CHIN Pak Yick (1893 - 1958) & LEE Moon Yee (1893 - 1933) - Depression Era Struggles

CHIN Pak Yick, 1950

My grandfather CHIN Pak Yick 陳伯釴 was born in the Chazhou Liu Cun in Taishan County, Guangdong, China, 廣東省台山縣六村槎州 on June 18, 1893. He joined his father, CHIN Kee Ben 陳基彬, in the United States in 1912.

Like his father, Pak Yick was classified as a merchant under US Immigration Law and, therefore, was one of the few fortunate Chinese men who was able to establish a family in the US under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. In 1919, Pak Yick’s wife LEE Moon Yee李滿意 immigrated from China. They settled at 615 Jackson Street, Oakland, California, where their first son was born.

CHIN Pak Yick's Application to Land as minor son of Merchant, CHIN Kee Ben
October 26, 1912

Pak Yick and Moon-Yee had 7 sons and 4 daughters. Twins Harry and Hammond both died shortly after birth. On December 23, 1933, Moon Yee died unexpectedly at the age of 40.

LEE Moon Yee

In 1936, Pak Yick returned to China to find another wife to help him raise his family. He traveled with his sons Edward and William who were 10 and 5 years old, respectively. The remaining seven children, ages 8 to 17 years-old, had to fend for themselves or move into a children’s home. Morris and Henry were sent to the Chung Mei all-boys orphanage in El Cerrito.

On August 29, 1936, Pak Yick married my grandmother TSO Mee Shew who was from the Shek Doi Village in Taishan. They reunited with Pak Yick's other children in the United States. Pak Yick and Mee Shew had 2 daughters and 4 sons.

To support his large and growing family, Pak Yick worked as a grocery salesman, restaurant manager, and migrant laborer on the farms of the central valley and in the canneries of the San Francisco and Monterey Bays. Coming from a long line of scholars, Pak Yick was well-educated, and he tried to teach his children to read and write Chinese. He wrote a Chinese-English dictionary for his children, as well as, a poem made up of 1,000 unique Chinese characters without any repetition.

Pak Yick died in 1958 and is buried with Moon Yee at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA. Mee Shew and Harry, Hammond, Jimmy, Edith, and Elsie are also buried there in two separate plots.

Chin Pak Yick 陳伯釴 (June 18, 1893 - August 23, 1958)
Given Name:     Pak Yick 伯釴    pinyin: Bo Yi
Married Name:  Oon Ing 敦鼐     pinyin: Dun Nai

First Wife:  LEE Moon Yee 李滿意
      pinyin:  Li Man Yi
(April 22, 1893 – December 23, 1933)

Second Wife:  TSO Mee Shew 曹美秀
          pinyin:  Cao Mei Xiu
(November 6, 1917 – January 9, 2006)

Sons:               1. Bruce Bo Jeung
                        4. Twins Harry Bo Tai
                        5.            Hammond Bo Tong
                        7. Edward Bo King
                        8. Morris Bo Doong
                        9. Henry Bo Wing
                      11. William Bo Shang
Daughters:      12. Mabel Joong Hon
                        13. Rose Joong Sen
Daughters:      2. Edith Joong Ha
                        3. Elsie Joong Ngaw
                        6. Mary Joong Li
                      10. Helene Joong Ho
Sons:               14. Allen Bo Mein
                        15. Dennis Bo Kwong
                        16. Fred Bo Hing
                        17. Jimmy Bo Gar

He was a 2nd generation American, and a 63rd generation descendant of CHEN Shi, the founder of the Ying Chuan Chen family 頴川陳氏 .

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