| Yee and
Mah Families: the Relationship
據余氏家譜記載：十七世祖余應星，其子福元乏嗣，由應昂的兒子錫公以長子依俗例以繼長伯壽人繼褔元， 生鳳台，鳳台生二十二世廣明(敦睦堂) 廣德，廣道。
廣明公娶馬員外雲軒女兒為妻室，馬氏太婆，幼受庭訓孝順賢淑，但有異相，獨乳，適余門，早寡，公恤其遇， 贈以坐落台山潮境上逕龍山開族佳穴，安葬其夫，由是馬氏太婆，茹苦含辛，撫養孤兒，教導有方，自支門戶， 籍山靈褔蔭，子孫綿綿，逐開族焉，並附山聯一對，句云：馬洞姻緣萬代親，龍山發跡三元運，其子孫謹守兄妣遺囑， 永維余馬戚誼，且隔十年，舉行一次省墓大典，世表長幼雲集，依例必先拜祭外祖雲軒公，亦拜龍山太祖墓， 以示不忘外祖公大德，籍敦世表親淵。
富彥乃應星三房子孫，得悉龍山祖墓被人侵佔，即率眾前往龍山將附近埋下骨曇悉數挖起，投入坑底，一時大意， 竟將太祖骨曇掘去，拋下坑底，至發覺時，已無法辦認，祇造銀牌乙面下葬，已達四佰餘年，兩姓人士， 靡論在海內外，彼此感情甚篤，有如兄弟，似此長久親戚，實屬罕見，此乃余馬世三淵源也。
馬氏太婆葬於距荻海約二里葫蘆山，名歪蒂葫蘆，亦佳穴也，該地原是其兒子義父李長的耕地， 有一天，馬氏太婆在鯇魚澳住所，遙望該耕地，有一龍氣沖天空，頓悟此地必佳城，後來義父病危， 召集子孫商議遺產分配事，太婆在旁發言，請求將此地分給義子，當時眾認此田為貧瘠耕地，沒有甚麼價值， 結果同意太婆請求，又得一佳穴由來也。
龍山及歪蒂葫蘆兩佳穴，惜在中國文化大革命時破舊立新，盡將墳墓徹底破壞，一乾二淨，幸龍山鍾靈毓秀， 原日山勢，得以幸存，近年有某氏者，恃強侵佔祖墓，被附近上逕頭村世表發覺，即將虛墳清除，恢復原來形象，世表之功， 永不忘也。
How the Yee and the Mah Families became related
According to the Yee's genealogy records, our 17th generation forefather, Yee Yìng Sīng, was unable to bequeath his estate and fortune to his son, Fú Yuán. The Chinese custom of that era dictated that Fú Yuán must have a son of his own in order to inherit his father's estate. Since Fú Yuán had no heir, Yìng Sīng's estate and fortune went to his grand nephew Baishòu instead, Baishòu is the eldest son of Xí Gōng and a grandson of Yìng Àng (Ying Sīng's brother). Baishòu had a son named Fèng Tái who had three sons of his own; Kwong Míng (Dūn Mù Tong), Kwong Dá, and Kwong Dào - introducing the 22nd generation Yees!
Kwong Míng married the daughter of Supernumerary Official Mah Yún Jiān. Mrs. Kwong Míng is known to us as great grandmother Mah. She was special in many ways, including the unusual feature of being singled breasted. Great grandmother Mah was always known as a virtuous and a filial woman. Unfortunately, great grandmother Mah was widowed early. Her kind father donated a piece of land with good Fēngshui for her to bury her beloved husband. This burial ground is located on Táishān's Cháo Jìng area, approaching Mt. Lóngshān. Great grandmother Mah raised her only son through many hardships and she taught him well. Great grandmother Mah also had many grand children. Before she died, she requested that her descendants to keep an affinity of the Yee-Mah relationship. She suggested that every ten years they gather together and hold province-wide graveside ceremonies to pay their respects to the Yee and Mah ancestors. It was great grandmother Mah's wish that we celebrate the great virtues of our ancestors and uphold the close relationship between the Yees and Mahs.
