Word and Image

Archive for July 29, 2018


2549 31 Benny Fu Ching copy

I have a double whammy. I was born here in the USA. My parents immigrated and then changed their names to English names. They picked their own names. Great! But how do you find ancestors when you don’t speak the native language (Chinese) of your forebears and they lived in a different country. I got a free crack at Ancestry.com. I put in my mom. She was one of seven children from Shanghai, China. The last three children were daughters and she was the middle daughter. Fu Ching is the aunt seen here. She was the youngest and kept her Chinese name. No matter, I know where she came from – Shanghai by way of Hong Kong. Inserting my mother’s name, I got a listing that says she arrived in San Francisco around 1947. And my dad arrived in the same port in 1948. He arrived with a woman named Fanny. Ha ha. We have an Aunt Fanny. For real. Not the woman my dad came with. Who was she? Don’t know. That’s a mystery for another story. I’ve told you I don’t know my mom’s age. She lied on my birth certificate. The eldest aunt told her to do so. And what does it matter? At this point in life the fact is a curiosity. I think everyone would like to lie about their age at some point.