Let’s return to the Soo Hoo family for a bit! So far in this blog I have profiled Nam Art Soo Hoo, the patriarch of the Soo Hoo clan, his oldest son Peter, his oldest daughter Clara, his son Andrew, his daughter Lily, and his two children who died young, Pauline and Lincoln. Impressively, this represents only half of his 11 children, with 5 more children with distinguished careers left to profile. So today we will continue with the family by profiling Miss Antoinette Yut Yan Soo Hoo (司徒月蘭, pinyin Sītú Yuèlán, Cantonese Jyutping Si1tou4 Jyut6laan4).
Sometimes I choose a student to profile simply because I run across some really interesting information about them while I am elbow-deep in a box of old records. This is the case for C. H. Chu, whose alumni card I found a few weeks ago in the Columbia University Archives. He’s not connected to any other student I’ve profiled to this date, but he sure has a heck of a story.
Returning tangentially to the Soo Hoo family, I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to Lily Soo Hoo’s husband: William Z. L. Sung (沈嗣良, pinyin Shěn SìLiáng, Cantonese Jyutping Cam4/Sam2 Zi6Loeng4), a Chinese student who studied at Oberlin and Columbia and worked for St. John’s University in Shanghai. Continue reading “William Zu Liang Sung (沈嗣良)”
Our next Soo-Hoo child is Lily Amabelle Yet Oi Soo-Hoo (Chinese name 司徒月愛, pinyin Sītú Yuèài, Jyutping Cantonese Si1tou4 Jyut6oi3), born on 16 April 1899 in San Francisco (Oberlin Alumni Record Card). She was the sixth-oldest child and fourth-oldest daughter of Nam Art Soo-Hoo and his wife Quan, and the second to be born in California, after her older brother Andrew. We have the most information about her for two reasons – she went to Oberlin, and they keep very good records, and she also wrote the memoirs which I have been using as a source for my other posts on members of the Soo-Hoo family.
While most of Nam Art Soo-Hoo‘s 11 children were wildly successful and prosperous in their adult lives, there were a few exceptions. I’ve posted about Andrew Soo-Hoo, the son who accidentally killed his father during an argument/fight, and never seemed to recover from that horror. But two others of the Soo-hoo family never realized their full adult potential: second-oldest daughter Pauline Soo-Hoo and third-oldest son Lincoln Soo-Hoo, because they both died before their respective 30th birthdays.
I’ve made an executive decision on the next Soo-hoo child and decided to treat Clara as the oldest daughter. This is because Clara’s younger sister does so in her memoirs, calling her “1st daughter” (Sung, 291, cited in Chinese Historical Society). However, Western records suggest her sister Paulina may have been older than her, and there are even references to her sister Nettie being born only three months after her. The explanation for this discrepancy is most likely incomplete records – Paulina’s birth year has been guessed at from her school records – as well as variations in translation from Asian systems of measuring age to Western ones. Since I don’t know the original Asian-system birth dates for anyone, I’ll take a family memoir as being the truth on birth order: first Clara, then Paulina, then Nettie, and so will post about Clara first, followed by Nettie (Paulina I will save for later).
Back to our regularly-scheduled birth order for the Soo Hoo family. So, Nam Art Soo Hoo had 11 children, and the oldest child and son was Peter Soo Hoo. Annoyingly, there is another Peter Soo Hoo who was roughly a contemporary to our current subject, and they both even had the same career! This made the research for this post even harder than it really needed to be.
Happy fall semester, everyone! Back to school and back to studying. And that means back to my profiles of the Soo Hoo family! I last left you with the father, Nam Art Soo Hoo, who was not a student himself, but the father of several students in the American university system. Usually when I profile several family members, I start with the parents and then proceed with the children in birth order. It is usually easiest and also gives the sense of progressing in linear order when you put the posts together. But for the Soo Hoo family, instead of proceeding on to oldest son Peter Soo Hoo from his father Nam Art Soo Hoo, I’m going to jump to the fifth child and second son of Nam Art, Andrew Soo Hoo, because he is an integral part of the end of his father’s story.
It’s been a bit since the Chan family, so I thought I’d tackle another large family of Chinese Christians. Again, like in my post about the Chan family, I’ll start with the patriarch, who had no university schooling in the United States. However, unlike Rev. S. K. Chan, he did feel very strongly the importance of education for both himself and his children.
So, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to poke around in the Oberlin College Archives. They keep extensive records of their alumni, and there are a whole bunch of Boxer Indemnity Scholars who once attended Oberlin. And if the Oberlin College Boxer Indemnity Scholars community can be said to have a “power couple”, Elizabeth Cornish and H. J. Fei would be it. Normally I would address a couple in the same post, as I did with Bertie Chan and G. G. Leong, but each of these students have so much information and documents to get through, I have to break them up.