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Kwan Family History

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Posted by J.J.Kwan on May 01, 2002 at 12:59:34:

Hi there, my name is Ju-Jien, KWAN and I live in Florence, Alabama. I’m trying to find out a little more about my family history or anyone who has heard similar stories from their parents/grandparents. Please email me at My grandfather moved from the Nam Hoi district in Guangdong to Malaysia in the 1930’s. Had 3 sons and a daughter. I moved to the states in ’97.
Here is what I know about my family history. My ancestors were originally soldiers on the great wall in northern china. They fled south with the emperor when the Song dynasty fell to the Mongols. One of the 2 brothers died with the emperor when the latter lost the royal seal and committed suicide on hainan island and the surviving brother took his clothes and buried him in a grave in the Nam Hoi district in Guangdong. He was the only Kwan there, he married and settled down and over time the entire village was populated by Kwans. Mt late grandmother told me that our family burns small “Ghost Money” (money offerings burnt to the dead) and not the big ones because the big ones were invented by the Mongols, the reason for this is that Mongols killed the brother of our ancestor. In Malaysia, or in most overseas Chinese communities for that matter, you identify yourself by your ancestral village. All of the Kwans I have met (not many as Kwan is a pretty rare surname) were Cantonese and had the same ancestral village as I did, which is “GuangDong NamHoi”/”GuangDong NanHai”. So I guess we were related in some way. My grandfather told me that many of his relatives went to “Kum San” (San Francisco) during the 1800’s and worked on the railroads and the gold mines and stuff like that. Many of them took black wives and their wives went back to china with them when the Chinese were persecuted and kicked out of California.
If anyone knows or has heard about what I have just written please contact me at

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