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 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, and the rest of the children, ages 8 to 17 years-old, had to fend for themselves or move into a children’s home.


On August 29, 1936, Pak Yick married my grandmother TSO Mee Shew who was from from the Shek Doi Village in Taishan. They reunited with Pak Yick's other children in the United States. To support his large 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.

Chin Pak Yick 伯釴 (1893-1958)

Given Name: Pak Yick  pinyin: Bo Yi

Married Name: Oon Ing 敦鼐 pinyin: Dun Nai

(June 18, 1893 - August 23, 1958)


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

Sons:               13. Allen Bo Mein

                        15. Dennis Bo Kwong

                        16. Fred Bo Hing

                        17. Jimmy Bo Gar

Daughters:      2. Edith Joong Ha

                        3. Elsie Joong Ngaw

                        5. Mary Joong Li

                      10. Helene Joong Ho

Daughters:      12. Mabel Joong Hon

                        13. Rose Joong Sen


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

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