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Exhumation

 

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Index of Chinese Exhumation Requests

Burial and Exhumation

The rituals associated with death and funerals are of significant importance in Chinese culture. Intimately linked with the practice of ancestor worship, and reflecting the central importance of family, the rituals associated with death ensure that the spirits of the departed are content and thus more likely to reward the family with good fortune over coming generations. Very few of the Chinese who came to the Australian colonies had any intention of remaining, even in the event of an untimely death. Friends, families, clan and district associations worked together to ensure those who had the means and the desire could have their remains repatriated to China after death and ultimately be restored to their families.

The CHIN index of Chinese Exhumations in Victoria is a work in progress, and is compiled from PROV VPRS 266 - Inward Registered Correspondence of the Attorney General. The current version of the  index lists 58 Chinese exhumations over the period January 1871  to Sept 1875 and provides the details of each exhumation request as they appear in the original correspondence. This index is intended to form a companion piece to larger index of Victoria Exhumations, both Chinese and non-Chinese, for the period January 1873- September 1903 compiled by Carol Holsworth from PROV VPRS 252 - The Register of Inward Correspondence.

 The combination of both indexes will represent an invaluable resource for researches interested in pursuing the social history of the Chinese in the Victorian goldfields

 

Requester From Cemetery Content of Letter Deceased Burial Month Year VPRS Unit Item 
Henry Kock White Hills Has mislaid his authorisation to have bodies removed from White Hills Cemetery, is about to leave the Colony and seeks to have a duplicate authorisation issued as soon as possible. Will pay additional costs immediately      Jan 1871 266 242 334
Lowe Kong Meng Talarook Lowe Kong Meng requesting and Alfred Sleight, Undertaker, 83 Collins Street East facilitating. The body was moved from Talarook and reinterred in the Melbourne General Cemetery A.Chun 22.12.1870 Jun-27 1871 266 234 3698
Lee Ah Gin White Hills Wishes to remove the body of his father from Grave No 585 and take the remains back to China. Contact address J.T.Saunders, Solicitor, Castlemaine Ye Kong 23.7.1857 21-Nov 1871 266 240 6973
Lee Moi Hi White Hills Wishes to remove the body of his brother from Grave No 647 and take remains back to China.  Contact address J.T.Saunders, Solicitor, Castlemaine Chung Wung 3.9.1857 21-Nov 1871 266 240 6964
Won Ah Chee White Hills Requesting exhumation of his Uncle. Contact address - Won Ah Chee, c/o Sin Tip Wa, Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St, Sandhurst. " in accordance with the signs of all true religionists of my faith."  Ah Tye circa 1863 1-Dec 1871 266 241 7223
Won Ah Chee White Hills Requesting exhumation of a "particular friend". Contact address - Won Ah Chee, c/o Sin Tip Wa, Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St. Sandhurst. ".in accordance with the signs of all true religionists of my faith." Men Yuck circa 1861 1-Dec 1871 266 241 7223
Won Ah Chee White Hills Requesting exhumation of a "particular friend". Contact address - Won Ah Chee, c/o Sin Tip Wa, Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St. Sandhurst. ".in accordance with the signs of all true religionists of my faith." Fook Go Hee circa 1865 1-Dec 1871 266 241 7223
Ah Chee White Hills Wishes to removed bodies of 3 relatives. Contact addreess c/o Sin Tip Wah, Storekeeper, Bridge St, Sandhurst Men Fook   3-Dec 1871 266 241 7422
Ah Chee White Hills Wishes to removed bodies of 3 relatives. Contact addreess c/o Sin Tip Wah, Storekeeper, Bridge St, Sandhurst Fook Goy   3-Dec 1871 266 241 7422
Ah Chee White Hills Wishes to removed bodies of 3 relatives. Contact addreess c/o Sin Tip Wah, Storekeeper, Bridge St, Sandhurst Ah Tie   3-Dec 1871 266 241 7422
Ah Chee White Hills Request facilitated by Garret Brennan, Sextan, White Hills - since there had been no reply to request placed via another party. Men Yuck   Dec 1871 266 241 7378
