|Eng Suey Sun Association
NG Family Benevolent Assoc. of Boston
|22 Tyler St.
Boston, MA 02111
|Eng Family Benevolent Association
|245 W Alexander St.
Chicago, IL 60616
Eng Family Benevolent Association
Cottage Home St
Los Angeles, CA 90012-1415
|Eng Suey Sun Association
|5 Mott St
New York, NY 10013-5024
|Eng Family Benevolent Assn||53
San Francisco, CA 94108-2118
|Eng Suey Sun Association
Eng Suey Sun Plaza
S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98104-3024
Eng Suey Sun Asso
|14 D'Arcy St.
Toronto, Ontario M5T 1J7
Ing Suey Sun Tong Association
|389 1/2 E. Hastings St.
Vancouver BC V6A 1P3
THE HISTORY OF THE NG (WU) CLAN
According to Cantonese Tradition
Unless otherwise noted, the sources for this history are General Genealogy of the Ng Clan of Ling Nahm 《嶺南伍氏總譜》, compiled in 1933, and Genealogy of the Dau Doong Dai Hong Ng Family 《斗洞大巷伍氏宗譜》, date unknown but still in use today. Transliterations appear first in Cantonese, then in Mandarin (Pinyin). When referring to their male ancestors, the Chinese attach to their names the word goong 公, a term of respect. The writer, Gregory Kimm 伍洞良, a twenty-sixth generation descendant of the Hon Yuen house 翰苑房 , welcomes questions and comments at email@example.com.
The Ng clan traces its origins back to the mythical Emperor Sun Noong/Shennong 神 農 (reigned 2838-2698 B.C.), the inventor of agriculture. His son, Wing Goong/Yong Gong 永公, received a fief called Hoh Loong/Helong 河隴 and the title of Marquis of Yoong/Yong 雍侯. His eighth generation descendant, Hahk Goong/Ke Gong 克公, moved to a place named On Ding/Anding 安定. In order to defend the Yeung Gee/Yangzi or Yangtze 楊子 and Wai/Huai 淮 Rivers, Emperor Soon/Shun 舜 (r. 2255-2205 B.C.) transferred Hahk Goong's descendant, Siu Goong/Shao Gong 紹公 to Jiu/Jiao 椒 and gave him the title of Marquis of Jiu 椒侯. The clan lived in Jiu throughout the Ha/Xia 夏, Seung/Shang 商, and Jau/Zhou 周 Dynasties. During the latter dynasty, Jiu was located in the southern portion of the country, known as Nahm Fook/Nanfu 南服. Sometime after 771 B.C., when "the royal chariot tracks turned eastward" and the Western Jau Dynasty became the Eastern Jau Dynasty, the state of Jiu became part of the larger and more powerful state of Choh/Chu 楚. At this time the Marquis of Jiu was demoted to a commoner.
The Earliest Known Ancestors and the Origin of the Ng Surname
In the seventh century B.C. Jiu Chahm/Jiao Can 椒參 served as a senior official or dai foo/dafu 大夫 for the state of Choh (located in what is now south central China). He used as his surname the name of his native place. Either he or his son, Jiu Gui/Jiao J:u 椒舉, who also was a senior official for Choh, received a fief called Ng/Wu 伍 as a reward for meritorious service. Jiu Gui adopted the name Ng Gui and from this time on, the Ng surname came into regular use.
The Story of Ng Gee Sui
Ng Gee Sui/Wu Zixu 伍子胥, whose personal name was Ng Yuen/Wu Yuan 伍員, is the most famous ancestor of the Ng clan. All branches claim him as one of their "first ancestors." The great historian Sima Qian 司馬遷 tells the story of Ng Gee Sui in his Historical Records (Shi Ji )《史記》, vol. 66. English translations are available. This brief account is based on the one contained in Ralph D. Sawyer's translation of Sun-tzu's The Art of War (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994), pp. 95-106. I have taken some of the details from Inspiring Deeds of Dutiful Children by Louis Fong Sui Hong (New York: Acme Press, 1965), pp. 49-54, as well as the genealogies previously mentioned.
