Thomas NEAVE [1867-1925] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Thomas NEAVE [1867-1925]

Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 
Cause of death: 

Looking for information about my great grandfather who worked for Hongkong Whampoa Dock Co from about 1890 to 1916.

His daughters born in Scotland both married Hong Kong Scots.

His daughter, my grandmother Florence Agnes Neave, was born in Hong Kong around 1900.

They called their house in England "Lei Yu Mun".

He features on a juror's list.


Photos that show this person



Have you tried the resources listed at:

How to research people who lived in Hong Kong

They should give you some more information.

Do you have any information about why he decided to come to Hong Kong for work, and how he ended up with the Dock Co.?

Regards, David

I don't know why he came. He trained as a sea farer in Newcastle and must have decided on a career in shipbuilding or repair. 



I've just put the 1924 Jurors List online, and it still shows a Thomas Neave:

c Neave Thomas Superintendent Engineer HK. Whampoa Dock Co.   Kowloon Docks

Thanks. The link to the Government records was interesting.

I have found a Thomas Neave in 1871 (Census)  age 3 living with parents in Dundee Scotland . He is still with parents aged 13 in 1881 (Census). But in 1891 (Census) he is aged 23  living with his widowed mother at 112 Gainsborough Grove in Elswick Newcastle on Tyne Northumberland. His occupation is steam engine maker and fitter. Could this be him?

I have also found a Thomas Neave who  died 1 November 1925 in Colwyn Bay Wales. Probate granted to widow Jane

Thomas Neave born Dundee travelled to Hong Kong 1925 with wife Jane Pattinson Neave born Newcastle on Tyne and daughter Florence Agnes Neave born Hong Kong.

Many thanks indeed. Yes that is him. Florence is my grandmother. Thanks for the cencus dates. The outward voyage you mention is interesting. It must have been from home leave.


The Censuses give his parents and siblings. Would you like to have the details?

Yes please. Very kind of you.

Parents Thomas Neave born Alyth Perthshire about 1839 died 1886 Newcastle on Tyne. He was a blacksmith and boiler inspector Married 1864 in Dundee to  Mary Munro MacKay

Children born Dundee  David Neave born 14 July 1865 died before 1872, Thomas Neave born 14 April 1867 Dundee died 1 November 1925 Colwyn Bay Wales, Agnes Munro Neave  2 March 1869, Peter Mackay Neave 4 September 1870, David Neave 9 May 1872, Mary Mackay Neave 25 March 1874, John Neave 1880, James Mackay Neave 11 October 1881  and Elizabeth Neave born Newcastle on Tyne about 1884.

Thomas Neave married Jane Pattison Hedley (1870 - 1949)  in 1893 Newcastle on Tyne and their children were Florence Agnes Neave born Hong Kong 18 October 1907 and Thomas Neave born about 1911 ? Hong Kong.

I've added a page for daughter Mary / Mollie:

A search for Neave returns several more men in Hong Kong with that name. Do the family stories talk of any other relatives coming to Hong Kong to work?

Thanks. I have a photo of that wedding on my wall in HK.

By coincidence, there was another Thomas Neave active in HK, but much earlier. I have no idea whether he was related.

Was he Thomas Erskine Neave?


Mary and Lily who accompanied Thomas Neave and Jane Pattison Hedley to Hong Kong in 1914  were both born before Thomas and Jane married in 1893. Lily and Mary Hedley are both recorded  as living with Pattison Hedley and wife Annie as their children 1891 and 1901 censuses. In 1901 Lily Hedley is 10 and Mary Hedley  is 2. Lily Hedley was baptised 3 March 1891 with Pattison Hedley and Annie as parents, Mary Hedley was baptised 20 September 1898 with Pattison Hedley and Annie as parents. There are no corresponding births of Lily and Mary with Thomas Neave and Jane Pattison Hedley as parents in UK.  Could Thomas Neave and Jane Pattison Hedley be the uncle and aunt of Lily and Mary Hedley? When Thomas Neave and Jane left London for Hong Kong 3 October 1914 (soon after WWI started) they were accompanied  by Miss L Neave schoolmistress aged 20, Miss M Neave daughter aged 12, Miss F Neave aged 6 and Master T Neave aged 3. Was Thomas Neave  previously married?

Ancestry Tree

Born 9 June 1868 Dundee Scotland

Died 1 November  1925 in Colwyn Bay Wales

His wife Jane Pattison Hedley born 1870 Newcastle upon Tyne Northumberland. She died 12 November 1949 in Northumberland