Ancestry Tracing



Norman Cho previously shared the moving story of finding his grandfather’s final resting place. He recently built him a tomb. Here, he shares how to trace your lineage.

Where to begin?

  1. Oral communication
  2. Family documents (e.g. letters, bills)
  3. Public records (e.g. clan association records)
  4. Internet search engines (e.g. Google)
  5. Newspaper archives (e.g. newspaperSG) http://newspapers.nl.sg/
How to Search on newspapers.nl.sg site:
  1. Enclose names with quotation marks when submitting a search, e.g. “Tan Kim Huat”
  2. Remember that spellings were not consistent in colonial records. Try variations, e.g. Ki, Khim, Kheam, etc
  3. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software may misrepresent some alphabets, e.g. m= rn, e=o, b=6, g=9. Try variations.
  4. Verify against time and place. People may share identical names. Make sure the age, place and dates correspond to the search subject.
Obituary Columns
  1. An obituary is the best source for tracing your lineage
  2. A search for a grandchild’s name may yield names of grandparents and relatives
  3. Place of residence is often publicized
  4. Place of burial often stated
This is the obituary notice for Chan Whye Cheok, Norman’s maternal great, great, great grandfather: