Husband: Albert Ernest Mong
Born: 02 MAY 1890 in Tuapeka Flat, Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand
Died: 10 OCT 1966 in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Father: Chau Sam Yeck Mong
Mother: Mary Ann Nesbitt



Married Beanie?
Monday 11/13/2006 10:10:23pm
Name: Trevor Agnew
Homepage Title:
Homepage URL:
Referred By: Search Engine
Location: Google NZ
Comments: Dear Gary, I've been enjoying your genealogy site. I've been one of several working on a Sew Hoy family tree (on I was trying to find a death date for Louisa Joe Sew Hoy (nee Mong). No luck, I'm afraid.
However, I did find a useless fragment of information for you. Her brother Albert E. Mong was married to Robina Kerr LOW (aged 28) in St James Presbyterian Church, South Dunedin. [Presbyterian Church archives: St James Parish, South Dunedin 1879-1920]
Wedding was on14 may 1919:
"Albert Ernest MONG (29) married Robina Kerr LOW (28 y)."
And the tiny fragment?
His second name was Ernest.

Trevor Agnew
30 Grassmere St
Christchurch 8052

St James Parish (South Dunedin) Marriages 1879 to 1920

Full Name of Individual Married / Age / Name of Spouse / Date of Marriage / Parish Code & Marriage Register Number or location of registers

MONG Albert Ernest / 29y / LOW / 14 May 1919 / 19/7/15

Register of Otago & Southland
Marriages 1848 to 1920

This register includes all known Presbyterian Marriages for the southern New Zealand provinces of Otago & Southland from 1848 to 1920 but excluding First Church Invercargill which are indexed in a non-standard computer database.

The original version of this register (on hard copy and fiche) compiled by Eleanor Leckie and Janice Poskitt in 1990 has 39,700 entries with over 12,000 entries having been subsequently indexed to date. As entries are still to be added to this database please check back from time to time. While we hold computer databases of many post 1920 Otago & Southland marriages, it is not our intention to place these details on our web site however we are happy to perform a search upon request.

Currently 51,635 Names on this Register (last update 30 Aug 2007)

This database is divided into Parish order and may be searched in that order but we strongly recommend using our own site search engine further down this page.

Information Recorded on the Original Certificates :

Marriage Certificates 1848 to 1880 :
As a general rule, information included on certificates to 1880 will include :

The marriage number in the Parish Register
Date and place of marriage. (As a general rule, most marriages until well into the 20th century took place at a private residence rather than in a Church).
Full name of the Groom
Full name of the Bride
Ages ("full age" was often entered to indicate that they were over 21 years of age)
Rank, occupation or profession
If a widow or widower (maiden name is sometimes mentioned including date when first spouse died)
If Banns took place prior to marriage (proclamation in Church of intention to marry) - relates to very early marriages only.
Name of officiating Minister
Names, occupations and addresses of two witnesses.
Signatures of all parties

If the marriage was later dissolved including the date.

Marriage Certificates 1880 to 1920 :
Subsequent to the passing of "The Marriage Act 1880" in September 1880, marriage certificates from this date may include the following additional information :

Birthplace of the Groom
Birthplace of the Bride
Present and usual residence of the Groom
Present and usual residence of the Bride
Full name and occupation of the Father of the Groom
Full name and maiden name of the Mother of the Groom
Full name and occupation of the Father of the Bride
Full name and maiden name of the Mother of the Bride

From: Graeme Smaill []
Sent: Monday, 20 October 2008 6:57 p.m.
To: Gary Young
Subject: RE:

Hi Gary

Thank you very much for your email in reply and my apologies also for the delay in replying - I have also been overseas.

My sisters and I are fascinated to start to uncover the information about the Chinese connection in the family and really appreciate the information that you have been able to give (as well as the fact that your genealogy material on the net was the original trigger for us finding out about this).

