Tan Kheam Hock and family (Bukit Brown)

Tan Kheam Hock /Tan Khiam Hock / 陈谦福 (1862-1922) was born in Penang to Mr and Mrs Tan Teng Poh and received his education in Penang Free School. He joined the Merchantile Bank before leaving for Calcutta, India to be a merchant in 1877, remaining there until 1899 before coming back to Singapore to join the syndicate that had the rights to Opium and Spirit Farms. In 1901, he became the labor contractor for the Singapore Harbor Board, which at at its peak provided over 5,000 labor force. Tan Kheam Hock was also the Chairman of Eastern United Assurance Corporation, Great Eastern Life Assurance and Director of an array of tin, rubber and industrial companies. Tan Kheam Hock was a Senior Municipal Commissioner, Straits Chinese British Association, Chinese Advisory Board, Justice of Peace (Board of Licensing Justices), First member of the King Edward VII Medical College (when he passed away Mr See Tiong Wah replaced him) and the Hospital Board.

Tan Kheam Hock
Tan Kheam Hock (in western clothing)

Bukit Brown connection

It was during the time when Tan Kheam Hock and See Tiong Wah were Municipal Commissioners, that Bukit Brown Cemetery was conceptualised as a public cemetery for all Chinese irrespective of the dialect group they belong to. Initially unpopular because of size constraints, they worked and made the necessary changes to make it acceptable and popular among the Chinese community

On  21 April 1922, while Tan Kheam Hock was at the Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club, he was hit by apoplectic stroke at 6 pm. Despite medical aid, he succumbed to the seizure without regaining consciousness at his residence in No 106, River Valley Road (known as Penang Cot) hours later at 9 pm. He was 61 years old. Originally interned in Alexandra Private Cemetery, the remains were relocated to Bukit Brown together with his wife (Oh Peang Neo) and daughter (Tan Keow Gnoh). 


When Tan Kheam Hock passed away in 1922, he left behind a widow, 9 sons  ( 6 sons and 1 daughter from the first marriage and 3 sons and 1 daughter from the second marriage). His sons are: Tan Chong Khee, Tan Chong Lay, Tan Chong Chew, Tan Chong Teck, Tan Chong Gark, Tan Chong Teat, Tan Chong Lock, Chong Siew and Tan Chong Boon.
Tan Kheam Hock and family

Wife: Madam Oh Peang Neo
Madam Oh Peang Neo, died at the age of 48 on May 6, 1913 due to heart failure. She was the mother of Chong Khee, Chong Lay,Chong Chew, Chong Teck, Chong Gark and Chong Teat)

Wife: Madam Chua Choo Boon Neo 
Madam Chua Choo Boon Neo (Chua Choo Hoon) married at the age of 25 on March 25, 1914 at Penang Villa, Stevens Road. Mrs. Tan Keam Hock nee Chua Choon passed away on 8 September 1943 at 36 Stevens Road. Funeral to Bukit Brown on the 12 September 1943. 

From left to right  - Tan Keow Gnoh (eldest daughter), Oh Peang Neo, Tan Kheam Hock

Chua Choo Hoon's tomb
Top photo courtesy of Eric Tan
Middle and Bottom photo- Before and after restoration

Son: Tan Chong Khee (died July 17, 1958), age 73 years old
Tan Chong Kee married Madam Khor Kim Lun (died June 20, 1951 , age 65 and she is buried beside him).
Sons: Tan Huck Thoe, Tan Huck Boon, Tan Huck Seng, Tan Huck Swee.
Daughters: Tan Poey Chim, Tan Poey Kin, Tan Poey Joo. 

Tan Chong Khee
Block 3 Division A Plot 206

Son: Tan Chong Lay (died December 31, 1932), age 45 years old
Tan Chong Lay was affected by leprosy.
Son: Tan Huck Khong,
Daughter: Tan Poey Suan, Tan Poey Kee
Tan Chong Lay, Block 3 

Son: Tan Chong Chew, (died March 23, 1969) age 76 years old
He was a Justice of Peace. An avid house owner with horses such as King Cole, Spangle, Penang Griffin No 2 and Pam. He was a pedigree dog breeder who participated in many competitions as well. Tan Chong Chew was the manager of the Eastern Mining and Rubber Company and eventually manager of the Tanjong Pagar Labour Company. Tan Chong Chew married Miss Foo Gim Yong (daughter of Mr and Mrs Foo Boon Sean).
Sons: Tan Huck Wan, Tan Huck Hean.
Daughter: Daisy Tan
Tan Chong Chew
(pic source: a2o )

