Damper in a Wok : A Mixed-up Australian Family Tree

george kwong.jpg

George Thomas KwongAge: 80 years19121992

Name
George Thomas Kwong
Given names
George Thomas
Surname
Kwong

George Murphy

Name
George Murphy
Given names
George
Surname
Murphy

Sing On Kwong

Name
Sing On Kwong
Given names
Sing On
Surname
Kwong
Birth 5 May 1906

Note: A 1906 date of birth is not supported by any conclusive data. George himself did not feel he was that old. The origin of this date is uncertain.
Birth 5 June 1912
Address: Allen Street South Townsville
Death of a paternal grandmotherNgor Gwei Chun
1924 (Age 11 years)
Death of a paternal grandfatherKwong Sue Duk
17 February 1929 (Age 16 years)
Note: Queensland BDM Index: 1929/C1156
Death of a maternal grandmotherElizabeth Roberts
3 January 1930 (Age 17 years) Age: 62
Burial of a maternal grandmotherElizabeth Roberts
4 January 1930 (Age 17 years)
Address: Section: Monumental Row: V1 Plot: 2051 Monumental East Side
Cemetery: Martyn Street Cemetery
Note: At Cairns Family History - check against their card catalogue doesn't show this inscription. Th…
Trip
Extended absence
from 29 May 1917 to 21 January 1930 (Age 4 years)
Death of a motherMona Annie Murphy
after 1930 (Age 17 years)

Note: Recollection from Uncle Ken: Stories recounted to him by George suggest he was taken into care by po…
Occupation
Carrier
1934 (Age 21 years)
Death of a fatherThomas ‘Tommy’ Kwong
27 June 1950 (Age 38 years) Age: 60
Address: Lister Private Hospital, Townsville
Informant: May Ah Foowife
Burial of a fatherThomas ‘Tommy’ Kwong
29 June 1950 (Age 38 years)
Cemetery: Townsville Cemetery
Note: Also notes E.H Hang Gong as witness to burial.
Death 11 July 1992 (Age 80 years)
Address: Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay
Cremation 15 July 1992 (4 days after death)
Address: Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park Military Rd, Matraville
Research task
[QSA] Inspector's letter book - Police Station Townsville
25 November 2015

by: Kerry Choy
Note: Queensland State Archive:
Research task
[ANA] Brisbane. J2773, 89/1930
19 October 2017

by: Kerry Choy
Note: Brisbane National Archive: Description suggests a passenger list. Did someone travel with George on …
Last change 22 February 201821:02:10

by: Kerry Choy
Family with parents - View this family
mother
himself
george kwong.jpgGeorge Thomas Kwong
Birth: 5 June 1912Townsville, Queensland
Death: 11 July 1992Sydney, New South Wales
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: China
himself
george kwong.jpgGeorge Thomas Kwong
Birth: 5 June 1912Townsville, Queensland
Death: 11 July 1992Sydney, New South Wales
brother
brother
Mother’s family with Edmond O'Connor - View this family
step-father
mother
Not married:
half-sister
half-sister
Edna May Murphy
Birth: 10 May 1911 32 18Townsville, Queensland
Death: 6 July 1993Townsville, Queensland

Birth
A 1906 date of birth is not supported by any conclusive data. George himself did not feel he was that old. The origin of this date is uncertain.
Trip
Mayzie travelled with George to Hong Kong in 1917. She returned in 1918.
Research task
Queensland State Archive: Item ID 315996 Previous System Location A/73362; RSI13213/1/1 Parent Item This item does not have a parent item. Transfer ID 1096 Record Type Letterbook - police Item Format Volumes Description Inspector's letter book - Police Station, Townsville Departmental Numbers Preferred Citation Queensland State Archives Item ID315996, Letterbook - police Start Date 14/9/1913 End Date 4/6/1914
Research task
Brisbane National Archive: Description suggests a passenger list. Did someone travel with George on this trip? Certificate for exemption from dictation test list - Kwong George Murphy, Wong See, Jan Some, Sam Lee, Willie Jan Kum, Wee Hang, See Hing, Jotare Nakanishi, Masagoro Hamanishi - Passenger list 'St Albans' 21/1/30 - Whish, Thomson, Gutteridge, Dowling, Kennedy, Nuzum, Mackay Sim, Aslet, Dixon, Morey-Lawrence, Migney, Frice, Friee, Cadzow, Rie, Hervey, Fell, Nelson, Thomas, Oliver, Shin Yocklum, Lee Su, Young Yet, Choy, Young Tsuen Bun, Wong Tse Hsiang, Liang Tai Chieh, Liang Lou Tien, Liang Hou Tien, Kwong George Murphy, Hamanishi, Nakanishi
CremationT_George_Kwong.JPG
T_George_Kwong.JPG
Format: image/jpeg
Image dimensions: 1,492 × 1,304 pixels
File size: 516 KB
Type: Tombstone
Media objectgeorge kwong.jpg
george kwong.jpg
Format: image/jpeg
Image dimensions: 404 × 396 pixels
File size: 26 KB
Type: Photo
George Kwong's time in China

While we are certain that Kwong Sue Duk sent George to China for a number of years, there are only anecdotes about what he did while he was there. 

In circumstances that are not clearly documented, Kwong Sue Duk gave George to Tommy to look after. There are a few documented events which circumscribe this event.

  • The birth date on record for George Murphy is 5th June, 1912. For this date, the probable conception date was around September 1911. Note that at this time, Kwong Sue Duk and Tommy Kwong were in China.
  • Tommy was in China for education for six years from March 1907 to April 1913. 
  • Kwong Sue Duk was in China from December 1910 to November 1911.
  • Kwong Sue Duk makes another trip to China from December 1912 and returns with Tommy in April 1913. 
  • George leaves for China 29 May, 1917 and returns in January of 1930.
  • Tommy makes a trip to China from January to June in 1928.

There is a family anecdote that George's birth mother had died and the police bought the baby to Kwong Sue Duk to look after. Kwong Sue Duk "gives" the baby to Tommy to raise. When Tommy returned from China in 1913, he is aged 23. Although confirming documentation has not been found yet, it would appear that Tommy married his first wife Ko Shee (also known as Ko Loo) during his first trip. She is mentioned as being chronologically the first wife and is included in Tommy Kwong's will and probate. There are later letters from Ko Loo to George written as mother to son so it would be plausible that the 3 year old George was sent to her for care.