Ng Gee Sui (d. 484 B.C.) lived during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, when the country was divided into many feudal states. His father, Ng Che/Wu She 伍奢 (d. 522. B.C.), the son (or possibly the grandson) of Ng Gui (see above), served as the tutor to Prince Gin/Jian 建, the eldest son and heir apparent of King Ping 平王 of Choh. However, King Ping showed favoritism towards his younger son. After hearing false reports that Prince Gin was going to mount a rebellion, the king imprisoned Ng Che. Fearing trouble from Ng Che's sons, Ng Seung/Wu Shang 伍尚 and Ng Yuen, the king forced Ng Che to send them a letter promising his release upon their arrival. Both brothers realized that the king was probably setting a trap but Ng Seung, wishing to obey his father's summons nonetheless, went as directed while Ng Yuen chose to flee. The king then ordered the execution of Ng Che and Ng Seung.
Ng Yuen fled first to Soong/Song 宋, then to Jeng/Zheng 鄭, and finally to Ng/Wu 吳 (present-day Gong So/Jiangsu 江蘇 Province). He experienced such fear and anxiety that at one point his hair turned white. In Ng he became a beggar on the street. Completely alone, he played his flute and sang the sad story of his father and brother.
It was not long before Ng Yuen's identity was discovered. He found favor with the king of Ng and remained there. While Ng Yuen was living in exile in Ng, King Ping of Choh died (516 B.C.) Ng Yuen wept bitterly at this news, for he could no longer avenge with his own hands the deaths of his family members.
The next king of Ng, Hup Lui/Hel? 闔廬, appointed Ng Yuen hahng yun/xingren 行人 (official in charge of traveling envoys). Years later, he enlisted Ng Yuen's aid in attacking Choh. At this time Ng Yuen worked closely with the famous military strategist Suen Mo/Sun Wu 孫武, the author of The Art of War. After entering the capital of Choh and defeating the enemy, Ng Yuen ordered the tomb of King Ping opened. He then proceeded to take a whip and flail the king's corpse with 300 strokes.
Many more years of warfare passed, during which Ng Yuen gave wise but unheeded advice to a new king of Ng. This king, believing a minister's slanderous accusations against against Ng Yuen, presented him with a sword with which to commit suicide. Before he killed himself, Ng Yuen asked that his eyes be plucked out and placed above Ng's eastern gate so that he might see the state invaded by its enemies. Insulted, the king of Ng threw Ng Yuen's body into the Yangtze River. But the people of Ng felt compassion for Ng Yuen and erected a shrine to him on a mountain (Ng Sahn/Wushan 吳山) located above the river (and now in Hong Jau/Hangzhou 杭州 ). From this time on, this mountain was known as Sui Sahn/Xushan 胥山 (Mount Sui). [This is the origin of the name used for any branch of the Ng Family Association, i.e., Eng Suey Sun Association 伍胥山公所.]
In the Tong/Tang 唐 Dynasty, Ng Gee Sui received the title of Ying Lit Wong/Yingliewang 英烈王 (Heroic and Upright King).
The Ng Families of Toishan and Their Founding Ancestors
Most of the transliterations below are in Cantonese only. Some of the information about Ng Mung comes from Genealogy of the Nine Lineages of the Ng Clan 《伍氏九族家譜》, written in 1840 by Ng Mun Juk 伍民則.
Today, most members of the Ng clan live in China's Gwong Doong (Guangdong) Province 廣東省. Because of extensive immigration by the Cantonese people, however, many clan members also live outside China, in places such as the United States.
The Ng clan is divided into several major houses or fong 房, each with its own founding ancestor. Two of those houses, the Look Wai 綠圍, also known as the Chueh Gwok 柱國, and the Hon Yuen 翰苑, originated in what is now Hoi Foong (Kaifeng), Hoh Nahm (Henan) Province 河南開封 and eventually settled in Dau Doong[Au Ung,Tautung], northern Toishan County, Guangdong 台山縣斗洞鄉(around and south of Gungyik [Gongyi, Kung-i-fou, Goong Yik] 公 益).
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