The Mt. Lóngshān ancestor burial ground was invaded by another clan during the Ming Dynasty. Yee Fu Yàn, one of Yee Yìng Sīng's great grand children, went over there immediately with his clansmen, dug up the graves and moved the bones to the bottom of a nearby pit after he learned that the Mt. Lóngshān ancestor burial ground was going to be invaded. Negligently, he also dug up ancestor Yee's grave and threw his remains to the pit bottom. Once he realized this terrible mistake, it was too late for him to correctly identify all the bones. The only thing he could do was make a commemorative silver tablet to bury alongside the remains.
In the meantime, Yee Fu Yàn fought alongside the Ming Dynasty's brave and courageous General Wong Hing against the Ching Dynasty's army. Fu Yàn was stationed at, and guarded, the Díhai Wan Yu Ào village. There he fortified the entire barrack area and made an underground cellar by tunneling. This extra fortification was necessary in order to defend against their enemy. The villagers erected a stone monument to commemorate this historical incident.
During the early twentieth century, when scholar Yee Yauling passed by Fu Yàn's underground cellar, he was so moved after he heard of Yàn's deeds, that he wrote this eight-line poem praising Fu Yàn's patriotism:
"It's a sorrow when your village's serenity was
Great grandmother Mah was buried in Mt. Hú Lú; about two kilometers from Díhai. This burial place was called Wai Dì Hú Lú. This land was once owned by her son's adopted father, Lee Zhàng. From her Wan Yu Ào village home, great grandmother Mah once saw a dragon spirit soar into the sky. She knew that this was a very good sign for this piece of land. Later, when Lee Zhàng was gravely ill and dying, he summoned all his children and grandchildren together to discuss how to divide his estate. Great grandmother Mah made a special request of Lee to give this farmland to his adopted son. The Lee family realized that this farm land was infertile, it held no value to them at all, so they all agreed to give this land to his adopted son. That's how this wonderful burial place came into our family.
Great grandmother Mah's grave was constructed so grandly, travelers stopped to look reverently at her grave. An ancient well was located next to her grave; the water in this well is very clear and tastes great. Villagers used its water to make lemonade which they sold during the hot summers.
Both Mt. Lóngshān and Wai Dì Hú Lú are excellent burial places. Unfortunately, these burial places were destroyed during China's great Cultural Revolution. However, Mt. Lóngshān has been restored. Despite repeated invasion by other clans during recent years; our Shàng Jìng Tóu Village Mah neighbors restored the graves to their original condition. This unforgettable brotherly act is still remembered by the Yees today.
Great grandmother Mah's grave was also destroyed and plundered. Years later, Běi Shān Village's Er Huò Gōng met with his clansmen and raised funds to rebuild the ancestral graves to their original condition. All the construction materials were delivered specially from Jiāng Xī. He also donated a pair of tomb couplets and erected a stone tablet nearby with the donor's name engraved.
After four hundred years, the relationship between the Yees and the Mahs is precious and unique as we are like brothers in the same family whether in China or abroad.
That's how the Yee and the Mah families became related many years ago. Hopefully this tradition will continue on for many more years.
The translator of this article would like our Mah cousins to relate their side of their story also, to see if they have a similar or a different story. The translator would like to thank Ms. Nancy Nesbitt for helping out in reviewing and editing this translation.
The translator acknowledges that although he has a clear responsibility to authors, and to preserve the meaning of stories interpreted; the translator is sometimes confronted with the loss of meaning, unity and presence of the history of the relationship between the Yees and the Mahs due to the archaic language used in source materials. However, the translator endeavors to provide the most accurate interpretation possible. If you know of a more accurate interpretation, please forward a copy or link to the translator.
Translated by Martin Yee