COLUMBIA CHINESE CEMETERY RECORDS.

China Plot
1852 to 1905 Locator



Chinaman 1850



Cemetery

History - 1852 - Chinese were buried on Reservoir Hill for three years prior to any Caucasians. (Hart R. Tambs - 1991) Deeds show that after the fire of 1854, Chinatown was located on the two sides of Gold Spring Road a short distance north of Clay Street to Division Street. The China Plot is at the end of their location.
The first Chinese Burying Ground is just north of lot owned by S. G. Bailey on north side of Green Street. (Eastman 1:4:13 or 8)

Chinese Burying Ground Section I, of the Historic Columbia Cemetery, created during the gold rush era, has 473 found grave plots which includes 55 unmarked plots. The first burials at this site are known today (1991) to have been Chinese people who were buried there during the 1852-55 era. When the first Caucasians were buried in 1855 many Chinese graves were uncovered. Their remains were set aside and placed at the bottom of the new grave being excavated. As recent as 1933 Chinese graves were still being uncovered, within the southwesterly area of Section I. There are no known records of their final resting place. (Hart Ralph Tambs August 31, 1991)

The following is a chronological listing of buried Chinese in the Public cemetery:
(This record is only partial)
1857 July 15 - Three Chinamen (their remains) moved from northwest of Gold Springs Road near a claim of Cross & Co. where they were originally interred.

1857 July 24 - a China woman (remains) in her 20s (prostitute) said to have poisoned herself.(Columbia Burial Ground Register of Deaths by B. Eastman 1959)

1858 Chinese Burying Ground lot acquired by Sam Dealy. (E1:4:13 or 8)

1858 February 14 - Three Chinawomen (prostitutes) and one man shot and buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1858 May 24 - a Chinaman shot and buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. (Columbia Burial Ground Register of Deaths by B. Eastman 1959)

1858 August 7 - A Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. (Columbia Burial Ground Register of Deaths by B. Eastman 1959)

1859 May 16 - A Chinawoman (prostitute) buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Reason for death: "Childbed" (childbirth?). (Columbia Burial Ground Register of Deaths by B. Eastman 1959)

1860 February 5 - A Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Reason for death: "Cold." (Columbia Burial Ground Register of Deaths by B. Eastman 1959)

1860 May 15 - A Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Listed as a "Miner."

1860 December 28 - Patterson, Sheriff to Geo Kowgun [sold to Wm. Turner who transferred to Geo. Kowgun.] the lots on the south side of the road. Deeds show that Phoebe Williams and John Grohl were on the south side of the road.(See Mortgage 1857 March 3 - S.G. Bailey to Benj. Craft for Chinese Cemetery.)

1861 January 18 - A China woman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Listed as a "Prostitute."

1861 February 25 - A 30 year old Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Listed as a "Miner."

1861 November 11 - A Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1862 February 3 - A China woman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1862 March 3 - A Chinaman buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1864 August 1 - Chinaman Ah Sin dies of an unknown cause and is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1864 October 29 - China man dies and is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1865 February 1 - China man age 40 dies of an unknown cause and is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1865 October 24 - China man age 25 dies of an unknown cause and is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1865 December 6 - Sheriff Bourland killed a Chinaman, at Columbia, while endeavoring to make an arrest. (Source: A History of Tuolumne County, California - San Francisco: B.F. Alley, 1882)

1865 December 8 - Chinaman mentioned above is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery. Crime committed is unknown.

1866 January 30 - China man age 23 shot in a row (a verbal fight) and is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1866 December 18 - China man, Fook Zow is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1866 December 23 - China man, Ching Sow is buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery.

1875 June 25 - Chinaman, a miner, died of consumption at age 61 buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery No. 272.

1878 April 16 - Chinaman, a miner, died of consumption at age 44 buried in "China Plot" of the cemetery No. 297.

c1930s Chinese remains are sent home. The practice of secondary burial and removal meant that many former cemeteries are considered as having no Chinese buried there. This is not a valid conclusion because not all bodies were removed and returned to China; in particular, women (many of whom were prostitutes) seldom participated in the arrangements which funded the systematic removal. Others were not exhumed because they failed to pay for the service.

1963 December 13 - Ah Fah who was also known as Rose Smith died in Columbia and was buried East of Hill(Page 5, Plot 44) She was born in Jamestown, Ca. 12 September 1875 and Died in Columbia at age 88. (This was discovered by Becky Steiner - 2015)

1995 July 15 - A memorial was erected for the Chinese buried/removed in the cemetery. It states: To Honor the Chinese Pioneers
This marks the burial site of Columbia's early Chinese miners and merchants. In keeping with their traditions, the remains have been disinterred and returned to their homeland.
Dedicated by Golden Era Parlor #99 N.D.G.W. July 15, 1995

A.

