Robert REED [1834-1873] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Robert REED [1834-1873]

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Not much information in the Carl Smith cards on Robert Reed that I can find. He married Anna Maria Diaz or Dias at the Roman Catholic Cathedral on 2 May 1861. [CS card 00135693GIF]  He was Protestant, but I don't think he is buried in the Colonial Cemetery at Happy Valley. Their daughter Lucretia Maria Reed was baptised on 24 February 1867 at the RC Cathedral at 38 days old. Anna Maria married Charles Bond after Reed's death. Lucretia married Patrick Murray. I have been following up the Murrays as they were contemporaries of my grandparents, the Warrens, lived close to them both as young and old marrieds and they also had a connection to my step-great-grandparent Ellen Olson, who died in Lucretia's house, 161 Wanchai Road. Somebody in the Bond/Murray family acquired property in Wanchai Road as various members of the family owned 161, 163, 163A, 165 and 167 Wanchai Road according to the 1915-16 Rate Book, and more. I suspect that may have been due to inherited wealth from Lucretia's grandparents, the Rosarios rather than Robert Reed or her step-father Charles Bond, but who knows .....



There is a passenger list departing London 5 December 1900 destination Hong Kong. One of the passengers is Robert Reed age 54 [dob abt 1846 which conflicts with marriage date 1861 when he would have been abt 15 years old]

On Find a Grave there is a Robert Reed who was buried in the Happy Valley Cemetery on 1st January 1873 aged 28 years whose date at death matches the Robert Reed mentioned in the passenger list. 

Carl Smith Card 135689 Anna Maria Diaz aged 38, daughter of Rodrigues and Faustina M Rosario, and, widow of Robert Reed married Charles  Bond aged about 30 at RC Cathedral 4 October 1875 . This was about two years after the death of the Robert Reed mentioned above. (By Carl Smith's reckoning Anna was born in 1837).

Something has to be right here - but then something is also wrong! My arithmetic is dicey but I make Anna Maria 24 at the date of her wedding. It is logical that the Protestant Robert Reed would have been buried in the Happy Valley Cemetery if he died in Hong Kong. In my experience of deciphering the inscriptions on my own family's graves, some of them are so corroded that the dates have been misread and wrongly recorded. It would make more sense if Robert Reed's age at death was 38. That would make him 26 when married, and a respectable 2 years older than Anna Maria. The 54 year-old Robert Reed on the passenger list can't be the same gentleman. I haven't yet found Reed's grave on Patricia Lim's list, but that isn't to say it's not there. I will try again.

I agree that memorial inscriptions are often mis-transcribed and your age at marriage makes sense.There could also have been a mistranscription on the passenger list regarding age which would make Robert Reed's birth circa 1836. Do you know where he was born?

Memorial on the grave as transcribed

In memory of Robert Reed of the Harbour Master's Department, who died on 1st January 1873, aged 28 years

Find a Grave The grave stones are in poor condition. I had another look at the image of the grave and enlarged it considerably and the age could easily be 38 or even 39.

Great that Find a Grave gives actual images of the graves. angie-r says that one of the Reed grandchildren went to look for descendants in Scotland, but failed to find any. He was looking for a "Jack Reed" who went to China. The person consulted couldn't remember the name of the town. Might come up with something? I don't have international membership. Reed is such a frequent name and Robert isn't rare either.

Jacks are often Johns. Robert is a great old Scottish name. I will have a look on Scotlands People.

In Scotland traditionally there was a naming pattern. First son named after father's father and second son after mother's father and third son after father - this often resulted in more than one child in a family having the same forename as another. Robert Reed's son was Amaro John so I'll look for John Reeds with sons Robert. 

That's fascinating! Not quite the Scandinavian system, - in fact more complicated. I wonder if it was similar for the girls.

First daughter after the mother's mother, secong daughter after the father's mother, third daughter after the mother. I am an eldest daughter named after my mother's mother and my next sister down is named after our father's mother. Researching in Scotland is so much easier than anywhwere else. A child's birth certificate has exact time and place of birth both parents' names and the date and place of parents marriage also any previous marriages of parents and names of previous spouses  and mother's maiden name.

The grave of Robert Reed who died 1st January 1873 at the Colonial Cemetery Hong Kong (as pointed out by annpake) - if you look at the enlarged photo it is definitely aged 38 years. The first digit can not be a 2 as it has a curved base.

To further confirm it the transcribed age in for Robert Reed in the Hong Kong Colonial Cemetery is also aged 38 years (image 34 of 106) under 'Register of Internments:106 1853-1884'

You might be interested in this and this

If you are outside Hong Kong, you can request PRO to produce photocopies of the documents. CD copy is much more expensive.

Many thanks for the confirmation,

How interesting to know that the Public Records Office holds documents relating to Robert Reed - also that the interment documents at the Cemetery can be consulted. I'm sure that Robert Reed's descendants in Wales will think it worth applying for sight of the former - I suppose it may mean a banker's draft for a tiny sum, if for photocopies - perhaps worth getting the CD. Thank you for taking the trouble to look them up. As regards the grave - it's certainly an unusual design and in an out of the way part of the cemetery. Is that a masonic symbol at the top?

Yes, he was a Freemason in Hong Kong 

Robert Reed initiated 27 December 1861 Zetland Lodge

Robert Reed Serving Brother 1864 Victoria Lodge

Robert Reed 27 March 1867  Perseverence Lodge

Scotlands People has only one baptism of a Robert Reed  betwen 1830 and 1840

Robert Reed born 19 April 1834, son of James Reed and Janet Montgomerie

Recorded as of the Irvine East Associate

Are you happy for me to correct RR's birth date? Thanks for following this up.

Yes. The Associates were not RC or Presbyterian or Church of Scotland I checked these and no Robert Reed birth or baptisms. In  1855 civil birth records were introduced in Scotland. Until then baptisms were Church of Scotland or Roman Catholic or the  Associates. There was a great religious  upheaval in Scotland leading up to "the Disruption" and the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland as well as the Church of Scotland.