A Bit of My Family Genealogy
Growing up in Taiwan for the first 10 years of my life, I knew very little about my ancestors. My mother would take us to visit some of her relatives that lived far from Taipei, usually on holidays and special occasions. The only thing I remembered was that they speak with funny accents and they have many servants and the house was a mansion in the countryside. They also have an automobile with a chauffer. I knew they were wealthy but didn’t understand how or why.
- Dec. 25, 2017
It was many years later that I learned who the man of the house was. He was an important General in the KMT regime of President Chiang Kai Chiek. As it turned out, my mother’s aunt was married to Yu Hanmou. She was his first of three wives. In those days, in China, a person of wealth and position are allowed to have multiply wives. The first wife is the most important and the head of the family. She was the matriarch. She always treated my mother and my brother and I well. On trips overseas, she would bring back giant blocks of chocolate for us to eat. She also was the source of funds that my father borrowed to come to the US to study his masters. She was our benefactor. My father studied and worked hard and paid back every dollar but it was her generosity that allowed this to happen. I only learned about General Yu’s accomplishments recently. He passed away in 1981 at age 85. Here is the wikipedia entry on his life. He was originally from Guangdong province and spoke Cantonese. That was the funny accent I heard.
An Encounter with Ernest Hemingway
Another Famous Relative
As it turned out, he was not the only famous general on my mother’s side of the family. Another uncle of my mom, was also a high ranking general. His name is Shangguan Yunxiang. He was a Kuomintang general from Shanghe County, Shandong. He passed away in 1969 at the age of 74. His accomplishments are documented on wikipedia.
© 2017 Jack Lee