The 1911 census provides a snapshot of Leeds on Sunday 2 April 1911. Each householder completed a personal census form for their address, recording everyone present there that evening, from family members and servants, to boarders and visitors. Ancestry.com makes it easy to search for Leeds residents whose place of birth was given as China. Let's take a peek into some of their lives...
First, for reference, we have an example of a NON-Chinese person who was born in China but is described on the census as "British by parentage". 1-year-old Patrick Banks Hadden is the grandson of Leeds-born oil merchant, Benjamin Threlfall Vickers. The family looks to be reasonably wealthy, having two servants (a cook and a housemaid), and it's possible their connection with China comes from their business. Patrick's actual birthplace is difficult to make out but is possibly Hanshou in Hunan Province. (Also note his mother's profession which is listed, interestingly, as "medical practitioner".)
Chinese-born Yen Ping Hou is a student, aged 24, at the University of Leeds. He's one of three boarders at the house of Samuel Gardiner, a baker, in Little Woodhouse, close to the campus. (Samuel's wife, Susan, manages the lodgings.) Yen Ping Hou's birthplace is given as "Shantung", which is an archaic English spelling of Shandong, a coastal province of East China. The other boarders in the household are a reporter and a shorthand teacher.
Here is another boarding house, the proprietor of which is Edith-Charlotte Armstrong, a widow. Breaking the conventions of filling in a census return, she seems not to have listed herself first (although she is named as the Head of Household) and allowed the other residents to fill in their own details, judging by the different handwriting. Staying at the house are three male Chinese students of the University: Fang-Tsung Lee (25), Jing-Chung Tang (19) and Fang-Chun Lee (23). Each of their places of birth is simply listed as China. (Incidentally, don't miss the "profession" given by one of the other boarders, Mabella Hill, which is "What I like or dislike"!)
Living at this address on Burley Road are three Chinese brothers whose names are a little difficult to read. They all work at a laundry, but the eldest, aged 28, is described as an employer, while his two younger brothers are workers. Boarding with them is another young "laundryman" from China. There is a cross next to the name of the Head of Household in the bottom right; in some English records from the past this represents the "mark" of someone who cannot write their name (in this case, possibly not in English, at least). On the other hand, it could just be one of the many pen marks made by statisticians going through the document later on.
This final census record possibly shows a Chinese-English family. Jim Lee (33) from China is married to Mary Jane (25) from Runcorn, and they have a 3-month-old son called Willie who was born in Leeds. Jim and Mary Jane run a laundry business at their address on Roundhay Road, along with two young men, Key Lee and Ah Hee, both from China. At least two different people have gone over the form, the first using red ink, the second using black and changing the nationality of the men from "China" to "Chinaman".