Mary Annie Mann was the eldest daughter of Ellen Mann and Sam Ping (Young).
Sometimes he is Sam Ping, sometimes Sam Young or was he another name?
Ellen Mann was the second youngest of the children of John Mann and Sarah Leggett. She arrived with her father on the Conway in 1862. It appears then that the family went to the Drayton area of Toowoomba, where her elder brother Samuel was an alderman and also the owner of a pub.
|Police station Drayton|
Ellen had a child in 1866, named Mary Annie Samping. Sam was Chinese.
Mary was the daughter of Ellen and Sam Young. From this point trying to determine what is Sam's real name is a guesswork nightmare.
The Chinese on the Darling Downs.
The squatters on the Darling Downs desperately needed labour to work on their properties. Because they were unable to obtain any other type of labour, Chinese were brought to the colony. This provoked considerable controversy as mentioned by Maurice French in 'A Pastoral Romance'. He cites an Englishman who informed a Brisbane paper in October 1847 that the squatters should not be allowed to foist an inferior race on the colony.
However late in 1858, despite these objections, 56 Chinese were brought in and snapped up by the squatters. They worked well as shepherds and shearers. Their numbers increased rapidly and many were paid the tiny sum of 12 pounds per year including food and lodging. When their knowledge of English improved, they realised they were being 'ripped off' and in some cases, took their employers to court. Some riots also occurred due to their unhappiness. However, Hector Holthouse in 'Up Rode The Squatter' said that the Chinese, when given a fair deal, worked well and remained an important part of the outback scene for many years.
The Chinese were staying on the Downs. By 1856 there were 227 Chinese living there. The first indication that Chinese were living in the Toowoomba area were reports that they were living in cottages on the north-eastern outskirts of Drayton. One Chinaman, Lo Kai, was sentenced to two years jail after robbing the Bank of New South Wales, Toowoomba, in the early sixties. When discharged he committed the same offence again and was given five years for his trouble!
Probably the first Chinese store in Toowoomba was conducted by .John Van who opened a butcher's shop in James Street in 1868 which he followed with a grocer shop opposite where the Federal Hotel now stands. Market gardens were springing up along the creeks in the late 1860's with one of the earliest being in the area bounded by Ruthven and Bowen streets and the East Creek. Ah Young also had a store in this block. The Groom girls (father was William Henry Groom - Toowoomba's Mayor on numerous occasions) lived nearby. They worked for the Royal Hotel and visited the garden for vegetables for the inn.
Another large garden was located on the corner of James and Kitchener streets. The Chinese used a large waterhole to water their plants. A report of the time described the appearance of the gardens. The beds were intersected by narrow channels and supplied with water raised from the swamp by an inexpensive and simple piece of machinery. The result was a never-ending supply of vegetables. The report neglected to mention that often human waste was used to fertilise the vegetables. Buckets were balanced by the use of beams across the shoulders of the person distributing the fertiliser.*
This is the very first time that I have been able to find a link between Ellen Mann and a Chinese man both in the same place at the same time.
*The fertilizer system is the same as used in the gardens in China.
There was another source of Chinese into the area. The tin mining was established in Stanthorpe, however that was not until after 1870.
- As an example of names and information from Mackay Historical Society.
WONG A PING
WONG AH PING
WONG MONG PING
WONG SHE PING
WONG SUI PING
Was Wong Ah Ping our Sam Young,? No he wasn't but this shows the difficulties.
A couple of years ago we hosted Chinese exchange teachers, and quite a few were adamant that Ping was not a surname. Could it have been something that sounded similar? Most likely.
Ellen and Sam had 5 children.
Catherine Jane Ping born 12 October 1867 in Roma she is registered as Catherine Jane Ping C2631
Samuel George Ping was born 1st May 1869 in Roma Registered as Ping C2725 Qld
Alexander Thomas Young born 22nd Feb 1871 and died 11th Dec 1871
Amelia Ellen Young born 26 March 1872 d 5 Sept 1872
By naming this son Alexander it could be in recognition of her brother Alexander, with whom she possibly lived at Drayton. They were married on 18th October 1869 in Charleville Registery office.
