Yap Swee is my Grandfather.
AKA: Yap See
AKA: Yip Swee Yuen
AKA: 葉良恭 (Yap Liòng Kiûng Ancestral name)
AKA: 葉瑞雲 (Yap Swee Yùn lifetime name)
Name romanisation was never very consistent. Yip is the romanisation based on the Cantonese pronunciation of 葉. The correct pronunciation of Yap is Yup.
Father Yap Kon ?Chin? 葉?? (On the tombstone the name is, 維恩葉, but I think this is likely his ancestral name as he is already dead. The name of Yap Swee’s uncle is Yap Kon Lim – 振蓬葉 – and we know that Yap Kon Lim was living in Perak and alive when the tombstone was erected.
Mother Tian ? ? / 田？？
Family: Brian Yap
- Yap Yit Poh & Sylvia Marks
- Yap Swee & Wong Yuk LAN
- Wong Ngee Yew
- Yap An Nyet
- Yap An ???
- Loh Ngeuk
- Yap Yit Khim
- Yap An? ???
- Wong Yuk Lan (~1912 to 1972-03-08: Executrix of estate)
- 1930-11-03 Yap Yit Poh to 2017-02-09
- Yap Yit Kim
- Ng Yoon Than (married not earlier than 1932, ran away in 1936, one son and one daughter to Yap Swee, at least one son and one daughter after she left.) she took an adopted by Yap Swee, daughter with her plus another child. Was she the mother of this extra daughter? I do not know.
- Yap Yit ??? Note 1.
- Yap An? ???
- June 1937 gave birth to a daughter in Kampar. Birth certificate lists Yap Swee as father. Judge did not believe this.
- Another son as well.
- Low Keow (insane, spoke English)
- Chin Sow Sim (Executrix of estate)
- Choy Lin (minor, no children) (aft 1921 to ?)
Note 1: Ng Yoon Tan has an unnamed son who gave evidence in a court case in 1939. In this he says he was 11 and that his father was Yap Swee. This would mean that he was born in 1928 which is at least four years before Ng Yoon Tan married Yap Swee.
Wife 8 was in Singapore. She predeceased Yap Swee. In Singapore the marriage was not recognised. There was a court case about the inheritance.
- 8. Wan Toh Koh died 16 October 1932 in Singapore General Hospital
- 9. Yap Kiat Lim born about 1913.
1915 – Yap Tow On adopted son. His lawyers contended that he was a son. It is said that he was adopted by one of the following two wives:
- 1. Ng Moi
- 2. NG Sam Moi
Most sources agree that there were twelve children.
Birth: about 1882 or 1883
Not much is known about is birth.
In one of the court cases he is stated to have died at the age of 56. So, his birthday was between 15 January 1882 and 15 January 1883. A Chinese person would turn two on the same day as an Australian turns one. I have not assumed the Chinese counting of age in this calculation.
Before 1912 Travel
According to the evidence given in the case for the man claiming to be his son, he left China for the Dutch East Indies before the formation of the ROC (Republic of China). This is important because it means that the marriage custom follows that of the Qing Dynasty rather that the marriage custom of the ROC. In the Qing Dynasty polygamy of wives and husbands was allowed. In the ROC only monogamy was allowed.
1912 January – Republic of China
In January the ROC officially comes into being.
1913 Possible birth of child
All the family stories state that one wife predeceased Yap Swee.
It is possible that he married Wife 8 as wife 0 in Singapore or the Dutch East Indies. She died in Singapore. She predeceased Yap Swee. In Singapore the marriage was not recognised. This leads me to suspect that it was either an unregistered traditional Chinese wedding and/or it took place in the Dutch East Indies or Perak. There was a court case about the deceased wife’s estate. This is probably because, unlike The Sultanate of Perak, Singapore was an English colony and English law applied.
Maybe this is the source of the contention that the marriage was not real because there was no marriage certificate. This is a correct statement for the Colony of Singapore. It is an incorrect statement for the Sultanate of Perak.
Also the generational name of his daughter Yap Kiat Lim does not match the generational name of the other daughters which is An.
- Wan Toh Koh died 16 October 1932 in Singapore General Hospital
- Yap Kiat Lim born about 1913.
1915: Adopted a child
This is the first evidence we have of Yap Swee living in the Sultanate of Perak.
Adopted Yap Tow On a son of a Medicine Seller with one of the wives – Ng Moi and Ng Sam Moi. The wives are based on the court evidence of an unnamed witness and is not confirmed by any other evidence. But everyone seems to agree that the adoption took place.
See court case in 1939.
1924 May 22: Lease 3385 and 3386 Renewal
This is a good match. The lease numbers match what is for sale with the winding up of his estate
We can see he has two business partners – Yeong Keow and Yap Keow.
|TITLE||: MINING LEASES : 3385 AND 3386 : RASA MUKIM – RENEWAL OF :- MESSRS. YEONG KEOW, YAP SEE AND YAP KEOW APPLY FOR :-|
|IDENTIFIER NUMBER||: 1957/0231141W|
|ORIGINAL MEDIA||: FILE|
|SOURCE||: SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, PEJABAT|
|RECORD TYPE||: DOCUMENT|
|CATEGORY||: PUBLIC RECORDS AND ARCHIVES|
|SUBCATEGORY||: STATE RECORDS|
|PICKUP LOCATION||Current Status||Date to Book||Pickup Date||Wishlist|
|KUALA LUMPUR||Available||Tue 16/05/2017||Fri 19/05/2017|
1932 Marriage Law Change
One of the appeals judges appears to say that the law changed in 1932 so that the Chinese could no longer have multiple wives. The legal system seemed happy to quietly ignore this.
1932 October 16: Death of Wife Wan Toh Koh
In Singapore General Hospital.
1939 January 15 – Death
There is no mention of where he died. My family say he died of a stroke. We can presume he died in the Sultanate of Perak.
Note: There is an Appellate court record that says the death date is 26 February 1939. But all other court records and the tombstone say 15 January 1939.
His tomb stone says: 中華民國廿八年正月十五日 吉旦安塟. ROC 28th year 1st month 15th day burial ritual: using the Minguo calendar (民國紀元).