Tan Chong Chew 

Son: Tan Chong Teck (born April 12, 1896 -died December 5, 1956 ; age 61 years old)
He was an honory Treasurer of the Penang Chinese Union, 15 Cross Street in 1924.Tan Chong Teck married Miss Chua Yong Neo (second daughter of the late Mr Chua Kim Keat) on January 13, 1916.
Sons: Tan Huck Bin, Tan Huck Sian, Tan Huck Leng.
Daughters: Tan Poey Quee, Tan Poey Gek, Tan Poey Neo, Tan Poey Liew.
Tan Chong Teck  Block 3 Section A Plot 205 
Son: Tan Chong Gark
He was an avid lawn tennis player and honory secretary of the Penang Chinese Union, 15 Cross Street in 1924. Tan Chong Gark married Miss Chan Gaik Thay (daughter of Chan Yen Pai).
Sons: Tan Huck Eng, Tan Huck Chye
Daughters: Tan Poey Choo, Tan Poey Kim, Tan Poey Im

Son: Tan Chong Teat (no information yet)

Son: Tan Chong Lock*
Married Miss Wee Whee Choo
Sons: Roland Tan Huck Siong, Richard Tan Huck Ghee.
Daughters: Helen Tan Poey Yen, Lillian Tan Poey Cheng

Son: Tan Chong Siew*
Married Miss Khoo Suat Ngoh (daughter of Mr Khoo Yang Ting, father of Mr Khoo Teck Phuat)

*yet to be confirmed with substantial information. Speculation at the moment.

Son: Tan Chong Boon 
The children of Tan Chong Boon are Tan Huck Leong, Tan Poey Guat, Eric Tan Huck Gim and Elaine Tan Poey Tin.

Daughter: Tan Keow Gnoh (eldest daughter), died on July 2, 1917 ; age 32 years
Tan Keow Gnoh passed away in 1917 and is survived by her widow (Mr Lim Mah Siang) and 6 children. Initally buried in their family plot in Alexandra, but later exhumed and reburied together with his father, Tan Kheam Hock.

Daughter: Tan Suat Gnoh Neo (second daughter), died on February 1, 1912 ; age 23 years
Miss Tan Suat Gnoh married Mr Cheah Beng Chiang, Manager of Giong Ho and Co.

Daughter: Tan Heng Gnoh
She married Mr Chi Puah Chiang (son of late Mr Chi Kang Cheng)

Tan Hong Gnoh
She married Mr Neo Peng Heng on April 30, 1931.

Brother: Tan Kheam Kheat (Tan Kheam Hock's brother)
Tan Kheam Keat died on June 2, 1925 at the age of 54.
Sons: Tan Chong Kew, Tan Chong Hum, Tan Chong Tee
Daughters: Tan Keow Tian, Tan Keow Nee, Tan Keow Suan

Tan Kheam Keat (Hill 1 B)

317 River Valley Road
(source: NewspaperSG)

Grandsons and Granddaughters

Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Kee's (residence at 35 Devonshire Road) children
Tan Huck Thoe (eldest son) married Miss Lim Soo Geck (third daughter of Mr and Mrs Lim Nee Soon) in January 28, 1934.

Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Lay's (residence at 133 Devonshire Road) children
Tan Huck Khong (only son), born December 13, 1913-died April 26, 1943, age 30, married Miss Lim Mui Geck (fourth daughter of Mr and Mrs Lim Nee Soon). Tan Huck Khong was affected by the highway and already exhumed. Listed on his tomb are his children;
Son: Tan Jin Hoe
Daughter: Tan Liam Sim, Tan Lian Sim, Tan Liam Kwa

Tan Poey Swan (eldest daughter) married Mr Tay Kum San (son of Mr Tay Thian Cheok)

Tan Huck Khong (buried at Bukit Brown, Hill 2 )

Miss Tan Poey Swan and Mr Tay Kum  San
(source: NewspaperSG)

Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Chew (317 River Valley Road  aka Penang Cot) children
Tan Huck Wan (eldest son) married Miss Lim Chin Choo (daughter of Lim Mah Seang)
Tan Huck Hean (third son), born October 30, 1919 - died November 18, 1928, age 9 years old
Daisy Tan ( second daughter), born October 28, 1933 - died December 26, 1933, age 1 month old

Grave of Tan Huck Hean and Daisy Tan
Block 2 Division F 

Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Teck (35 Devonshire Road ) children
Tan Poey Quee married Pang Leong Chwee (eldest son of Pang Chean Yean) on June 30, 1940
Tan Poey Neo (third daughter) married Ee Tiang Wan (eldest son of Mr Ee Yew Cheng and grandson to the late Mr Ee Kong Guan, J.P. Malacca ) on Jan, 1942.

