It is doubtful if he saw all his household, with the resut that sometimes it was questionable if all the offspring were his at all. They bore his name, and the style "offspring or seed of Kim Ching"as a password to the best society. Today among the younger generation there is no magic in the name "Kim Ching;" one refers, if at all, more frequently to his father Tock seeing; but among the older folks none but knew what the name stood for. He was considered one of the natural leaders of his community; but his indomitable pride and temper, his hatred of European supremacy, stood in his way of progress. Other men, milder of aspect politic and tractable of nature, gained distinction and commemoration. Kim Ching has passed oat; there is none more like him. His brood is scattered, broken in spirit, broken in fortune. Only a few had his ability--and thriving on his accumulated wealth for much of their life time, ill equipped for the traps of the world, they lived to taste humiliation and comparative poverty.
    Kim Ching died in 1892. He was buried on his own property just without town; but the government acquired the property and so he had to be reburied at Changi on the slope of a prominence. Behind it rose a small forest; before it stretched to the sea. [Note: Tan Thoon Lip is in error about the reburial in Changi. Newspaper accounts state that the funeral procession was head toward the 13 mile stone in Changi, the private burial ground.] The military acquired the property but spare the grave. A number of tales has grown up around him It is said that when the coffin was unearthed, a white four-footed reptile darted away into the undergrowth--the symbol of wealth that had fled. In its new resting place the body knew little peace; the earth was continually sliding away and exposing the coffin--so that in desparation it was decided to cover the top of the tomb with cement; thus, the large ungainly tomb, unlike other Chinese tombs, bears no grass on it. A few years back despoilers had taken the coffin out of the grave, and were hacking away at it when they were disturbed. What a strong coffin it must be. Around it were several hatchets and other implements for prizing open the coffin; and they were all a bit blunted. The old man may never [have had] peace, for rumor has it that buried with him was quite a fortune in pearls alone. There were also other pieces of jewelry."
  • Note:
    Zupu gives date of death as 19 July 1892 at 2100hrs-2300hrs

    Father: TAN Tock Seng b: 1798 in Malacca, Malaysia
    Mother: LEE Seo Neo b: 12 MAR 1807

    Marriage 1 CHUA Seah Neo
    • Note: Tombstone erected between 10 Dec 1882 and end on 8 Jan 1883
    1. Has No Children TAN Sian Kee
    2. Has Children TAN Soon Toh b: 22 OCT 1854
    3. Has Children TAN Keck Geang
    4. Has No Children TAN Cheng Gay Neo
    5. Has No Children TAN Lan Neo
    6. Has No Children TAN Hway Neo b: EST 1856
    7. Has Children TAN Woon Neo b: ABT 1858

    Marriage 2 Khunying Puen ANUKULSIAMKIJ b: in Thailand
      1. Has Children TAN Siew Kong b: BEF FEB 1882
      2. Has Children TAN Choon Neo b: 20 APR 1887 in Thailand
      3. Has Children TAN Hay Leng b: BEF FEB 1892 in Thailand

      Marriage 3 FEMALE1
        1. Has No Children TAN Kee Chuan
        2. Has No Children TAN Boon Nin
        3. Has No Children TAN Kah Chiat
        4. Has Children TAN Koh Neo b: ABT 1855
        5. Has Children TAN Leng Neo b: EST 1865
        6. Has Children TAN Eng Say b: 1878
        7. Has No Children TAN Lai Neo
        8. Has No Children TAN Kiat Neo
        9. Has No Children TAN Cheok Neo

        Marriage 4 Ploi
          1. Has No Children TAN Kuang Liang

          1. Title: ZZ Place Record: Malacca, Malaysia
            Author: Place Rec Id [P314]
            Source Type: Place Details
          2. Title: ZZ Place Record: Singapore
            Author: Place Rec Id [P8]
            Source Type: Place Details
          3. Title: ZZ Place Record: Thirteen Mile, Changi Road, Singapore
            Author: Place Rec Id [P1931]
            Source Type: Place Details
          4. Title: ZZ Place Record: Block 4 Division C, Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore
            Author: Place Rec Id [P1990]
            Source Type: Place Details
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