William KEW [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

William KEW [????-????]



This is interesting..William Ah Kew Chininese interpreter 

Thursday 28 December 1865, page 6

Careless Mining. —

We have to record another fatal accident through insufficient timbering. On Wednesday an inquest was held by the district coroner, Dr. Dow, at Mr Lindsay's store, Adelaide the body of a Chinaman whoso death was caused by the falling in of earth while mining. The evidence of Ah Hung, interpreted by William Ah Kew, showed that he, with the deceased and another mate, proceeded to work on the 8th inst., when deceased and witness went down the shaft which is 80 feet deep. 

Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), Friday 22 July 1870, page 2



Ah Ling was charged with having committed perjury in the case of Ah Ling v Marks, heard at the Police Court Castlemaine, on April 8th 1867. Mr Martley instructed by Mr. Merrifield, appeared for the defense. The learned Crown Prosecutor opened the case; going very carefully through it, and then called the following evidence : — William Ah Kew, Chinese Interpreter, deposed : He remembered hearing of the case Ah Ling v Marks. Administered the oath to Ah Ling after the following manner:— "The evidence I shall give, shall be true nothing, but true If not true I wish Great God to extinguish my soul as I extinguish this light." . He then blew. put the lighted match he held in his hand. He said he bought the watch from a European, in New Zealand, whose name he had forgotten. He gave £10 10s for it sometime in October, 1867……

Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), Friday 21 February 1873, page 2



—Yours, &c., WILLIAM AH KEW, Government Interpreter.

SIR, —There appeared recently in your morning con temporary a funny paragraph on my interpretation of some Chinese evidence before the Circuit Court on Saturday, the fun of which I could myself enjoy, and not care about enquiring too narrowly into its truth, if I were placed upon the same terms with regard to it as the other readers of that' paper. But, unfortunately a report of this kind is very likely to cause me idea of injury, and may even affect my means of sup port, and would therefore be allowable only if strictly true. In this instance, however, several professional gentlemen, officials and others, who were present can testify to the fact that the gibberish imputed to me as my interpretation of the evidence by the playful reporter of the enlightened journal referred to bore not the slightest resemblance to what I really did say, and can only be the pranks of a somewhat disordered imagination, caused possibly (as a legal gentleman has, just suggested to me) by-an overstudy of Confuseius. My view is borne out by the fact that no other paper makes any such reference. Well may your reporter say after this that the court is unfit for public business. What I did say in answer to the question was, “That is the weight.” What the witness “interjected” I am not responsible for; and although I am only a “Heathen Chinese,” I trust my version may go for something, more especially when, as I have just heard, the reporter reasons by saying that he is certain of my words from the movement of my lips, and this when he was seated behind me. Another gentleman of the long robe says the individual must have mistaken it for Highland Scotch—l don’t know.

WILLIAM AH KEW , Government Interpreter

Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), Thursday 22 November 1877, page 3

Compensation to William Ah Kew, for the loss of office on short notice as a Chinese Interpreter £ 50 Gratuity

Re the Kew family of which Arthur James Kew was one of my Godfathers.

I attach some Chinese script about the Kews' which I am sure someone will be able to translate.

Notes on the Kew family
Notes on the Kew family, by Peter Hall

Apparently the 'Kews' were originally 'Wongs'.  This sheet is No.15 - No.1 goes back to circa 1273 in China.

Best wishes


Arthur James 'Jimmy' Ah Kew 1896–1965 BIRTH 23 APR 1896 • Hong Kong DEATH 22 JUL 1965 • Hong Kong married Beatrice Rose Ablong 1894–1960 BIRTH 1894 • Waterloo, New South Wales DEATH 28 SEP 1960 • Hong Kong

Hi Peter,

William and Sarah are my husband's 2x great grandparents and would love to know how to get a copy of the Chinese genealogy you have posted.  Appreciate any guidance you can provide.



Hello Karin

How can I help you?


Hi Val,

Very interested to see a full copy of the Chinese genealogy for William Ah Kew as it was noted by someone that it goes back to 1273!

I have yet to track down a copy of Peter's book, In the Web, but think I may be able to reserve a copy from the library in Toronto.

hello Karin!nice to see your message.

Do you know the "ah" of the "William Ah Kew" is what?
Is it his chinese name? or Is it a appellation?(People address others somtimes “Ah(阿)”+surname. )

best wishes

Dear Peter,

May I know which of the following Chinese character does the Chinese surname of the Kew family, Wongs, represent?

1. 王

2. 黃

Thanks for your information!

Best regards,
Raymond Ng
(chairman of HKFHS)

Hi, Mr. Ng

I don't know too. 

Even I confuse about Mr. Hall's word "apparently". not sure what he express is a possibility or a fact that kews originate from wongs…

I've posted a translation of the Kew family tree at  https://gwulo.com/node/49367

As you can see it is headed Family tree of the Huang (Wong in Cantonese).

I have drawn some charts to make it easier to follow the Kew family: https://gwulo.com/node/49468