Mr and Mrs Tan Chong Gark's children 
Tan Huck Eng (passed away in 2009)
Tan Huck Chye (passed away 27 September 1986)
Their eldest daughter, Miss Tan Poey Choo passed away on May 31, 1927 at the age of 9 ( Hill 2A plot 162)
Their second daughter, Miss Tan Poey Kim got engaged to Mr Lee Liang Hye, third son of Dr and Mrs. Lee Lian Hoe on February 3, 1954.
Their third daughter, Miss Tan Poey Im passed away on March 13, 2016 at the age of 93.

[Research still-ongoing, any feedback for corrections, leads or pictures are welcomed. Do email me]

Untitled.(1912, August 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 71
Death. (1912, February 1). The Straits Times, page 2
Social and Personal. (1913, May 5). The Straits Times, page 8
Chinese Wedding. (1915, July 15). The Straits Times, page 10
Advertisements. (1916, January 13). The Straits Times, page 8
Untitled. (1917, July 17). The Straits Times, page 4
Late Mr Tan Kheam Hock. (1922, April 22). The Straits Times, page 9
Late Mr Tan Kheam Hock. (1922, April 29). The Straits Times, page 9
Late Mr Tan Kheam Hock. (1922, May 1). The Singapore Free Press, page 7
Untitled. (1924, January 23). The Straits Times, page 8
Advertisements. (1924, July 21). The Straits Times, page 8
The late Mr Tan Kheam Kheat. (1925, June 30). The Straits Times, page 11
Untitled. (1926, January 5). The Straits Times, page 8
Leper as Trustee. (1926, November 10). The Straits Times, page 10
Tan Kheam Hock Estate. (1926, November 11). The Straits Times, page 16
Social and Personal. (1931, April 16). The Straits Times, page 10
Advertisements. (1933, July 24). The Strait Times, page 10
Advertisements. (1941, August 16). The Straits Times, page 2
Malacca Wedding. (1942, January 13). The Singapore Free Press, page 6


  1. Hi I don't know who you are, but thank you for putting this up. My grandparents are Tay Kum Sun and Tan Poey Swan.
    So Tay Kheam Hock is my great-great grandfather. I loved learning more about my extended family! Thanks so much!

  2. Dear Valerie, Thank you for your kind words. Nice to meet someone from the Tan Kheam Hock line and grand-daughter of Tan Poey Swan. My name is Peter.

  3. Thanks for putting this together! My grandparents are Tan Chong Lock & Wee Whee Choo :)

  4. Hi Peter, it is really wonderful to have the Memory of Mr Tan Kheam Hock and family line mentioned in your post. I am indeed grateful to you for the effort in putting it together.

    My grandparents are Tay Kum Sun and Tan Poey Swan also;and Valerie is my cousin.

    Simon Tay

  5. Dear Simon Tay,
    Thank you for you for your kind words.

  6. Dear Peter, thank you so much for the effort. So I am also one of the descendants of Tan Kheam Hock.

    If I didn't understand wrongly, I should be:-

    Tan Kheam Hock's son from first marriage Tan Chong Lay
    Tan Chong Lay's eldest daughter Tan Poey Swan
    Tan Poey Swan's second son Tay Chin Hoe
    Then me, Tay Ban Soon

    So Tan Kheam Hock should be my Great Great Grandfather!

    Just paid a visit to their grave today. Thank you so much!

  7. Hi my grandfather is tan Huck wan, really appreciate your research

  8. See below for a clearer picture Tan Huck Khong's tombstone, showing his son and daughters' names


  9. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your effort in putting this together. I am one of the descendants of Tan Kheam Hock, my father was Tan Chong Boon. His children are:

    Tan Huck Leong, Tan Poey Guat, Eric Tan Huck Gim and Elaine Tan Poey Tin.

    Warm regards

  10. Hi Peter. Thanks for your efforts. Valerie Tay, Simon Tay and Tay Ban Soon are my cousins. Max Jek Kin Luen.


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