Monday, March 28, 2005

CPRR Ah Henge & J.Millard

From: "Alisa Judd"

I am doing family history research about J. Millard who is noted as working with CPRR on payroll 102 for March, 1865. He is my great grandfather, Jerome Millard, born New York in 1832, but came from Lansing, Michigan, early 1850's via wagon train. I have the family lineage but nothing about the kind of person he was or the life he had as a Chinese interpreter for the courts or during his mining days in the Sierras (1854-1880). My grandmother mentioned several times that her father learned Chinese in the mines. He married a Doctor and they raised a family in San Francisco. He died in 1913. My grandmother kept a photo album with several pictures of his Chinese friends that was passed on to my cousin but nothing is labeled.

We know he had property in Georgetown, CA and Reno, NV in the 60's and 70's, both with buildings that were destroyed by fires. Advertisements with the local Reno newspaper from Feb 1871 to Dec 1874, show he was a Deputy Sheriff in Washoe County, and Collector. Also noted in the ad, "Of special attention given to Collections and Police Business from abroad." Starting in San Francisco, 1880 he is listed as an interpreter. The 1900 & 1910 census show him as a Court Interpreter which verifies what my grandmother told us about him and this is all we know.

The entry for the March, 1865, payroll is listed:

Ah Henge J.Millard 2621 1/4 3024.44 31.25 2993.15 Paid A.W. Pipan

Several questions come to mind I'm hoping you might be able to answer. The entry from the payroll makes a little sense to me. What does 2621 1/4 signify? Would you be able to tell what his position with the company was as listed in column 2? And also, who would be A.W. Pipan and was he paid by him or to him? I would be interested to know what happened to Ah Henge if possible. It might be that some of this group continued onto SF also.

After reading the information on-line, I suspect Ah Henge was the leader of a group of Chinese laborers. Would this be correct? And that Jerome would be the representative for CPRR and received the payroll for the Chinese from Pipan? Do you have any information in your records as to how long he worked with this group or how long this group worked for CPRR? Or what kind of work for the railroad that they were doing? Any information about this entry or their activities would be very helpful.

Would you know where to start looking for information about court interpreters for the Chinese in San Francisco between 1906-1913 as everything else was probably destroyed. Are you familiar with the phrase, "Of special attention given to Collections and Police Business from abroad," and what it might imply?

I suspect a trip to Railroad Museum Library would be a good idea for further research about this. I would like to present a fairly thorough sketch for the project my cousin and I have undertaken. This is such a fascinating subject that we would like as much information as possible in order to provide a fair representation of the events of his life. Getting the details of this straight is important so I don't confuse anyone should something ever be published. At this point we're just writing up family sketches.

Your assistance is kindly appreciated and any reading material you would suggest would be most welcome.

Thank you,

Alisa Judd

PS: Jerome's daughter, Mary Millard (my grandmother) married the son of a sea captain (Capt Charles F Hall) whose grandson was Charles Hall of Ames Research the manager of the Pioneer Projects with NASA.


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "chris graves"

I searched California death records (California began recording keeping on deaths Statewide in July, 1905) and find only one AH HENG (no spelling of Henge is noted) listed. That Ah Heng died January 26, 1926, at age 26; I don't think he is your man. G J Graves

3/28/2005 9:55 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Edson T. Strobridge"

The Payroll Record No. 102 you refer to is a Payroll Record of the Charles Crocker and Co., contractor to the Central Pacific Railroad Company. The date places the work in or near Newcastle, California and this particular Payroll represents the 1st major hiring of Chinese used on the construction of the railroad by Crocker. The men listed on this record were on the Charles Crocker and Co.'s payroll and did not work directly for the Central Pacific Railroad Co.

In answer to your questions, the 2621 1/4 represents man days of work during the month of March 1865, and at the rate of $30 per month for 26 working days represents about 100 Chinese laborers, about three work gangs of men. Your grandfather was apparently the Crocker representative that managed the Chinese gangs affairs and certified for Crocker the time worked by the Chinese. His ability to speak Chinese may have been the reason he was hired. The reason no other names of Chinese were listed is that Charles Crocker felt it was simpler to just count the hours worked as the white men complained that they could not tell one Chinese from another. Also the same men did not necessarily work the entire month and the Chinese contractor fulfilled his responsibilities by supplying what ever number of men he could. It didn't make any difference as to their individual identity. The Chinese Contractor received the payroll, paid the bills for food etc. and then distributed what remained to who ever had earned it. He kept the individual records and your grandfather was only responsible for certifying the time worked.

Chances are that the name "Ah Henge" is misspelled. This person was probably located in San Francisco as many of the Chinese merchants and labor contractors were.

The ($)3024.44 represents the total amount earned for the work performed; the ($)31.25 was a deduction from that total earned for an unstated reason. The Total amount ($)2993.19 was the amount paid to Ah Henge (& Co,?) the Chinese labor contractor by someone in the C. Crocker and Co. paymaster's office named A.W. Pipan.

Jerome Millards name is not familiar to me and I suspect that the only way you could determine how long he worked on the construction of the Central Pacific is to review the original Payroll Records that still exist and can be found at the California State Railroad Museum Library in Sacramento, California. They will not do the research for you. You would need to either purchase copies or review them at the Library yourself.

Good luck on your research,

Ed Strobridge

3/28/2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Names "Henge" and "Pipan" may not be correctly transcribed. See the enlarged manuscript payroll.

There seem to be more letters than "Henge" and "Pipan" could be "Lipson".

What do you think?

3/29/2005 9:08 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "chris graves"

Well, I can't read any of 'em. California death records are available on line from July 1, 1905 to 12-31-2000. chris

3/29/2005 9:10 AM  

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