Frederick Stanley MCCABE [1895-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Frederick Stanley MCCABE [1895-????]

Frederick Stanley
c.1895-04-01 (Day is approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Hong Kong
Birthplace (country): 

I'm trying to find out more information about my grandfather, who was a British man born in Hong Kong in the late 19th Century. Information is scarce though. I have come to Hong Kong to research first hand, but only have a few days in which to do so. Does anyone have suggestions of where I should be looking? All I have are his name and birthday. I think I have his father's name, and may have found a reference to his mother in the 1895 women's list on this site, but it could just be someone with the same name. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I have limited time left in Hong Kong. Thank you. Paul.


What was his name?

His name was Frederick Stanley McCabe, born April 1895. Due to custom in the family, I believe his father's name was Stanley McCabe. I have found reference to a Mrs. E. Roseneath McCabe in the 1895 women's list on this site, possibly a relation but there is no way to tell.

I have been told that he was a Piano Tuner by trade, but I also know that he had left Hong Kong by at least the start of WWI.

I thought I might try the British Consulate, and see if they have any old records. Also the Hong Kong Heritage Centre might turn up something, but I have no idea where in there I would be able to look there, as I have such a small amount of information to go on.

The British Consulate won't be of any use, I'm sure. They're unhelpful even for the most basic consular services. Probably blank faces at the Heritage Centre, too, I would expect.

Go here first and type in the name McCabe. You'll see a few results. if any of them seem of interest, you can get full details at 1/F, the Public Records Office in Kwun Tong. If you only had time for one visit, I would say make it there.

Edward McCabe appears as a piano tuner on the 1895 Jury List, here: 

Thank you very much, Adam! I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to help. If I find out anything useful then I will try to let you know.


Are you already in town? 

If he was baptised Anglican, go to St. John's Cathedral.   They have a small library and there may be something there.

From the Gwulo transcribed jury listing we have

1894 -
McCabe, Edward   
Pianoforte Tuner
W. Robinson & Co.           
Belilios Terrace (an upmarket address)

the couple then moved to Kowloon - after the baby was born?

1895  -
McCabe, Mrs. E.         
residence was Roseneath (in Kowloon)        

and the next year Mr. McCabe was promoted to manager

1896 -
McCabe, Edward    
W. Robinson & Co                      
(living in) Kowloon



The 1894 Chronicle and Directory

His co-workers at W. Robinson & Co. were

Walter G. Robinson
E. McCabe
R. Isbell
A. Hyndman

what are the odds that we would have people searching for Hyndman and McCabe at the same time ?

There's no mention of him in the lists for 1897, 1898, or 1899, so I wonder if he moved away from Hong Kong? Did Robinsons have branches in Shanghai, say?

Regards, David

PS If you'd like to help get the 1900 list online, it only takes around 30 minutes - instructions here.

Thank you very much, that is some good information to go on. I will see if I can have a go at the 1900 list for you as soon as I get the chance, as I'm only in Hong Kong for a brief period it may have to wait a few days.

I did manage to contact the Public Records Office, who have turned up what appear to be some Carl Smith cards(?) which mention McCabe's involved in marriages at the time. I'm going to try and take a look at these first hand tomorrow, fingers crossed they refer to my family. They seem to relate to what may be my great grandparents, and suggests that they are both from Liverpool. Thanks again, David, for pointing me in this direction.

Also, David, thanks for the idea of looking into other Robinsons. I'll have to look into it. It's possible I will have the chance to visit mainland China in the next few months, so if the trail leads me in that direction I may get even more information.

I am in town, I walked past St. John's today and wondered about if they might keep records of baptisms and the like. I'll make a point of visiting it tomorrow. My father mentioned a church at the base of Victoria, but not much about it's relation to his father.

I also visited the Immigration Department today, to start a search for a birth certificate. It'll take a few weeks, but if I'm lucky I will have a friend still in Hong Kong at the time to retrieve any results. However, I have been warned that many of the documents from that era were destroyed when the Japanese were attacking Hong Kong during WWII. 

Finally, I saw that '1946' post, yes, it is odd! If the Hyndman doing the searching is in Hong Kong at the moment I'd be glad to meet for a chat. I shall be around until Monday. For that matter, if anyone on here would like to meet for a chat or a drink then please post here and we can organise something. Thank you all again for the marvellous effort!


Hi Paul:

I am in the south east of England.  Wish I could take you up on a chat.

Good luck with your search.



I'll be in Tsim Sha Tsui around 4-6 this afternoon, and could meet up then if you'd like to say hello. My mobile # is 9401-5251.

Glad to see you're making progress on tracking down your family history,


PS Credit goes to Adam, not me, for the introduction to the PRO

David, I'm sorry, I didn't see your message, otherwise I could have met up. I'll be about tomorrow, but I'm not sure if or when I'll be able to check the internet again, and I don't have a mobile that works in Hong Kong. I'll check this again tomorrow morning, if you still want to meet I'll get to a pay phone and give you a bell to sort out a time and place.

As far as further progress goes, I have managed to get some good material from the PRO (thanks for pointing out that it was Adam, and thanks Adam!), including a snipit from the China Mail on Saturday 13th April 1895 which records my grandfathers birth 'at 7B Caine Road' on the 12th April. I don't know if this was a residence or a hospital / doctors surgery at the time. I may visit tomorrow just to take a look at what is there now.

Also, I checked out the original news papers which the Carl Smith cards that the PRO found refer to. It's the first time I have done this kind of research, and physically looking at 115 year old news papers and microfilm was quite an experience for me. I happened to notice in the 1894 Hong Kong Daily Press that there were adverts for 'W. Robinson & Co.', the company my great grandfather worked for. It described their shop/office as being 'under Hong Kong Hotel'. From what I can tell, the hotel was where 'The Landmark' shopping centre is today, so I'll probably head over there tomorrow to check out the area. Though that is 'central', and has been re-developed a huge amount in the last 115 years, so I'm not really sure what I expect to see there.

I wanted to repeat my thanks to you all for the help with this. It really has been much appreciated.

No problem. And I see that our anti-spam software hid my phone number anyway!! Unfortunately I won't have time to meet tomorrow, but I hope you'll come back to this site from time to time and let us know what new things you've found.

As you guessed, the old Hong Kong Hotel is long gone, but here's a view of what it looked like in your great-grandfather's day.

Regards, David

Hello Paul, my name is Susan and I am intrigued by the information I have stumbled upon regarding the McCabe family, it is probably a long shot but I wonder if your grandfather Frederick is the brother of my grandmother Lilian who's father was a piano tuner and spent time in Hong Kong. I have a photo of Lilian's father. Just wondered if you'd be willing to compare notes! ?