Sam's occupation is a cook, and Ellen is a laundress. They stated they lived in Charleville.
Annie and Frederick Boyd and John McCrea were the witnesses. Frederick Boyd was the poundkeeper at Charleville.
How Sam Ping morphed to Sam Young is not known.
The Charleville region was explored by Edmund Kennedy in 1847 and by William Landsborough in 1862, the latter's report which motivated early pastoral occupation. The Gowrie run (1863) was positioned on a natural stock route between New South Wales and Queensland, Gowrie Crossing where the route crossed the Warrego. A hotel was erected there and a town reserve of four sq miles gazetted in 1865. Three years later William Tully, government assistant surveyor, laid out the town's streets. An Irishman, Tully likely named the new town after the town of Charleville, north of Cork, Ireland.
Unfortunately all the records for Charleville were burnt in a fire in 1940s
Sometime between their marriage in 1869 and the birth of Alexander in 1871 they are in Roma
Topic: Death reported to the police, inquest held
Date: 5 June 1872
Inquest held at Roma
Copies of the Inquest which was almost 150 years ago
Ellen had been told by Sam not to ride her horse, but she did, and he threw her. She died of head injuries. At the time it was noted that Sam and the neighbours attended her, that she was not drunk, and that Sam was the publican in Roma
That is so sad. She was probably feeding the youngest child who was about 6 weeks of age.
Here Sam is left with 4 young children to look after, He would have also required a "wet" nurse.
He may have stayed in town, as the following police report shows.
Ellen was buried the next day.
|St Pauls' Church Roma|
However after battling with a very slow computer, a little bit more research revealed some interesting stories.
From a story
ROMA: ITS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
[By HOPE SPENCER]
(Submitted to the meeting of the Historical Society of Queensland, Inc., on April 22nd, 1948)
In the month of May 1946, centenary celebrations extending over one week, took place in the town of
Roma, the "Capital" of the Maranoa district. Roma is a sound, prosperous and thriving country town situated 318 miles by rail west of Brisbane, on Bungil Creek. It has an altitude of 979 feet above sea level, and a population of 3,880.
By 1863 there was a store, also a doctor, and, I should imagine, a few more customers for the three
hotels. In 1867 Gregory Street was the main business centre of Roma, and what is now known as Chinatown, at that time had more residents than the west side of the Bungil. There were a great number of Chinamen residing in Chinatown, hence its name. They were employed on the surrounding stations as shepherds, burr cutters, and at other work. There were three hotels in Chinatown,
the principal one being conducted by a man named Johnnie Thompson, a great sport who promoted
many fights (bare knuckles in those days), also foot and horse races.
Blacks were numerous, and there were often 300 to 400 in camp near the town.
It is interesting to reveal that the three first births registered in Roma, were those of people born elsewhere— two of them in England and one in Brisbane, and eight civil marriages were performed before the first marriage by a minister took place. .
And here is the proof - He was the licencee of the Bungil Creek Hotel, and another acquaintance Tim Long Sing was at the Roma Hotel.
The licences were approved in April 1870.
But Tim was apparently Tin Tong Sing. and he might have owned the Chinese Hotel, which according to reports had a notorious reputation.
In 1870 he had a few hearings in the Roma court about unpaid accounts.
From reading the reports the poor Judge must have been glad to see the end of the case!
Tin Tong Sing marries See Young Bow in 1889 and they have a son who is called William Tong Sing. He died just 10 months of age.
But there are a number of missing years in this timeline. The years between 1872 and 1884.
Who looked after the children? That is almost the million dollar question. Did Sam stay in Roma and have someone look after the children? Did he take them to Ellen's family in Drayton? Or did Sam have a large Chinese extended family circle and they helped him with the children?
All Ellen's family have been researched, as far as possible. There are no records, no indication where these children might be.
After hours and hours of research, including trying to unravel the Chinese connections, it was apparent that there had to be something that linked the family to an area where she would meet her husband.
