William BARKER [c.1849-1924]

Submitted by Alison. on Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:10
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)
(Day is approximate.)

I am helping with my husband's family tree and have found that his great-grandfather, William Barker, arrived in Hong Kong in 1904.  He was originally from London and was a banker with the family Bank -  Barker's Bank in Mark Lane, which folded in the crash in the 1892 .  The family went to Australia and later William and one daughter, Winifred, settled in Hong Kong.  I found a burial notice for St James Cathedral where William Barker's funeral was on 28 August, 1924 and he was 75 years old.  I assume this is our William.  My question is how do I go about finding arrival records, where William lived and where he worked?  I have a feeling it may have been in the electrical industry.

The coincidence is that some 20 years later, in 1947,  my father arrived in Hong Kong and was an electrical engineer with British General Electric Company. The company was responsible for the electrical component of the rebuilding of Kai Tak following the war.  We lived there for almost 20 years.  

Any help anyone can offer regarding William Barker would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks, Alison

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Alison - how are you getting on with "How to find Hong Kong's History"? If you go to David's link for the Carl Smith cards and enter "Barker" in the "Key word" window, you will eventually come to William Barker. Have a look at card no. 00080087 to see if this is your William Barker.  The entries start at 1883, so there must be more than one William Barker. Yours is probably the 1908 William Barker & Co. electrical & mechanical engineers & contractors. If you can use the "Old Newspapers" link and put in the date, you will find the Hong Kong Daily Press link for that day and should be able to find the entry cited by Smith. Finding arrivals in the newspapers is a nightmare, although "Arrivals" are given in the newspapers. If you apply for William Barker's death certificate (info on this site) it would give you the address where he died, so possibly his home. You say he was from London - so not the William Barker from Liverpool who took over the Grand Hotel. Good luck! Come back to the site if you have difficulties.

Thank you, Jill - very helpful.  I am slowly going through the list and I think probably William Barker, Electrical contractor is definitely ours.  I know his daughter Winifred followed him to Hong Kong and it seems probable that it is her death recorded.  Interesting to see it was her "step mother" who erected the memorial.  I will look into whether William remarried and I will certainly send for his death certificate.  It is fascinating to wallow through these old records and hopefully will strike lucky !  I know he was from London but settled in Australia for a time then went to Hong Kong following a "family disagreement". I do appreciate your help, thank you.