H2013.62.1 - Framed Yip family tree, 1925

Catalogue Number
Object Name
Object Type
Alternate Object Name

family tree

Chinese Canadian
Origin Country
Origin Province / Territory
Origin Municipality
Use Country
Use Province / Territory
Use Municipality
1925 to
Artifact History

This family tree is in the shape of Chinese characters that spell out 'Yip Sang'. Yip Sang is the great grandfather of the donor, Byron Yip, and he is at the very top of the tree. This tree was created by Yip Sang's son-in-law, and Vancouver photographer, C.B. Wand, for Yip Sang's 80th birthday. Byron's father, Fay Wing Sang (1930-1990), is not on the tree as he was born after the tree was completed. His grandfather, Yip Kew Ming (1904-1971), was the 14th son of Yip Sang and his second wife, and is found four below Yip Sang, and the second man on the right. Yip Kew Ming, along with Sheck and Yacht, ran a remittance company that transferred money from a worker's savings back to China. It is believed that this copy of the family tree hung on the wall in a teaching room or room of worship in the Yip Sang building.

General Artifact History

Yip Sang was born in Shengtang village, Guangdong province, China in 1845. In 1864, he emigrated to San Francisco, and then to British Columbia in 1881 to the gold rush. He was employed as a Chinese foreman by the Kwong On Wo Company for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line. Upon completion of the railway, Yip Sang settled in Vancouver, B.C. He was recruited by the CPR as a Chinese passenger agent. In 1888, he founded the Wing Sang Company, which began as an importing and exporting business. The Yip family home and business was located at 51 Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Yip Sang was also renowned in the Vancouver Chinese community for his philanthropic work. He was instrumental in the foundation of Vancouver’s first Chinese school and first Chinese hospital, and the Chinese Benevolent Association. He married four times, had 23 children, and 67 grandchildren. By the end of his life in 1927 Yip Sang was a highly respected Vancouver citizen and the “unofficial mayor” of Chinatown.

Wand, C.B.
Reference / Bibliography

Correspondence with Byron Yip; 'Yip Sang: and the First Chinese Canadians' by Frances Hern; http://chung.library.ubc.ca/collection-themes/immigration-and-settlement/yip-family-and-yip-sang-company

Supporting Documentation Contents

Notes from donor, and researchers.

Physical Description
Pictorial family tree with photographic portraits of individual family members aligned in shape of Chinese characters to spell "Yip Sang"; decorated with painted flowers and leaves; marked "C.B. Wand"; wooden frame, painted black.
paper, paint, wood, metal, glass
black, off-white
Artifact Part Height (cm) Length (cm) Width (cm) Depth (cm) Diameter (cm) Thickness (cm) Weight
67.3 45.6 2.0


Yip, Byron