Ah Chee White Hills Request facilitated by Garret Brennan, Sextan, White Hills - since there had been no reply to request placed via another party. Fook Gohe   Dec 1871 266 241 7378
Ah Chee White Hills Request facilitated by Garret Brennan, Sextan, White Hills - since there had been no reply to request placed via another party. Ah Tye   Dec 1871 266 241 7378
Won Ah Chee Avoca Requests permission to have Key Mang exhumed from Avoca Cemetery. Buried approximately 10 1/2 years earlier. The request is being made "in accordance with the wishes of his friends". Contact address - Won Ah Chee, c/o Sin Tip Wa, Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St. Sandhurst.  Key Mang circa 1861 12-Dec 1871 266 241 7172
Men Her White Hills Advises that Men Teck died approximately 10 years earlier. Contact address c/c Mr Sin Tip Wa, Chinese Storekeeper, Bridge St. Sandhurst Men Teck circa 1861 18-Dec 1871 266 241 7643
Won Ah Chee White Hills Won Ah Chee facilitating exhumation, contact address c/0 Sin Tip Wah, Chinese Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St, Sandhurst How Soon circa 1858 6-Jan 1872 266 242 160
Won Ah Chee White Hills Won Ah Chee facilitating exhumation, contact address c/0 Sin Tip Wah, Chinese Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St, Sandhurst How Him circa 1857 6-Jan 1872 266 242 160
Won Ah Chee White Hills Won Ah Chee facilitating exhumation, contact address c/0 Sin Tip Wah, Chinese Storekeeper, 1 Bridge St, Sandhurst Gon Kew - 6-Jan 1872 266 242 160
Kong Meng Melbourne General Cemetery A.A. Sleight, undertaker, facilitating on behalf of Kong Meng  to exhume Ah Ran's remains.  Ah Ran 6 6.1865 12-Dec 1872 266 252 6742
W.H.Sizu Melbourne General Cemetery A.A. Sleight, undertaker, facilitating on behalf of W.H.Sizu, of 69 Little Bourke St, Melbourne. Sizu claimed Ah Wah as a cousin.  Ah Way 1867 22-Dec 1872 266 253 7410
Ah Gee White Hills Ah Gee is a storekeeper at Iron Bark, he claims Sam Loon is a deceased friend. Any response is to be sent directly to G. Brennan, White Hills Cemetery. Sam Loon   Dec  1872 266 252 7011
Ah Gun White Hills Ah Gun, Storekeeper at Myers Flat is requesting permission to exhume his friend Ah Leep.  Replies to be directed to G. Brennan, White Hills Cemetery.  Ah Leep   Dec 1872 266 252 7099
Ah Gun White Hills Ah Gun, Storekeeper at Myers Flat is requesting permission to exhume his friend Ah Wang.  Replies to be directed to G. Brennan, White Hills Cemetery.  Ah Wang   Dec 1872 266 252 7099
Ah Pack Castlemaine David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Ah Pack was a Storekeeper in Castlemaine.  Ah Ken 10.12.1860 9-Oct 1873 266 263 5814
Ah Lit White Hills Brother Ah Lit requesting exhumation of Kit Shin, indicating he will be personally taking the remains back to China. He is asking for a prompt decision as he is incurring considerable expense in waiting. No indication of what her letter was written from Kit Shin 1859 30-May 1873 266 258 3016
Ah Fon White Hills James Apoo facilitiating request on behalf of Ah Tin's uncle, Ah Fon. Ah Tin late 1872 30-Jun 1873 266 259 3705
Lou Coon White Hills Requesting exhumation of his cousin Low Gee, so that a third person, Ah Wee, can convy the remains to China. Sense of urgency as the boat is sailing shortly Low Gee   9-Jul 1873 266 260 3889
  White Hills James Appoo of the Chinese Camp, Ironbark, facilitating on behalf of friends of deceased. Follow up telegram urging a response as the ship sails for China early the following week. Sing Fick   27-Sep 1873 266 262 5548
Ah Pack Castlemaine Ah Pack was a storekeeper at Castlemaine. Ah Ken 10.12.1860 9-Oct 1873 266 263 5814
Ah Yam Castlemaine David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Ah Yam Lived at Fryer's Creek. Tongu Cowey 27.2.1860 3-Nov 1873 266 263 6288
Ah Wong Castlemaine David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Ah Wong lived in Melbourne. Ah Tory 16.7.1857 23-Jan 1874 266 266 473
Wong Ah Keng Ballarat - Old Wm. Young (Supt. of Pres. Chinese Mission, Ballarat) facilitating. Wong Ah Keng is nephew returning to China. Wong Man Yew circa 1859 4-Apr 1874 266 268 2029
Wong Ah Keng Smythesdale Wm. Young (Supt. of Pres. Chinese Mission, Ballarat) facilitating. Wong Ah Keng is nephew returning to China. Wong Ah Meng circa 1864 4-Apr 1874 266 268 2029
