Family history – Pt 1

Family history has always fascinated me. In fact, any historical story fascinates me 🙂

So last year, I had gone ahead and embarked on a historical trail, searching for info on my husband’s side of the family tree. As I went on doing it, I met new members of the family well not exactly new members rather new-found members of the family and also get to know more, communicate more with the existing members which if I had not proceed with this project, they would just remain a name and a shadow figure in my world.

The journey to this project was not easy and smooth as I had hoped. For along the ways, I had met with resistance and incurred some anger from some family members. Others were more accepting and eager to contribute while there are also some who was willing to contribute info but not keen to participate actively. So all in all the project was half-cook till now and I have decided it’s time to stop. I am happy though that I have discovered many stories about the grand dames of the family.

It’s a pity that younger generations are not interested to know about their ancestors and family tree …. Their disinterest is common these days. Youngsters nowadays are more interested in their own lives, the present and not the past. Frankly, the past is rather important because through the history of our parents, our grandparents and so on, we can come to understand why there are certain traits and events happening in the present world.

Anyway, back to family history, I am writing here what I know so far about my side and my husband’s side of the family history. I hope my kids will read this some days and find it useful or at least as something interesting to read and that they will in turn share it with the next generations to come.

I will start with my family first for it is rather short. A pity 😦

My father was born Tengku Mahmood Bin Tengku Ibrahim (? – 1993 ), an Acehnese. The eldest in the family of many siblings (not exactly sure how many), his late mother (my paternal grandmother) was the first wife. My father used to tell me his mother’s name but at that time I was too young to even thought of writing it down somewhere. I did know that among his siblings there was a pair of twin brothers (both had died) and the youngest sister whose name is Cut Seri Banun Bte Tengku Ibrahim. So it seemed that I have lots of relatives in Aceh but sadly I do not have the means to go there and do more research.

My mother was born Bedah Bte Abdullah (Omar)(?-1990) , her IC had the name Omar and it was the name of her adopted father. My mother was born to a Chinese family, according to my late father, it was a Hokkien family. She had a twin but she was given away at 2 weeks old to a Malay-Arab family for adoption. She had another older adopted sister named Asmah (Mak Ngah) and an older adopted brother (the real son of the adopted family) whom we called Pak Long (though I had never met him, he died while I was still a toddler).

So my siblings and I …. We are from a mixed heritage. Acehnese + Chinese bloodline. My kids? Theirs are more colourful …. In them flow the blood of the Acehnese, the Chinese, the Indians and the Javanese. In fact, in our blood there are Arab bloodlines as well which comes from my paternal side of family heritage.

My late father had dark coloured skin. While my late mother was very fair.

I inherited my mother’s fair skin and my father’s features. I get the best of both worlds 🙂

On my hubby’s side …. His father is of Javanese descendent and his mother of Pattan descendents (from Pakistan).

Husband’s paternal great-grandfather was known as Deraman (Abdul Rahman Dikun). According to my father-in-law, great-grandfather Deraman was a cook to an Arab family in Singapore.

His wife was known as Zaleha. Some said she was originally from Penang, of Arab descendent. She was described to be a tall, big-boned woman with dark skin.

They had about 20 children though many died during infancy. Among the lived ones, only these 10 were known.

– Abdul Samad bin Deraman (the eldest son and husband’s grandfather)
– Abdul Latif bin Deraman
– Abdul Ghani bin Deraman
– Mohd Nor bin Deraman
– Kamarudin bin Deraman

– Amot bte Deraman
– Katijah bte Deraman
– Fatimah bte Deraman
– Salmah bte Deraman
– Munirah bte Deraman

According to my father-in-law, his father (Grandfather Abdul Samad) was a kind and quiet man, loves his siblings and had the ability to heal some common ailments with natural remedies.

Grandfather Abdul Samad married Martini Bte Santorojo (1900-1988). A woman who talked with a strong trace of Javanese accent. A mother with 5 children, 2 girls and 3 boys. My father-in-law was her middle child.

Even though she spoke with a thick Javanese accent, none of her children spoke with that accent. Grandmother Martini was a very good cook. Her “serunding” (spicy coconut floss) was claimed to be one of the best at that time. She liked to put up her hair in a bun and love her “sarung batik” (a kind of cloth made with batik prints, which older people used to wear during the 1960s-1980s). She lived to a ripe old age and died at the age of 88 years old in Johor (where she had lived with her youngest son Majid).

Grandmother Martini (Al-fatehah)

Grandfather Abdul Samad (Al-fatehah)

to be continued ….

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