Ng Akew's Ladder Street properties | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Ng Akew's Ladder Street properties

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Ng Akew's Ladder Street properties

Henry Ching has alerted me to the enquiry about Ng Akew. During the previous discussion about the Kew family I had consulted him about an entry for Ng A Kew in the 1888-89 Victoria Rate Book. I was looking into the history of my Swedish great-grandfather, John Olson, recorded on the same page and wondered if Ng A Kew was a deceased member of the  Kew family, subsequently neighbours to mine (Olsons and Warrens) in Caine Road. 

Nos. 2, 4 and 6 Ladder Street, I.L. 71, are already recorded as properties of Ng Akew in the 1878 declaration of her bankruptcy. Their designation of “brothels” disappears from the Rate Book entries after 1889. Their attribution is also to “Ng Kew’s Estate” thereafter, rather than to “Ng A Kew’s Estate” which is misleading. I didn’t look further than 1895 nor earlier than 1888.



Ng akew only had a life interest in the property.  See Endicott's US will here

Hi Jill, I wondered about a connection too, when I heard those names. Do you know if they were related at all, or it's just coincidence?

Regards, David

Hi David, I'm no expert, but I think I can safely say that there was absolutely no connection between Ng Akew, a Tanka boat woman, and the Kew family, who had retured to Hong Kong after emigrating to Australia and moved in an entirely different and more exalted social circle. Peter Hall gives the Kew/Kiu? genealogy in his book "In the Web". Patricia Lim also has a good section on the Kews, p. 519.

I find the fluid and alternative spellings of Chinese names a nightmare, but for Western understanding, I think we should attach Akew's 'A' firmly to her 'Kew': AKEW.