| Yee and Tse Families: the
余氏先世居韶關曲江，宋末度宗咸淳八年，公元一二七二年，皇妃忤旨出走南逃，族人聞訊，曜禍株連，九世祖師箕公妣李氏， 率五子漢老、椿老、國老、唐老、季老、避居新會深涌羅巷華萼里，荷塘鄉，建有宗祠奉祀師箕公，後來五子， 遷居嶺南各地，十世祖漢老，妣甄氏黃氏生四子，謙翁，謂翁，詳翁，詢翁。
漢老帶同長子謙翁公，四子詢翁，遷居台山德行都，荻海儒林里，李邊村，後來分佈荻海崗美，橋頭，大嶺一帶， 十一世祖謙翁公居台山潮陽李邊村， 妣趙氏太夫人，生三子，點翁，然翁，烈翁，後來然翁出繼詢翁，十二世祖然翁入繼詢翁，妣趙氏太安人，生兩子，長子應星太祖， 次子應昴太祖， 據余氏宗譜記載，應昂太袓長子天錫翁，德配謝氏，葬於蒼城南門外之南樓龜山，喝作龜形，又名生龜揹死龜，坐巽向乾兼己亥， 蟠龍體格， 頷上穴，修砂灰墳墓，經台邑堪輿專家李奕揖，列為八大名穴之一，又據昔日鄉間父老口傳，有關葬謝氏太婆封建迷信故事。
謝氏太婆做女時，常出田工作，但常見該村富戶人家，終年僱用風水先生，勘察該村近郊一荒地，多次如是， 謝氏太婆年青很活潑聰明，看在眼裡， 心料該地必有古怪，乃暗中將一小埕深埋此地，用為他曰找尋目標，迨後來出嫁應昴公為媳，偶將此事告知其夫，後其夫約同乃父前 往勘察， 此地果然福地，但該地在媳婦外家，雖福地，亦沒辦法佔用，天錫公夫婦嘗戲言，謝氏太婆說，百年後，請將其葬在這塊地，假如天 錫公先行離世， 他亦葬在那裡，天錫公說，吾家相隔這裡那麼遠，除非你死在娘家，否則是不行的，此後謝氏太婆，身體偶有不適，就去娘家，屢去 屢癒，習以為常， 可是後來有一次，帶病而去，病情日見惡化，泥於鄉間俗例，女在外家有病，不能帶病返夫家，後來徵得天錫公同意搬到原日村郊荒 地上，屢醫罔效， 卒至在此逝世，噩耗傳到余門，應昴家翁聞訊，大發雷霆，聲言要向官府起訴，謝氏長者，為息事寧人，幾經恊商，並得到女婿天錫 公從中斡旋， 就將謝氏太婆安葬此荒地，即龜山，不料該村富戶與風水先生前來阻止，說這塊荒地，是他們早經號定的，多生枝節，村民均痛恨彼 等出來鬧事生非， 同時天錫公說，拙荆生前最喜歡這塊地休息，曾經講過埋有一小埕在該荒地，以便自己將來尋此地標記，現在他們毫無根據，空口說 是他早定下來的， 那能行呢?我建議將泥土挖開，如果有小埕，就將其葬在這裡，否則移葬別處，衆村民聽了，謂言之有理，均表同意，乃將此地泥土 挖開，果有一小埕， 村人嘩然，富戶與風水先生無可奈何，憤氣而去，從此名山遂歸余門，而余謝兩姓亦以「中表」之親戚，後世子孫，永篤情誼，載在 族誌， 南樓龜山謝氏太婆墳墓，歷經幾百年，受當地謝氏表親保護，至今仍有，其功其勞永誌不忘。
查荻海籌建忠襄始祖祠委員會有以下記錄，民國四年公元一九一五年三月廿九曰子時，祠堂建成進伙，神主陞座，當年廣東官商名 流，各地宗長， 馬謝兩姓世表到祠拜祭，應昴祖太婆外家—開平南樓謝氏世表，廣明祖太婆外家—白沙馬氏世表，均光臨參加盛典， 開平謝氏約有二百餘人「擺彩色」—「男女武生八寶」「翠花亭」醒獅長聯成對到祠祝賀，聯內有句云「南樓佳阜傳韻事」即活用南 樓龜山典故， 作者乃簡門高足張筱峯才子吐囑不同凡響，一時傳為佳話懇之宗廟，倍增光輝，惜民國廿九年，倭奴三犯荻海，此聯廢於戰火。
How the Yee and the Tse Families became related
Up until 1272, the Yee ancestors had resided peacefully in the Qujiang County of the Shaoguan Municipality in the northern Guangdong Province. In September, 1272 many Guangdong residents fled the area (including our ancestors). There are several variations as to why this exodus occurred, but a consistently-told version is that the Emperor Duzong Xiánchún was violently searching for one of his concubines, Wu Fei. It is said that the Emperor’s royal garrison was threatening to slaughter anyone who offered her shelter.
Years earlier, Wu Fei had been banished from the Emperor’s palace for disobedience. However, once the Emperor and his wife realized they were unable to produce an heir, the Emperor dispatched guards to find Wu Fei and her son: the young man was now to become the heir designate.
