How it started with the Tong family history
During the early 70’s (that is 1970’s), my Mom started helping Helen Tong collect information about the Tongs around Findlay, Ohio. I went with her a few times as she visited local cemeteries, the public library and the county courthouse. And I was hooked! There were plenty of Tongs to find around Findlay and even more in Carey so it was easy to be successful finding new information.
Mom gave the information we found to Helen who sent all the information to Herald Stout. He was working on a second edition of his book “Tong – Tonge – Tongue and Allied Families” which he published in 1974. Here is a picture from the book of Helen, her husband Lester Tong and their oldest son Calvin.
After getting married, I got a bit more serious about the hobby – collecting new information on the Tongs and the other surnames connected to them (Beck, Mitchell and Stage). We were in Texas for several years so it was sometimes difficult to find information.
In 1987, I learned that Herald Stout passed away. I wrote his wife and told her that if no one else wanted her husband’s records for the Tong family, I would be happy to pay postage to get them. Imagine my surprise when weeks later I received several boxes in the mail including a giant corn flakes box.
All the boxes were filled with Tong information. It appeared that Mr Stout was working on a third edition to his book. Many of the papers were typed – existing information in black and new information in red. There is still information in those papers that I haven’t gotten included in the website.
The rest is history, as they say. I still continue to work on the Tongs (along with all the other surnames).