Ah Ann - Born c1817 - Buried 26 April 1881 consumption. Miner. No. 337

Ah Cain - Born c1841 - Buried 24 Mar 1879 Accident in mining claim. Miner. No. 309

Ah Chong - Born c1856 - Buried 12 June 1877 Caving of a boulder in a mining claim. Miner. No. 291

Ah Chung - Born c1822 - Buried 9 April 1885 Dropsy. miner. No. 374

Ah Chy - Born in China c1823 - Buried 2 Feb 1898. miner. No. ?

Ah Cook - Born c1854 - Buried 28 Aug 1879 Fever. Prostitute. No. 315

Ah Cum - Born c1854 - Buried 7 Sept 1884 Malaria fever. miner. No. 365

Ah Fat - Born c1827 - Buried 27 May 1873 killed in a mining claim at Springfield. Miner. No. 252

Ah Fi - Born c1826 - Buried 22 Aug 1889 Malaria fever. Miner. Removed 8 Jan 1897 No. 409

Ah Fook - Born c1826 - Buried 18 May 1873 killed by knife cut in hands of a chinaman. Cook. No. 251

Ah Fook, Charley - Born in Columbia c1834 - Buried 2 Sept 1893 Dropsey. No. 452

Ah Fung - Born c1851 - Buried 1 Oct 1878 China woman (prostitute) died of consumption. No. 304

Ah Hing - Born c1819 - Buried 3 Aug 1890 Malaria. Miner. Removed. No. 430

Ah Koo - Born c1836 - Buried 8 June 1873 comsumption. Miner. No. 253

Ah Kue - Born c1828 - Buried 3 Oct 1889 Malaria fever. Miner. No. 416

Ah Lahn - Born c1832 - Buried 9 Feb 1868 suicide - hung himself at Springfield. Butcher. No. 213

Ah Ling - Born c1854 - Buried 1 Jan 1879 Consumption. Miner. No. 307

Ah Long - Born c1839 - Buried April 1897 Found dead in bed. No. ?

Ah Moher - Born c1823 - Buried 28 Aug 1889 Malaria fever. Chinawoman. No. 410

Ah Nook - Born c1858 - Buried 2 Sept 1884 Malaria fever. miner. No. 363

Ah Poo - Born c1816 - Buried 28 July 1879 found dead in a cabin. No. 312

Ah Pung - Born c1840 - Buried 10 Sept 1889 unknown. Miner. No. 412

Ah Quay - Born c1823 - Buried 22 May 1890 unknown. Miner. No. 426

Ah Quock - Born c1847 - Buried 11 July 1897 Rheumatism. No. ?

Ah Sah - Born c1832 - Buried 8 July 1890 unknown. Miner. No. 428

Ah Soo - Born c1838 - Buried 20 Dec 1873 Shot near French Bar. Miner. No. 259

Ah Sin - Born c1830 - Died 1 September 1864 unknown cause. No. ?

Ah Sing - Born c1831 - Buried 19 Feb 1891 unknown. China woman. No. 434

Ah Sun - Born c1827 - Buried 13 July 1871 cause unknown. Miner. No. 238

Ah Tuck, Charlie - Born c1828 - Buried 6 April 1880 fever. Cook. No. 323

Ah Wye - Born c1827 - Buried 15 April 1867 killed by knife cut in hands of a chinaman. Miner. No. 203

Ah Yee - Born c1808 - Buried 24 Oct. 1869 suicide - hung himself in cabin at Gold Hill. Butcher. No. 226

Ah You - Born c1831 - Buried 4 June 1872 unknown. Miner. No. 241

Ah You - Born c1844 - Buried 17 Oct 1870 Killed in mining claim near Yankee Hill. Miner. No. 232

Ah You - Born c1831 - Buried 5 Sept 1890 Malaria fever. Miner. Removed 9 Jan 1899. No. 432
Ah Young - Born c1842 - Buried 28 May 1872 consumption. Miner. No. 240

NOTE:(source of information from Craig Abbott in Australia)
"Ah" is a generic prefix to a name. Cantonese speakers like to use two words when naming anything, so rather than use a single name, they add Ah in front to make it a duplet.

If a woman's name is Lan, then she is called either Ah Lan or Lan Lan. The simple doubling of the name is also common, and is more of an affectionate term.

As for people coming to "the west" it is quite likely that Ah was then included as a persons official name by government officials.

