Charles William KEAR Amoy CHINA (General)

by jean cavanagh @, Sydney nsw Australia, Thursday, January 05, 2012, 11:10 (3180 days ago) @ toadhall22

I am the great grandaughter of Charles Kear. He came to NSW in 1852. Charles applied for naturalisatio in NSW in 1867, the paperwork confirming he was a native of Amoy, China. He could read and write (beautiful handwriting) and became a court interpreter in Mudgee NSW for chinese miners who needed representation in court. He married Jean Shergold who was born in Wiltshire, England in Mudgee 1861. Jean came to Australia on the ship Kate in 1856. Charles and Jean ran a boarding house for chinese miners and at some time I was told, ran the Mudgee Mail newspaper. My mother (aged 99) tells me that her mother in law, one of Charles's daughters, Vashti Hannah, told her that Charles could speak "chinese and scotch". Another letter says that he could speak "several languages" - which we now presume to mean several Chinese dialects.

Given that Kear families are from Forest of Dean, one presumes that Charles's father could have emigrated to China possibly around 1810 from that area and married a chinese woman.

The British were in Amoy (now Xiamen) in the 17cent. later also the French and Dutch and in 1841 the British Naval Force of 38 ships sailed into Xiamen. So one presumes that there was considerable business being done by the English during that period.

Could his father still have had contact with the Kears in England? It seems unusual that Jean Shergold left Wiltshire England to go to Mudgee. Were her family known to the Kears?

Its a puzzle that many decendants are trying to solve.

jean cavanagh
jeancav AT

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