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Posted by Nancy on January 24, 2002 at 06:22:01:

In Reply to: The Chinese surnames Poonaffat and Ahong (Trinidad and Tobago) posted by T on January 23, 2002 at 18:24:41:

The following comes from the “Chinese in Guyana: Their Roots” web site’s FAQ section:

G2. There seems to be a lot of surnames with "-A-" in the middle. Why is that?
In Chinese the prefix "A-" is added to a person's given name as a familiar way of addressing a person. In English this practice is comparable to adding the suffix "-y" or "-ie" to a name thereby producing Annie, Bobby, daddy, mommie, etc. In most cases the familiar term of address then became part of the surname so that Fung Gong-fat became known as Fung-A-Fat. In some other cases the "A" is an authentic Chinese name (meaning second place, runner up, junior) which became a part of the hyphenated family surname.

G3. It seems that quite a few of the names are for Trinidadians. Any comments?
After completing their term of indenture the Chinese labourers were permitted to stay in the colony or could apply for passports to emigrate elsewhere. From the 1870s onward a significant number chose to go to Trinidad where the prospects for advancement appeared to be better.

I couldn’t find anything specifically about the two surnames you are looking for, but I didn’t go through every web page. I hope it is of interest.

They have names of ships that brought Chinese to work as indentured servants in Guyana with names of passengers.


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