did Chang and Eng Bunker have descendants?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Yes many...they lived near here (NC) and many of their descendants are still living around here.
The Bunker brothers were born on 11 May, 1811 in Siam (now Thailand), in the province of Samutsongkram, to a Chinese fisherman (Ti-eye) and a half-Chinese/half-Malay mother (Nok). They were joined at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage. Their livers were fused but independently complete. Although 19th century medicine did not have the means to do so, modern surgical techniques would have easily allowed them to be separated today. In 1829, they were discovered in Siam by British merchant Robert Hunter and exhibited as a curiosity during a world tour. Upon termination of their contract with their discoverer, they successfully went into business for themselves. In 1839, while visiting Wilkesboro, North Carolina with P.T. Barnum, the twins were attracted to the town and settled there, becoming naturalized United States citizens.
The Bunkers in their later years.Determined to start living a normal life as much as possible, the brothers settled on a plantation, bought slaves, and adopted the name "Bunker". They were accepted as respected members of the community. On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates. Chang and his wife had ten children; Eng and his wife had twelve. In time, the wives squabbled and eventually two separate households were set up just west of Mount Airy, North Carolina in the community of White Plains – the twins would alternate spending three days at each home. During the American Civil War Chang's son Christopher and Eng's son Stephen both fought for the Confederacy. Many of their descendants still live in the Mount Airy area. The twins died on the same day in 1874. Chang, who had been in declining health for several years, died first; Eng died several hours later.
The fused liver of the Bunker brothers is currently preserved and on display at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Numerous references about the twins, including some of their personal artifacts and their travel ledger, are preserved in the North Carolina Collection Gallery in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The original watercolor portrait of Chang and Eng from 1836 is also preserved in the North Carolina Collection Gallery. The best-selling and multiple-award-winning 2000 novel, Chang and Eng, by Darin Strauss, was based on the life of the famous Bunker twins. The film rights to the novel were purchased by award winning filmmaking team Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbanski. Oldman is currently working on the screenplay and will also direct. In addition, "The Wedding of the Siamese Twins" by Burton Cohen, a play detailing the intimate and often amusing lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, is scheduled to be performed annually at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy, NC. Currently slated to star in the upcoming performances are actor Brandon Lloyd Hicks, who will be playing Chang Bunker, and Joel Frady, who will be playing Eng Bunker. In 1996 BBC Radio 4 broadcast a 90-minute radio play called "United States" about the lives and deaths of Chang and Eng Bunker. Writer was Tony Coult and director Andy Jordan. Transmission was on 17 June, with a cast that included Bert Kwouk and Ozzy Youe as the twins. A Singapore musical based on the life of the twins, Chang & Eng was directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham and written by Ken Low. Chang & Eng premiered in 1997 and has since been performed around Asia, starring Robin Goh as Chang Bunker, Sing Seng Kwang as Eng Bunker and Selena Tan as their mother Nok. Subsequent productions starred RJ Rosales as Eng Bunker.