Unfortunately, we are in a position that there is nobody left alive who has any direct information on it. My grandfather, who was Chau Mong's second son but was only 9 when his father returned to China, died in 1966. If you would like, I can provide the names and years of births and death for him, his wife and his two children, one of whom is my mother. My mother's only brother was killed in the Second World War and my mother also died comparatively young in 1976.

There is a cousin of my mother's, on her maternal (non-Mong) side, who is still alive and who has confirmed to us that at least some members of the extended family were fully aware of the Chinese link. We are going to see if he has any further information but there will probably not be much that he can add.

At this stage, the only other thing that I have that is vaguely relevant is a large framed colour-tinted portrait photograph of what I was told was my grandfather's mother - the Mary Ann Nesbitt who married Chau Mong. I am not certain whether you have any other photographs of her but I could see if I can copy it somehow and get a copy to you.

My grandfather was in fact a grocer in St Clair in Dunedin for most or all of his adult life (after returning from the First World War with only one arm) and was, in his own way, quite a successful businessman. It seems like he was simply continuing in the same line of business that his father and mother had engaged in in the Lawrence Chinese Camp.

We are going to continue to do our own digging around for any more information and will obviously let you know if anything more comes to light and, likewise, would appreciate it if you come across anything.

Kind regards

Graeme Smaill
Tax and Commercial Lawyer
Landline: (+64 4) 494 8519
Mobile: (+64) 027 594 8519
L9, ABN AMRO House
36 Customhouse Quay
PO Box 2558, Wellington, New Zealand

From: Gary Young []
Sent: Monday, 29 September 2008 10:12 p.m.
To: Graeme Smaill
Subject: RE:
Hi Graeme

Apologies for the delay in replying, I have been overseas. Thank you for the email and yes we probably are related through the Mong family.

Your great grandfather came out from China and was a store keeper in the goldfields around Lawrence. He married a European women, Mary Ann Nesbitt. This was very unusual at the time as the two races did not mix, in fact there was a tax on Chinese entering New Zealand. Hence the reason your family would not have spoken about the Chinese connection, it was something they would not have wanted to admit to. My family was much the same and it is only in recent years that it has all come out. My eldest uncle still will not talk about his grandfather.

Unfortunately it is very difficult to get information on the Chinese side of the family, Chau Mong did return to China where he died in 1901. I have not been able to establish why he returned. My information comes mainly from family recollections. I have obtained a little bit from a series of NZ books called ?Windows on a Chinese Past?. The author is James Ng and there were 4 volumes published by Otago Heritage Books. The books are about the Cantonese gold seekers and their heirs who came to NZ.

I have some information around the family, the following are references to sections in the books:

Reference in Vol 4 'Windows On A Chinese Past', page 45
Roll p. 33, No 807
Chau Mong - Lawrence
Reference in Vol 4 'Windows On A Chinese Past', page 90/91
Chau Mong:
No. 807
Age 1896 - 48 49
Yrs from China 28
Times returned 0
Years at school 3
District P.Y. (Panyu)
Nearest Market town
Village or Town
Locality in 1896 Lawrence
Notes Left for China 8-8-1899

Quote from 'Window On A Chinese Past', Vol 2, page 284
"Teddy Mong and his parents are entered in Don, A. 'Diary', 1899-1907, items 271 and 273, 1900; and item 661d, 1905.
Chau Mong returned to China in 1899, leaving his wife to look after the store in the Lawrence Chinese Camp. Choie Kum Poy (Kum Poy Sew Hoy) was a son -in-law. Other members of the Mong family are well-established in Dunedin. C.H. Mong is commemorated in the Roll of Honour, World War II, 1939-41, in the St Clair Presbyterian Church in Dunedin.
H.N. Mong was general manager of J and T Christies' factory in Dunedin, and worked for the company for 46 years."

I also have a copy of a couple of talks given by James NG, I have attached these to my email.

If you want to see the Sew Hoy family tree go to:

This is a great web site with the family history in NZ. Louisa Mong would be the sister who married into this family, there are numerous references and some photos of her on the web site.