All guesswork and supposition, but after so many years of never being able to put two and two together, it was time to draw a line under the missing parts of the story.
But like all good family history puzzles, out of left field something pops up. And it did literally, a little hint on my Ancestry tree, and only noticed because it was open at Catherine's page.
What interesting information this then told.
A death for a lady called Jane Clara Ping - mother Mary Mann and father Samuel Henry Ping.
|Name:||Jane Clare Sams|
|Death Date:||09 Apr 1914|
|Father's name:||Samuel Henry Ping|
|Mother's name:||Ellen Mann|
Lots of questions, and hours and hours yet again trying to resolve this information.
How did Catherine Jane Ping/Young become Jane Clare Ping?
How did Sam Ping - alias Sam Young become Samuel Henry Ping?
Back to the drawing boards. The Qld Birth Deaths and Marriages shows the birth of Catherine Jane Ping and the reference is C2631 BMD. This reference though shows that the father was Sam Ping a cook and he was 28 years born in China and that her mother was Ellen Mann and that Sam and Ellen had been married 15th January 1864 in Toowoomba. It also stated they had a daughter Mary Ann who was 20 months of age.
Surely there weren't two Ellen Manns marrying the same named person and having the same named children. Again a search of the Queensland BMD did not find any marriage at all in 1864.
Then in 16th May 1869, Samuel George is born again Sam Ping and Ellen were married in 1864, and Sam is a cook and Ellen came from Armagh. The reference is C2725
There has to be a logical explanation for the change but none that I have managed to work out as yet.
The youngest two children are recorded as surname Young,
Catherine Jane married James Sam in 1880 hen she was just 13 years of age.
|1868||C2631||Catherine Jane||Ping||Sam||Ellen Mann|
|1907||C3347||James||Sam||Ah Sam||Hannah Mann|
Spare a thought for this poor girl. Married at 13, to a man who is 14 years older than she is.
Then she proceeds to have 13 children and dies aged 46 in 1914, in Rockhampton.
The children were:
Mary Ellen Sams b 1882 d 1883
Rose Elizabeth Sams b 1883 d 1937 m James Alexander Lowrey 1912 Mt Morgan
Mary Agnes Sams b 1885 d 1919 m William Davis 1915 Barcaldine
Minnie May Sams b 1887 d 1969 m Eligh Henry Manuel 1906 Charters Towers
William George Joseph b 1888 d 1930 m Mary Isabel Malone Charleville
Florence Violet Sams b 1890 d 1931 m Oliver James Benning Rockhampton
James Leonard Sams b 1891 m Mary Dorcas Chandler 1920 Brisbane WW1
Annie Josephine Sams b 1893 d 1933 m Andrew Cleins m Patrick Joseph Code
Ernest Sam b 1895 d 1895
Ivy Pearl Sams b 1898 d 1916
Edmund Victor Sams b 1900 d 1920
Lillian Beatrice Sams b 1902 m William Davis 1921
Herbert Gordon Sams b 1904 aft 1980
Not one John or Samuel amongst the names! Nor was there any Jane.
With lots of dead ends, and not much luck, research was then carried out on Samuel Henry Ping.
Eventually by way of the marriage record it turns out he was a widowed butcher from Stanthorpe and they married in the St Stephen's Roman Catholic Church in Brisbane in 1874.
Our Sam Young was not Roman Catholic, although Jane then said she was.
When she died did someone just connect her with Samuel Henry Ping? rather than Sam Young?
The answer lies in the records at the Queensland Births Deaths and Marriages. When Catherine married, no father's name was recorded, only the mothers. But someone has written on the record in the outside, that the parents names were Samuel Henry Ping and Mary Mann, without checking.
It would seem this has been done in order to present the file for digitisation.
James Sam was Jimmy Sam, a bachelor from Canton and a shearer. He was born in 1853 and his father was a farmer. His usual place of residence was Roma. Catherine (Jane) said that she was born in Roma and that she was a spinster and that she lived in Brisbane. However she could not write. She did say her mother was a cook, no father mentioned, so she had quite a few correct facts. She was of course only 13 but said she was 15 years.
