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#1 hocky

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 03:30 AM

My maternal surname is TOH in Singapore/Malaysia and we have been trying to find how to write this in Mandarin characters. Someone has told me that it is actually Zhou in Chinese, so can somebody here please confirm this or refute it? If it is the same, please give me the Chinese character for Zhou and also let me know if it is related to the Zhou Dynasty and those people. I understand that my mother's family originated from China sometime in the 1800s. I also need to find out where they came from like Xiamen or Amoy or elsewhere in Fukien or Guandong, their town and even village. I think they were all either Hokkiens or Teochews. How and why they moved to Johore, Malaysia we don't know except for guessing that it was an economic move. How they arrived we don't know, but we guess it was by sea, trading ship or by slave traders we don't know. What they did immediately when they arrived we don't know, but things got a lot better as the years went by and I would guess that they got richer and could start their own business and plantations too. Where they all are is still a mystery, but I am sure there are some still in Johore, Malaysia near Tampoi, a small town there and some still in Singapore who are my uncle, his wife and his children. They would be Tohs. All the other Tohs in our family were maternal, so their children have other surnames now. Another uncle passed away when he was about 40 years old, married, but didn't have any children. We don't know what happenned to his wife after she was widowed, probably she remarried, but we have lost track of her in Singapore completely around 1960s. Please help, thanks.

#2 sg_han

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 03:49 AM

My maternal surname is TOH in Singapore/Malaysia and we have been trying to find how to write this in Mandarin characters. Someone has told me that it is actually Zhou in Chinese, so can somebody here please confirm this or refute it? If it is the same, please give me the Chinese character for Zhou and also let me know if it is related to the Zhou Dynasty and those people. I understand that my mother's family originated from China sometime in the 1800s. I also need to find out where they came from like Xiamen or Amoy or elsewhere in Fukien or Guandong, their town and even village. I think they were all either Hokkiens or Teochews. How and why they moved to Johore, Malaysia we don't know except for guessing that it was an economic move. How they arrived we don't know, but we guess it was by sea, trading ship or by slave traders we don't know. What they did immediately when they arrived we don't know, but things got a lot better as the years went by and I would guess that they got richer and could start their own business and plantations too. Where they all are is still a mystery, but I am sure there are some still in Johore, Malaysia near Tampoi, a small town there and some still in Singapore who are my uncle, his wife and his children. They would be Tohs. All the other Tohs in our family were maternal, so their children have other surnames now. Another uncle passed away when he was about 40 years old, married, but didn't have any children. We don't know what happenned to his wife after she was widowed, probably she remarried, but we have lost track of her in Singapore completely around 1960s. Please help, thanks.



Toh can be written 卓zhuō or 杜dý(sometimes romanised as Tok). It is not ZHOU in chinese. Note the difference between ZHUO and ZHOU and nope I do not think it is related to the ZHOU dynasty.

As far as I know, the TOH clan are either Hokkien or Teochew but people of the surname 卓 can also come from other dialect group. By the way, I am a Hokkien. My paternal grandfather came from Nan'an(known previously as Nanyi) in Quanzhou province.
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#3 hocky

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 04:54 PM

Toh can be written 卓zhuō or 杜dý(sometimes romanised as Tok). It is not ZHOU in chinese. Note the difference between ZHUO and ZHOU and nope I do not think it is related to the ZHOU dynasty.

As far as I know, the TOH clan are either Hokkien or Teochew but people of the surname 卓 can also come from other dialect group. By the way, I am a Hokkien. My paternal grandfather came from Nan'an(known previously as Nanyi) in Quanzhou province.



Thank you very much sg han. I am all confused. Sorry for the spelling mistake. I am seeing blanks now with the zhuo and zhou spellings. Just woke up this morning and having my breakkie. My father was a Tan, so I am also Tan, but where did his father, grandfather or great grandfather come from in China I don't really know. Most likely from the Southern provinces somewhere around Xiamen or Amoy or ??? I'd like to go there one fine day just to have a look at what things look like over there. I know everythings changed by now, but there should still be some places which have the very old character from the 1800s like in the old villages and towns which have been almost untouched by modernization. I have seen some pictures brought back by visitors showing the village life and I like them. Can you show me some or guide me to any net sites which do show life in China in the country, villages and not the city life which we are all familiar with. Thanks and cheers.

