Canadian Genealogy · Canadian laws · Chinese Genealogy · How To Videos · Womens History

Coffee Chat Series: Canadian voters lists for Asians and other disenfranchised folks

In this post I'd like to talk about navigating a "common record" set - voters lists - when the population was disenfranchised. There's an assumption in genealogy of "common records." Voters Lists fall in this category, along with censuses, vital records, and city directories. Chinese, Japanese, South Asians, and Indigenous were disenfranchised for decades, meaning that entire record sets that would generally be available for others have gaps for these groups. Knowing when this does and does not apply is important work for a genealogist.

Canadian Genealogy

When Canada excluded us: remembering 1 Jul 1923

The Senate has created a website of events. Sign up to get notice of events and / or register your event. Let's make this a year to remember. I wish my father and uncle could see this. I think they'd be proud to see their struggles honoured this way - not a single speech, not with a single day, but a year's worth of events from bottom to top. There are archivists, authors, curators, historians, societies, and speakers all lined up. The aim is to connect this whole wide country together in recognizing the rights and freedoms given to us by our forebears.

Canadian Genealogy

What’s on this month at Past-Presence

Today is the start of Asian history month. Here's what's happening at [updated 4 May 2023] Events I will be giving five live webinars this month. May 2 - I host the live Chinese Genealogy Coffee Chat, sponsored by the British Columbia Genealogical Society and Free for members of the BCGS and my… Continue reading What’s on this month at Past-Presence

Canadian Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos

Don’t overlook free digital records with my Heritage Canadiana / Library and Archives Canada hack, part 2

I like poking around in HC. There's the thrill of discovery - what will I find today - but once I find something, I automatically want to know more about it. This is when we need to find our way back to LAC. There are other ways to search LAC - by collection title or mikan number to name two - but using the reel number gives more targeted results. Multiple results for a single reel reference number means there are multiple collections on one reel.

Canadian Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos

Don’t overlook free digital records with my Library and Archives Canada / Heritage Canadiana hack, part 1

This weekend, I noticed more than one reel digitized at HC with no indication at LAC. Maybe at some point in the future, LAC will sync seamlessly with HC and the two will work simultaneously. Until that happens, check for the "secret" reels.

Canadian Genealogy

Get ready to visit Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa

I had the pleasure of three days of research at the BC archives last August. It was my second visit there and I was much better prepared. I don't know when next I'll visit Ottawa so I mean to make the most of it. Already I know I won't see all that I want to see, nor will I have the capacity to spent eight hours/day reading microfilm. I'm planning a week when I need a month - every minute will be precious!

Chinese Culture

It’s Chinese New Year – what is your sign?

I wrote this post in honour of Chinese New Year and the changing of the years from Tiger to Rabbit. In 2023, I feel we could all use some good fortune. And it doesn't matter if you believe or don't believe in astrology. What matters is if your ancestors believed. Chinese culture has long associations with ideas around luck and prophecy, governing every aspect of life from birth to death. I like to check the signs of the people I'm researching, to get a sense of what they might have thought. The next topic I'd like to tackle is the belief system that added a year to a newborn's age. What was that all about? Until next time!

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy

Reflecting on 2022 – what a year

What a year for interviewing, studying, travelling, visiting, writing, and working. Looking back, my main impression is this. Yes, I did a lot. But what feels more important is I met a lot, by which I mean I met a lot of folks I'd previously only known virtually, or hadn't seen in years. After such a drought, it was soul-expanding to see people in person, even it it did sometimes mean six a.m. flights and wearing masks.

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy · Family history stories

Finding the story behind the story: why is there a school room at Wing Sang?

From my research, it appears the famous school room at Wing Sang has a deeper history than first suspected. In this post, I've compiled building permits, family stories, immigration records, newspaper articles, original correspondence, and passenger manifests to create a richer picture of the past. Yip Sang did indeed build a school in his home that his family could enjoy, but he also founded a school for the community and used his influence to hire its first principal and teacher.

Photo and film scanning · Photo History

Uncovering the story behind a mysterious 1930s photo

Catherine and I were successful in unravelling the mystery (and it was also great fun). The photo was taken by C.B. Wand to capture the nomination of the candidates for Jubilee Queen. Using a combination of curiosity, expertise, an original photo, and published sources, we were able to answer almost every question.