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About – Bt Brown, Chia Family members who are buried there

Bt Brown Cemetery used to be known as “kopi sua” in the hokkien dialect, which therefore

translates to “Coffee Hill” in English. However, coffee was not actually grown there, in the old days, just as Orchard Rd area used to be the site of a Nutmeg Plantation in Singapore.

Here’s an excerpt from an internet source on the origin of the  local name for Bt Brown :-

…. the bukit brown cemetery was named after a british ship owner called

George Henry Brown. he bought the area and called it Mt Pleasant.

Subsequently, the land was bought over by Mr Ong Kew Ho and the Hokkien

Huay Kuan. The government took over most of the land in 1919 and

opened it as a public burial ground in 1922.

To the Chinese, it is known as “kopi sua” (coffee hill). It must have

been difficult for the locals to call it Brown. In Chinese, the colour

brown is also known as “coffee”; that was how it came to be called “kopi sua” ….

Actually, the area often cited as Bukit Brown Cemetery or Kopi Sua in Chinese (咖啡山) in fact comprises of four major cemeteries. They are: Bukit Brown Cemetery, Seh Ong Sua Cemetery (The Ong Clan Hill, 姓王山), Lao Sua (Old Hill, 老山) and Kopi Sua proper (Coffee Hill, next to Mount Pleasant).

The proposed road will affect Bukit Brown Cemetery and a bit of Seh Ong Sua.

This map shows the geographical distribution of the four cemeteries in the area:

Map of Bt Brown cemetery

The legend for the map is as follows:
Yellow: Bukit Brown Cemetery (BBC).
Pink: Seh Ong Sua, Ong Clan Hill 姓王山.
Green: Lao Sua, Old Hill 老山.
Blue: Kopi Sua proper, Coffee Hill 咖啡山.
Grey: Probable extent of BBC originally.

Chia Hood Theam and Yeo Lan Neo

The Chia Family members who are directly related to me, and have graves at Bt Brown, are my paternal grand parents (Chia Keng Tye and Lim Tuan Neo) and my paternal great grand parents (Chia Hood Theam and Yeo Lan Neo).

Chia Hood Sang was Hood Theam’s brother, and his grave is located nearby to his brother’s in Blk1.

Chia Hood Teck was another of Hood Theam’s brothers, and his grave is located at Lao Sua, on the way to the temple and near to the grave of Song Chit Neo, by the PIE.

Chia Siew Lay was Chia Hood Theam’s daughter, and the elder sister of grand-pa Chia Keng Tye (this grave will be exhumed on 21st Feb 2014, and the remains moved to CCK Columbarium).

Siew Lay (died 11th March 1941, age 45 years) was buried together with husband Ong Siow Sian (Wang Shao Xian, died 24th April 1964, age 72 years). Ong Siow Sian’s father was Ong Soon Tee, and his grand-father Ong Ewe Hai. This grave is marked with stake #1078, and is therefore on the Exhumation List.

Chia Siew Hong (married to Tan Kim Swee) was another Chia Hood Theam daughter buried at Blk1.

Song Chit Neo the 2nd wife of Chia Leong Chuan (who was Chia Hood Theam’s father), therefore Chit Neo was Hood Theam’s step-mother and is still buried at Lao Sua near the PIE.

Mdm Tan (or Chen Jian Rou) was Chia Hood Theam’s great-grand mother, and the mother of Chia Kay Tuan who was the first Chia ancestor to come to Singapore from China (this grave will be exhumed on 21st Feb 2014, and the remains moved to CCK Columbarium).

In addition, another of Chia Hood Theam’s children, his daughter Mdm Chia Siew Tin (or Mrs Cheong Koon Seng) also has a grave at Bt Brown.

Mrs Cheong Koon Seng’s (nee Mdm Chia Siew Tin) grave at Bt Brown

This is the link to the Chia family tree.

Here’s an excellent PowerPoint presentation by Dr Liew, on the Bt Brown cemetery. It’s a 13.4MB PPT file. so takes awhile to download, in order to view.


Alternatively, view this file from Skydrive

  1. Here’s the link to the latest Bt Brown website/blog :-

    Also another blog :- maintained by Raymond Goh

    A good write up by Joy Loh :-

    Finally, another blog maintained by Lim Su Min :-

  2. Chian Chai Chia permalink

    In addition to the Chia family members I have listed, I have also included details of 2 spouses of Chia members who are buried at Bt Brown, in this website.

    They are, Ee Tean Choon (husband of grand-uncle Keng Chin’s daughter) and Tay Beng Neo (wife of gr-grand father Chia Hood Theam’s uncle). These 2 graves, and the grave of Chia Siew Lay, will be exhumed some time next year.

  3. A recent discovery, which I have added details in this website; the grave of great-grand father Chia Hood Theam’s great-grand ma was discovered at Bt Brown.

    Mdm Tan’s grave is marked by LTA with stake# 1802 and will be scheduled for exhumation soon, in order to make way for the new road.

    • cc chia permalink

      Mdm Tan (pinyin name according to burial register: Chen Jian Rou) is scheduled for exhumation on 21st Feb 2014, starting from 8:30am.

      Also on the same day, the graves of Chia Siew Lay/ Ong Siow Sian (stake# 1078) and E Thean Choon (stake# 2612) will be exhumed and all the remains from these 3 graves will be installed at Choa Chu Kang columbarium by the end of the day.

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