#4 polar_zen

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 06:43 PM

Most likely from the Southern provinces somewhere around Xiamen or Amoy or ??? I'd like to go there one fine day just to have a look at what things look like over there. I know everythings changed by now, but there should still be some places which have the very old character from the 1800s like in the old villages and towns which have been almost untouched by modernization.


I think I can help you out a bit. :lol: First off, Amoy and Xiamen are the same city, in case you didn't know already. It is a large city in Fujian Province, China. "Amoy" is closer to the local Fukien(or Hokkien, means the same thing) while "Xiamen" is the Mandarin pronunciation of the same name. Try considering that "Toh" may be an odd spelling of a name that can be spelled multiple ways because there is very little standardization when it comes to romanized letters (not sure about the situation in Malaysia). For example, Toh maybe an odd Hokkien romanized spelling of the character 張 (Zhang in Mandarin, and often spelled as Tio and Teoh in Hokkien). Just a suggestion. Good luck on your search.

Edited by polar_zen, 18 January 2008 - 06:44 PM.

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#5 Yun

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

As sg_han says, most Tohs in Singapore or Malaysia are either 卓 (Zhuo in putonghua/mandarin) or 杜 (Du). Both surnames also occur as Tok. See http://en.wikipedia....es_in_Singapore for more Chinese surnames in Singapore.
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#6 sg_han

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 07:35 AM

Thank you very much sg han. I am all confused. Sorry for the spelling mistake. I am seeing blanks now with the zhuo and zhou spellings. Just woke up this morning and having my breakkie. My father was a Tan, so I am also Tan, but where did his father, grandfather or great grandfather come from in China I don't really know. Most likely from the Southern provinces somewhere around Xiamen or Amoy or ??? I'd like to go there one fine day just to have a look at what things look like over there. I know everythings changed by now, but there should still be some places which have the very old character from the 1800s like in the old villages and towns which have been almost untouched by modernization. I have seen some pictures brought back by visitors showing the village life and I like them. Can you show me some or guide me to any net sites which do show life in China in the country, villages and not the city life which we are all familiar with. Thanks and cheers.


Tan is the Hokkien/Teochew pronounciation of the Chinese character 陳Chen(2). People with the surname Tan most probably hail from Southern China. If you want to know where your ancestors are from, just look at their tombstone or approach the Tan clan association.

http://images.search...mp;fr=yfp-t-501

polar_zen, Toh has never been a romanisation of the character Zhang
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#7 hocky

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 08:24 AM

Tan is the Hokkien/Teochew pronounciation of the Chinese character 陳Chen(2). People with the surname Tan most probably hail from Southern China. If you want to know where your ancestors are from, just look at their tombstone or approach the Tan clan association.

http://images.search...mp;fr=yfp-t-501

polar_zen, Toh has never been a romanisation of the character Zhang



Sg han,
Those images were really fantastic. Now I would really like to go there to see all those places with my own cameras, digital as well as video. No tombstones here sg., they are somewhere in Singapore if the HDB hasn't yet removed them all and built new HDB flats on them. There should still be some over in Johor, Malaysia if anyone has the time to visit the places just to have a look at the wordings inscribed on them. Most are in Chinese script anyway, so I won't be able to read them. Will need one of you people to follow me back to Tampoi, Johor, Malaysia one fine day for this search, ha ha.

#8 sg_han

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 11:00 AM

Sg han,
Those images were really fantastic. Now I would really like to go there to see all those places with my own cameras, digital as well as video. No tombstones here sg., they are somewhere in Singapore if the HDB hasn't yet removed them all and built new HDB flats on them. There should still be some over in Johor, Malaysia if anyone has the time to visit the places just to have a look at the wordings inscribed on them. Most are in Chinese script anyway, so I won't be able to read them. Will need one of you people to follow me back to Tampoi, Johor, Malaysia one fine day for this search, ha ha.



