Rediscovered Family Connections
CHINA Inc encourages research into the histories of Chinese Australian families. This work is important not only because individual life histories tell us much about the variety and complexity of the early Chinese Australian experience, but also to help the descendents reconnect with their heritage. To many descendents this heritage has been lost or hidden as Chinese Australians during much of the 20th century were forced by government policy and community attitudes to blend into mainstream society. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in celebrating this rich and detailed past.
Those researching their family tree are welcome to contact CHINA Inc for quidance on finding information. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst we try to reply to all emails, as we are a small group of volunteers, please be patient for a response.
Yip Hoy was naturalised in 1884 at Cooktown after being in the colony of Queensland for 10 years. He and his wife, Yek How, established at Croydon where Yek How died. With his sons and business partner, Chun Tie, a butchery was purchased at Normanton. His sons, Yet Foy Bros., proceeded to have business interests at Georgetown and Ingham.
Jimmy & Evelina Ah Foo
Jimmy and Evelina
In 1866, Jimmy Ah Foo was residing in Springsure, central Queensland, where he ran a boarding house. That year he married English woman, Evelina Vessey, and together they progressed to run hotels, as well as market gardens and carrying businesses, on the goldfields of Charters Towers, in Cooktown and on the Palmer River, Springsure, Barcaldine, Longreach and Rockhampton. Jimmy retired from the hotel business in 1899/1900 and set up a small shop in Barcaldine before his death in 1916. Jimmy and Evelina had 13 children, who were all highly musical. The children formed the Affoo Family brass and string bands, providing the musical entertainment for their parents' hotels as well acting as the first town band in Longreach. Some of the children later became involved in running hotels, restaurants and picture theatres.
In September 2009 a group of over 60 people with family links to Jimmy and Evelina returned to Longreach for their first family reunion. (Images courtesy of the extended Affoo family)
The Affoo Family brass band
Family reunion, Longreach, 2009