They were married in the Banana Shire Registrar Office. The witnesses Ah Sue and Annie Mongie
Birth Date: 24 Dec 1882
Name: Mary Ellen Sam
Father's name: James Sam
Mother's name: Jane Clare Ping
Birth Place: Queensland
Registration Year: 1883
Registration Place: Queensland
Page Number: 13085
Name: Nary Ellen Sam
Death Date: 23 Jan 1883
Death Place: Queensland
Father's name: James Sam
Mother's name: Jane Clare Ping
Registration Year: 1883
Registration Place: Queensland
Registration Number: 000758
|Name:||Mary Agnes Ah Sam|
|Birth Date:||08 Jun 1885|
|Father's name:||James Ah Sam|
|Mother's name:||Jane Clare Ping|
|Name:||Mary Agnes Davis|
|Death Date:||06 Jul 1919|
|Father's name:||James Sams|
|Mother's name:||Jane Clare Ping|
Name: Mary Agnes Sams
All this makes for extremely difficult research.
Rose Elizabeth Sam married James Alexander Lowrey and they lived in Mount Morgan. He was a clerk employed by the Hospital Board and was a promising rugby union player and his family lived at Mt Morgan. He was charged with embezzling money from the Board, but appears not to have been charged. He and Rose separated at that time, and he later was living in Mackay were he died in 1932.
Their daughter Irene married in 1933, and thanks to a photo on Ancestry, this is our 2nd cousin. She married at 18, and is rather a beautiful young lady.
Mary Agnes Sams was living in Oak Street Barcaldine in 1908. This is a little interesting because her grandfather also was in Oak Street in the same time frame. She married in 1915 William Davis. She died in 1919 and he then married her sister.
Minnie married Eligh Manuel and they had 4 children and lived at Charters Towers. She died aged 82.
William George was a shearer. He lived on different stations, and in 1928 he married a widow Mary Malone. He is buried at the North Rockhampton cemetery has William Sams d 25/11/1930, age 39, in RC section.
Other details from Trove indicate that he was a gardener, from Thangool, half-Chinese, in court for sly grog selling in 1928, died in his car on the Emu Park road after falling asleep at the wheel, age 40, died intestate.
Florence Violet Sam married Oliver James Benning. Oliver was a labourer and he must have travelled around as he was not listed on any census records. They had a daughter Juanita. Both Florence and Oliver died in 1931.
James Leonard Sams. He joined in World War 1 when he was 23.
He returned to Australia in 1919 and he married Mary Dorcas Chandler, in 1920 and they had a son
James Charles Sam. They lived at Sherwood. James was born in Bogantungan in 1891
His story is quite interesting.
However before he left Australia he spent a bit of time at Salisbury, as they did, and he contracted a disease. He spent a lot of time in hospital in England. There he must have met one Edith Port and promised to marry her, but he never got back to her, nor did he write to her, and after several letters between her mother and the Army, this is the final letter. Perhaps Edith also had another mouth to feed, but just shows the other side of the lives of the soldiers.
Anne Josephine Sam married Andrew Cleins and then he died, and she remarried in 1917 Patrick Joseph Code. She also was born in Bogantungan in 1893. She and Patrick had 4 children and the family lived in Longreach
Lillian Beatrice Sams married her sister's husband William Davis in 1921, when she was 19. They lived in Aramac and then Rockhampton. They had at least one son.
Herbert Gordon Sams was born 4th December 1904. He did not marry and lived in many places in Queensland. He worked as a shearer and a cook.
Mary and Sam's youngest son was Samuel George Ping. He was known as George. Not one thing can be found relative to his name.
Who raised the children?
It is becoming apparent that Sam left the children in Roma and then he left the area.
Jane may have met Jimmy Sam when he was in Roma.
Mary met Montagu when she was in Roma.
Did George also meet someone while he was living in Roma?
Did the children go to school? Perhaps not. Why did Jane leave and marry when she was 13?
Was Sam the Chinaman growing vegetables the same Sam?
The story of Sam's life continues.