The Choa Chu Kang Chinese cemetery is still in service today. Besides Choa Chu Kang cemetery, we have other old cemeteries such as the Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetary.
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#9 hocky

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:41 PM

The Choa Chu Kang Chinese cemetery is still in service today. Besides Choa Chu Kang cemetery, we have other old cemeteries such as the Bukit Brown Chinese Cemetary.



Hi sg han,
So far I have not been able to find anyone who can really help me out on my search except for some who have given me a few hints here and there. I really need somebody out there who has actually done this search and was either successful or unsuccessful and can tell me what was done in steps to achieve what they have reached whether good or bad. I have seen the houseofchinn.com site which was quite helpful, but still not detailed enough to help all those out there like me who are clueless about this matter. I have come across a site called info@chinatownology.com and they have also given me a few clues, but still not detailed or conclusive enough to start any where.

I do not want anyone out there to think that this is a golden opportunity to mine the unknown wealth of people they think can be made to cough out thousands of dollars to search for the holy "grail" (excuse me for using this word, I have no intention to cause any animosity from religious people). Unfortunately there are always people out there who will see the $$$$$ signs whenever they think its going to make them rich at somebody else's expense. I am only willing to cough out the cheap economy airfare, standard class land transport by rail or coach and 2 Star hotel costs plus maybe some interpreters or for the time and effort of people over there who are qualified in this kind of science like genealogy and family history tracing into the past. I am told some village elders will be available to help as they will know more about the past generations, their ways, where they came from, where they all went, which port they left from and which country they arrived at and what they did from there, the wives they had, the children they had and so on. I hear that the male side is traceable, but the female side is very cloudy and hard to trace.

I have no clues about my both sides except that my mum's grandfather and father were in Johore, Malaysia before they sent their offspring to other places like Singapore, maybe Penang and Malacca and also to the UK. On my father's side, we have no clues at all. I think all the children stayed in Singapore until their passing and the grand children also stayed there except for a few migrating elsewhere. I will have to go and see or find a way to contact the people in Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (please give me their postal adddress) and hope they have English speaking staff there who are computer savvy.

I will also ask my sisters whether they do have our dad's and mum's original birth certificates which may show something more about their past, their parents names and things about which country they came from and more. Cheers.

#10 sg_han

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:09 AM

http://www.shhk.com.sg/

Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan

137 Telok Ayer Street
#08-01/03
Singapore 068602
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#11 hocky

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:42 PM

http://www.shhk.com.sg/

Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan

137 Telok Ayer Street
#08-01/03
Singapore 068602



Hi sg han,
I've fallen behind in my ancestral search due to the lack of clues so far. Now I am on other searches and they are not related to my family tree, more towards a more personal interest of getting myself a fishing boat to catch my own freshly caught fish. If I don't catch any, I can easily slip into the nearest supermart and catch one from the shelves frozen and ready for cooking! Many thanks for all your recent help, do get back to me if you happen to have any more clues or directions I can follow in my earlier search for my ancestral village in mainland China. Cheers. :clapping:

#12 xng

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:26 AM

My maternal surname is TOH in Singapore/Malaysia and we have been trying to find how to write .


Toh is most probably 杜. Tan is definitely 陳.

Your ancestors came from Fujien province in southern china.

You must know your generation name (middle name) to determine which village you came from in that province.

#13 sg_han

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 06:04 AM

Toh is most probably 杜. Tan is definitely 陳.

Your ancestors came from Fujien province in southern china.

You must know your generation name (middle name) to determine which village you came from in that province.



Don't forget 卓.
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#14 xng

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:47 PM

Don't forget 卓.


First of all, this is not a common surname in fujien province as I never heard of any hokkien people with this surname.

Secondly, I don't think the pronounciation is Toh. It could be 'Jiok'.

Edited by xng, 27 March 2008 - 12:47 PM.


#15 sg_han

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 07:03 AM

First of all, this is not a common surname in fujien province as I never heard of any hokkien people with this surname.

Secondly, I don't think the pronounciation is Toh. It could be 'Jiok'.


Not common???? You actually cite "never heard of any hokkien people with this surname" as evidence?

Wrong! Zhuo is TOH in Hokkien.
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