Fearing for their lives, many fled south to the Pearl River delta, Guangzhou. Our Yee’s ninth generation forefather, Shījī Gōng, also fled the region taking his five sons [see Figure 1] to live in Xinhui’s Shēn Yongluó Alley, Huá è Village, Hé Táng Township. (This is where the ancestral Hall was later built to make offerings to Shījī Gōng.) And what became of Wu Fei? One account tells how she drowned in an effort to save those who were providing her shelter.
Eventually, Shījī Gōng’s five sons went off to live in different regions in Lingnan. Our Yee’s tenth generation forefather, Hànlao, had four sons borne by first wife Zhēn and second wife, Wong [see Figure 2].
Hànlao moved to Taishan’s metropolis, Déxíng, Díhai’s Rúlínli, Libian Village, accompanied by his eldest son, Qianweng and his forth son, Xúnweng. Their descendants spread all over to Díhai’s Gangmei, Qiáotou, and Dàling area.
Our Yee’s eleventh generation forefather, Qianweng resided in Taishan’s Chaoyang Libian Village where his wife Madame Zhao, bore him three sons: Dianweng, Ránweng, and Lièweng. Ránweng eventually succeeded Xúnweng as our Yee’s twelfth generation forefather and his wife, Madame Zhao Tàian bore him two sons, Yìng Sīng (seventeenth generation forefather) and Yìng Àng. According to the Yee's genealogy records, Yìng Àng’s eldest son, Xí Gōng, wed Lady Tse. Lady Tse was buried in the southern peak of “Guishan” mountain, on the outskirts of the Southern Gate of the Cāng Municipality. Because “Guishan” mountain is shaped like a turtle, it was also referred to as “living turtle on the back of a dead turtle”. Fengshui or geomancy was very important in those days in searching for the burial grounds. And this great burial ground is one of the eighth best in the country according to a Fengshui expert. Here’s the story of great grandmother Tse passed on from the village elders…
When great grandmother Tse was a young woman, she would often go out to work in the fields where she regularly saw her village’s wealthy employing geomancers year-round, prospecting this village’s suburban country sides. Young great-grandmother Tse was a very intelligent woman. She observed these events closely and gathered that there was something unique about this place. So, she secretly buried a small pear-shaped earthenware jar deep into the ground to use as a location marker later on. After she married Xí Gōng, thus becoming Yìng Àng’s daughter-in-law, she relayed this information to her husband one day. Xí Gōng invited Yìng Àng to accompany him on a reconnaissance of this locale and they found that this truly was a great “Fengshui” place. This area belongs to great grandmother Tse’s side of the family and although this area was considered to be a very “lucky” spot, the Yees did not have the means to possess or use this land. Mr. and Mrs. Xí Gōng shared a long standing joke that after a hundred years, great grandmother Tse would have her husband bury her there. Should Xí Gōng die before her, he would be buried there also. Xí Gōng said to great grandmother Tse, “Our home is far apart from that area. Unless you die in your maternal home, this idea of being buried there will not work.”
Thereafter, when great-grandmother Tse was not feeling well, she returned to her maternal home to recover. There were numerous times that she fell ill but repeatedly recovered! Now according to village customs, when a married woman became ill, she could not return immediately to her husband's household with her health problems. Afterwards, with Xí Gōng’s approval, great grandmother Tse moved to live in the village’s suburban country side. With this last bout of illness, the medications Tse took had no effect and she passed away. When her father-in-law Yìng Àng heard of this sad news of her passing, he went on a rage and declared to have this matter settled in the court. The Tse’s elders wanted to settle this quarrel peacefully with the parties involved and asked their son-in-law, Xí Gōng to mediate. Finally, it was approved that great-grandmother Tse be buried in this Guishan location. But unexpectedly, the wealthiest villager and his geomancer defied this settlement - claiming that this location already belonged to him.
Xí Gōng told everyone on the scene that when his wife was young, she loved to come to this place to rest. He explained how she had buried a small pear-shaped earthenware jar to serve as a future marker. Xí Gōng suggested they dig up the soil and find his wife’s marker. If a small pear-shaped earthenware jar were found - he could bury her there. If no jar were uncovered; he would bury her elsewhere. The villagers readily agreed and proceeded to dig. They found the small pear-shaped earthenware jar and the wealthy villager and his geomancer had no alternative but to leave – steaming mad. From this moment on, this famous mountain reverted to the Yees.
The Yee and the Tse families’ relationship continued to grow, as both the later generations’ descendants maintain their sincere friendships, as shown in the family genealogy records. As for great-grandmother Tse’s grave in Guishan, our Tse cousins have been looking after and maintaining her burial site for several hundred years. Their dedication and efforts will forever be appreciated.
As for Great Grandmother Tse’s own family see Figure 3.
As our 17th generation forefather, Yìng Sīng, was unable to bequeath his estate and fortune to his son, Fú Yuán. Xí Gōng’s eldest son Baishòu succeeded Fú Yuán, as the succession custom had to be to carry on, Baishòu’s as heir did not receive any objections from others. As for the residents of Díhai’s Rúlínli, the majority of the people living there have roots or ties with great-grandmother Tse.
The Yee-Tse family relation in this article was based on the family genealogy records, and from the Díhai’s Rúlínli village elders word of mouth. If there are any errors or omissions, please advise the author.
The translator of this article would like our Tse 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.Disclaimer
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 Tses 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