Graeme I hope this gives you some useful information. I may have some more which I can look up for you will send as soon as I get a chance.

I would be grateful for any information you have on the family as it is not easy to come by.

Kind regards

Gary Young

Wk 09 306 1734
Mob 0275 430 650

From: Graeme Smaill []
Sent: Friday, 19 September 2008 4:08 p.m.

Dear Gary

With apologies for writing this email to you out of the blue, my name is Graeme Smaill and I am writing to you as a result of coming across, on the internet, your family web page and in particular the genealogical section.

From what I can tell from that, we are in fact second cousins. Your grandfather, Harold Mong, was the younger brother of my grandfather, Albert Mong. In fact, I can remember meeting or seeing Harold on some isolated occasions when I was very young.

In any event, the real reason for sending this email is to ask if you could help fill in some gaps in relation to our family history, and in particular the apparent Chinese connection. As my own grandfather died many years ago and my mother (nee Mavis Mong) and her only brother also died many years ago, there is now no-one to whom my sisters or I can easily direct enquiries. However, obviously, you have spent some time and effort on genealogical tracking and may be able to help.

Despite the family name, Mong, clearly likely appearing likely to be of Asian origin, we were always told that in fact it was an old-fashioned English name, although very unusual, and that my grandfather's family were in fact English. Even though he died when I was 10 (in 1966), I can clearly remember him and also have a range of photographs of him at various ages and there is nothing in his appearance that would indicate that he was in fact half Chinese. My mother was a very fair skinned redhead and had even less suggestion that she might have Chinese blood. (I knew that one of my grandfather's sisters had married into the Sew Hoy family in Dunedin but that was, I thought, the limit of any Chinese connection.)

However, from the family tree that you have done, it seems that you have clearly got information indicating that our grandfathers' father was in fact Chau (Joseph) Mong who was born in the Panyu area in China in 1847 and died, also in China, in 1901. The limited information that I can recollect ever getting about my grandfather's family was that they lived in Lawrence and that his father had died when he was young, meaning my grandfather had to help support his mother in her widowhood. This is all consistent with my grandfather's father dying in 1901, when my grandfather would have been 11.

However, again, until this week, my sisters and I had no knowledge at all that there was in fact a Chinese limb in the family tree.

I would be very grateful if you could let me know anything more that you can about my grandfather's parents and family situation. I am not certain whether the information you have obtained has been from documentary sources or from family recollections and papers. However, anything that you could let me know would be gratefully received.

Was Chau Mong one of the wave of Chinese immigration in the 1860s because of the gold rush? Did others in the family know and talk about the Chinese background? What led to Chau Mong returning to China and dying there?

Thank you for reading this. Please let me know if it would be easier for me to give you a call at some stage to talk about this.

Kind regards
Graeme Smaill

Marriage Notes

Presbyterian archives: St James Parish, South Dunedin 1879-1920

Wife: Robina Kerr Low
Born: 19 FEB 1891 in Palmerston, Otago, New Zealand
Died: 02 FEB 1972


St James Parish (South Dunedin) Marriages 1879 to 1920

Full Name of Individual Married / Age / Name of Spouse / Date of Marriage / Parish Code & Marriage Register Number or location of registers

LOW Robina Kerr / 28y / MONG / 14 May 1919 / 19/7/15

(see details under Albert Mong notes)
<p>&nbsp;</p><p>St James Parish (South Dunedin) Marriages 1879 to 1920</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Full Name of Individual Married / Age / Name of Spouse / Date of Marriage / Parish Code & Marriage Register Number or location of registers</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>LOW Robina Kerr / 28y / MONG / 14 May 1919 / 19/7/15</p><p>&nbsp;</p>(see details under Albert Mong notes)

01 (M): Carnegie Howard Mong
Born: about 1922
Died: 01 DEC 1943
02 (F): Mavis Jean Mong
Born: 11 MAY 1923
Died: 20 SEP 1976
Spouses: Alexander Smaill
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