My Maternal Grandmother – Alicia Ching

I started looking for signs of documentation on my mother’s, Jean Wung Chang, mother or my maternal Grandmother.  We called her Grandmother as Popo was left to my father’s mother  Chock Pang Chang.  Her name was Alicia.  My brother, Stuart, named his daughter after her.  I just remember Uncle David and Uncle Frank (and Aunty Betsy) where were Alicia’s Brothers.  Uncle David retired in Hilo raising Lichee tree’s.  We used to go to Hilo and Uncle David would take us fishing off the pier in Hilo Bay to catch Papio.  He would cast his line and sinker way out and we would either cast our poles or go with a bamboo pole and try to catch manini or the butterfly fish or crabs through their eyes.  Uncle David was a great cook.  Mom said he lived in NY awhile, a cook, and then retired to Hilo.  Uncle Frank lived in Honolulu with his wife Aunty Betsy.  Eunice, their daughter, go married to Roy.  I was their ring bearer at their wedding.  They had two children. Greg and Shelley, I believe.

Mom says that Alicia’s Father, Sang Ching, was born in Kauai.  He had brothers also that lived in Honolulu who were born in China.  Don’t know his father’s name or my Great grandfather.  This would make me 5th generation Chinese.    Alicia’s Mother and Sister died from small pox on Kauai.  After this, the widowed Sang Ching took his family to Honolulu to stay and help his brothers on his rice farm in Nuuanu.  Mom tells a story that Alicia picked Keawi pods to feed the horses.

Alicia, after finishing 9th grade, went to Normal school to become a teacher.  After graduating, she went off to the island of Hawaii to teach somewhere on the Hamakua coast.  Mom says that Aunty Alma (good family friend) was a Ching also and introduced Alicia to my mom’s father En Kong Wung.

I found a 1920 Census indicating Alicia’s family in Honolulu.  I also found records of Frank F.M. Ching indicating his father was named San Ching born around 1878 and his wife was ‘Shee Gong”.  (“Hawaii, Births and Christenings, 1852-1933,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Feb 2013), Shee Gong in entry for Frank Fo Min Ching, 27 May 1910.)

In 1920, the census read:

San Ching  42;  Albert Ching: Son,19; Alice (Alicia) Ching Daughter 17; Mable Ching Daughter 15; Frank Ching Son 10.

Uncle David was the oldest.  I have to check if Uncle David changed his name from Albert or something.

I should talk to Eunice more about this for more info on the Ching Family.



Alicia died on my birthday when I was in 8th grade.  Our family was traveling in the midwest.  We found out a week later when we were entering Mesa Verde.  Because we lived in Honolulu, we could only spend time with Grandmother during the summer.  The things I remember were the mosquitos in Hilo, rain, rain.  Fishing on the Bay.  Going to my Uncle’s ranches: Uncle Alex Wung and Uncle Leslie.  They would take us horseback riding and picking blackberries.

Grandma was hakka also.  I don’t know how the ‘Ching’ is written in Chinese.  I have one impression from her.  She came to visit us and baby sit.  Us kids were into throwing things and killing toads and African snails.  We would either hunt toads or throw the African snails on the road to see if we could hit cars or something.  Well, one day, I threw a rock at a pidgeon and hit it.  Grandma saw this and picked up the bird and went back to the house/kitchen.  Thinking nothing of this, we all just kept on playing.  Come dinner time and guess what we had for dinner… the f*&()&*  bird. All plucked, skinned and cooked.   I didn’t not kill anymore birds for the rest of my life.  I’m glad I didn’t kill a mongoose or something.