Name

Lum family (Taoist) temple (207 KB)

My Name

My full name is Henry Thomas Lum III Sibley Forest.

What's up with all of the names?

My great-grandfather, Kum Wah Lum, left Canton, China and as a teen-aged cabin boy arrived in Kauai, Hawai'i in 1896. Great-grandma Virginia Rodrigues' parents left Madeira, Portugal in 1883. She named all the kids, and picked Catholic saints and names-in-the-news for her kids. Grandpa got Henry Thomas. Dad got the name, too, and liked it so well he gave it to me, so at birth I was Henry Thomas Lum III (the price he paid was that Mom got a free hand in naming my four siblings).

The only Chinese I learnd while growing up (In 2001 I bought some CDs from Rosetta Stone to learn more) , taught me by my father, is this: It's two trees - a grove in Japanese, or a forest in Chinese. [By coincidence, I now live in the town of Forest Grove, Oregon] The N. Chinese pronunciation is Lin, but in Canton it's said 'Lum' (rhymes with plum). When my first wife and I wed in 1984, we wanted the same last name - but she didn't want to take my last name, I didn't want to take hers (Wilson), and we thought hyphenated names were silly. So we translated Lum to Forest and both added that. While we were married I used it, and after the divorce in 1987 kept using it. Legally, though, my name had never changed: the legalities were annoying and the realities worked fine. But in the early 90's, I found it desirable to travel and rent cars - which was problematic with different names on my driver's license and credit cards. So I went to the courthouse in Cambridge, MA to have it changed. By that time, I'd remarried (1990), and while I was at it wanted to include Carol's family name, too. I'm the third Henry Thomas Lum, not the third Sibley or Forest, so the III stays where it was.