Tick Tan Castlemaine David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Followup telegram of 5 Jun 1874  swaps the names of the requester and deceased and indicates that Tick Tan was leaving for China on the following Wednesday. Fong Tin 10.1.1860 3-Jun 1874 266 270 3548
Sam Ah Cow Seymour Requesting his brother's remains as he is leaving for China on July 7th 1874. Contains a memo indicating the application had been left with the Clerk of Courts Seymour on 1st June 1874. Ah Cow 23. 9.1871 30-Jun 1874 266 271 3948
  Geelong - Church of England Jenkins and Bennett, Undertakers (Geelong) facilitating . Ton Hie   9-Jul 1874 266 272 9093
  Geelong - Church of England Jenkins and Bennett, Undertakers (Geelong) facilitating - sense of urgency to the request as the vessel is about to depart for China.  Ah Sin   27-Jul 1874 266 272 4551
Chong Butler (Wong Chong - Chinese Signature) Jericho Request forwarded via the Clerk of Petty Sessions, Woods Point. Chong Butler (Wong Chong) was leaving for China and intended to convey the body to Pekin. King Foon   29-Jul 1874 266 272 4999
Syee Melbourne General Cemetery Sleight (Solicitor) facilitating on behalf of Syee, who lived at 128 Russel Street Melbourne. Cheong Ohee was a relative. Ship was departing for China on the following Wednesday. Cheong Ohee   24-Aug 1874 266 272 5131
  Ballarat - Old War Pon (Interpreter) facilitating on behalf of family and friends. Excellent handwriting and interesting very tense in grammar.  Ah Toon 4.5.1860 3-Sep 1874 266 273 5390k
  Ballarat- Old War Pon (Interpreter) facilitating on behalf of family and friends. Urgent request, includes follow up telegram. Why Ching 14.8.1857 21-Sep 1874 266 274 5752
Toon Yen Ballarat- Old William Ah Kew (Interpreter) facilitating. Len Yen   24-Sep 1874 266 274 5829
Toon Yen Canadian Gully William Ah Kew (Interpreter) facilitating. Ah Sic   24-Sep 1874 266 274 5829
Ah Tip Vaughn David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating Ah Chung 25.2.1860 12-Nov 1874 266 276 6836
Ah Look  Castlemaine David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Ah Look was from Melbourne Tien Young (aka Ken Young) 23.5.1857 19-Dec 1874 266 276 7604
Ah Coon Castlemaine Some urgency as Ah Coon and company plan to leave Castlemaine Tuesday next. David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating. Wy Poo 23.10.1855 11-Dec 1874 266 277 7430
Gee Ah Sing Ballarat Ah Chung (Interpreter - Golden Point) facilitating. Requester was cousin of deceased. First approval was given to the wrong man and second approval was urgently requested. Ah Chung's address was c/o Gee Kee, storekeeper, Golden Point. Yee Wah Lock aka Gee Wah Lock   6-Jan 1875 266 278 140
Gee Ah Sing Ballarat  Ah Chung (Interpreter  - Golden Point) facilitating. Requester is cousin of deceased. First approval was given to wrong man and second approval was urgently requested. Ah Chung's address was c/o Gee Kee, storekeeper, Golden Point Wee Ah Sue aka Gee Ah Sue   6-Jan 1875 266 278 140
Ah Ping Maldon Application made by brother of deceased. Error made in granting exhumation permission, Castlemaine instead of Maldon, required further letter to clarify. Lee Young (headman/storekeeper) of Castlemaine facilitating. Ho Ching July 1860 8-Jan 1875 266 278 139
Sing Hung Fat Ballarat Two letters and some urgency as the ship on which the remains were to travel  to China was leaving 22nd January 1875 Tip Hock   11 Jan & 14 Jan 1875 266 278 192
Lei Keen Castlemaine Lei Keen was a resident of Castlemaine.David Randall (Cemetery Secretary) facilitating application. Tit Moon   30-Jan 1875 266 279 633
Gut Chung Castlemaine Gut Chung lived in Melbourne.  Tuen Coy 27 Sep 1858 22-Feb 1875 266 279 1110
Fong Ah Sui White Hills G. Bernment facilitating on behalf of Fong Ah Sui who wished to remove the bones of this brother so as to convey them to China. Fong Ah Lock   17-Jun 1875 266 283 3380
Phoey Payo Castlemaine No faciliatation, direct request to allow removal of remains to China. Phoey Payo wrote his request from Castlemaine Ah Ping circa 1865 20-Sep 1875 266 286 5295
Lim Cong Tow Castlemaine David Randall facilitating. Lim Cong Tow of Melbourne On You Jan 1861 Sep-06 1875 266 286 5315