Examples:
Sin San = Mr eg: Ho Sin San = Mr Ho
Taai Taai = Mrs eg: Ho Taai Taai = Mrs Ho
Siu Je = Miss eg: Ho Siu Je = Miss Ho
Goh Goh = Older Brother (also generic for an older guy about your age or a senior just above you in a company)
Je Je = Older Sister (pronounced like chair chair)
Sook Sook = Uncle (or family friend)


C.

Chin Yow - Born c1849 - Buried 15 Aug 1877 Poisoned herself. Prostitute. No. 293

Ching Sow - Born c1842 - Buried 23 December 1866 No. 196

Chong Sing - Born c1847 - Buried 31 Nov 1883 Accidental caving of bank in mining claim. miner. No. 356

Chung Fook - Born c1838 - Buried 13 Aug 1884 Malaria fever. miner. No. 361

Chung Lye - Born c1817 - Buried 16 Jan 1885 Drowned in the Stanislaus River. miner. No. 372

Chung Sing - Born c1819 - Buried 23 Sept 1884 consumption. miner. No. 367

Chung You Ching - Born c1831 - Buried 25 Feb 1889 unknown cause of death. Miner. Removed 8 Jan 1897No. 404

Coon Yow - Born c1839 - Buried 19 July 1878 inflamation of bowels. Miner. No. 302

Cum Sun - Born c1843 - Buried 20 Nov 1879 caving of a bank of a mining claim. Miner. No. 322

F.

Fook Zow - Born c1822 - Buried 18 December 1866 No. 195

G.

G Pung - Born c1826 - Buried 1 Nov 1889 Malaria fever. Miner. No. 417

H.

Hin Han - Born c1825 - Buried 4 Feb 1887 Consumption. Miner. No. 393


I.

In San Long - Born c1843 - Buried 11 June 1878 Child bed (complications due to birth of child). Former prostitute. No. 301

J.

Jack Tim - Born c1861 - Buried 9 Sept 1889 Dropsey. Miner. No. 411

L.

Lum Tuck - Born c1825 - Buried 17 Sept 1880 cancer. Miner. No. 330

M.

Man Yake - Born c1828 - Buried 9 May 1880 Drowned in the ditch at Philadelphia Diggins. Miner. No. 324

Mo Guy - Born c1812 - Buried 3 April 1873 Killed in mining claim near Springfield. Miner. No. 247

Mun Hing - Born c1835 - Buried 24 May 1890 unknown. Miner. No. 427

Mun Sing - Born c1834 - Buried 20 July 1867 killed by caving of boulder in mining claim. Miner. No. 200

O.

One Lan - Born c1832 - Buried 3 July 1885 Heart disease. Miner. No. 377

P.

Poon Ah Chi - Born c1821 - Buried 23 July 1889 unknown cause of death. Miner. No. 407

Pun Kins - Born c1845 - Buried 22 Oct 1881 unknown cause. miner. No. 339

Q.

Quez Chee - Born c1840 - Buried 13 Jan 1886 Suicide by hanging. Miner.No. 386

S.

Su Wo - Born c1858 - Buried 13 July 1886 Suicide by hanging. Miner. No. 390

Sum Yin - Born c1823 - Buried 25 Sept 1872 Consumption. Miner. No. 242

T.

Tee Sang Long - Born c1827 - Buried 21 Aug 1881 unknown cause. Doctor. No. 338

U.

Un-Chinawoman - Born c1853 - Buried 19 April 1885 Prostitute. No. 375

W.

Wa Sing - Born c1848 - Buried 24 July 1880 consumption. Miner. No. 328

Y.

You Chee - Born c1827 - Buried 11 Nov 1881 consumption. Miner. No. 340

Young Low - Born c1845 - Buried 1 Aug 1890 Killed at Knight's Ferry by a blast. Miner. Removed. No. 429

Young Sun - Born c1822 - Buried 26 Aug 1888 Burnt to death in his cabin on Gold Hill. Miner. No. 402



POINT of INTEREST: While burial customs were more subject to local variation than funeral rites as such, throughout China there was a preference for burial over alternative means of dealing with the corpse. For example, few Chinese opted for Buddhism's custom of cremation, despite the otherwise strong influence this religion had on Chinese ideas and practices related to life and death. Unlike Indians, for whom the body could be seen as a temporary vehicle for one's eternal spirit, Chinese typically saw the body as a valued gift from the ancestors that one should place whole under the soil near one's ancestral village.
NOTE: Most of the records came from Barbara Eastman 1959, unless noted.





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