Canadian Genealogy

What you need to know to visit the BC Archives today (Sep 2022)

How to read the codes for vital statistic records at the BC archives:I'm excited to share this with you. Despite pulling birth, marriage, and death records (BMDs) back in 2018, I'd forgotten this little trick for reading registration codes and was utterly confused my first day. Now I'm sharing it with you (and my future self, who will forget again). There are two different methods depending on whether the records were produced before or after 1944. We will start with the easier ones: record produced after 1944.

Family history stories · Womens History

The “Linda learns to dance” project, chapter one

Caelia created a new jazz routine with All That Jazz by Liza Minelli. For the next six weeks, she taught me the routine - thirty seconds at a time - until we'd done the entire three minutes. She recorded each segment. My weekly dance regimen became learn, practise, practise, repeat. Then she taught me more: how to walk onstage and offstage, musicality, marking, and timing. I learned things you can't learn from the internet.

Genealogy Legacy Planning · Photo and film scanning

What do I do with old VHS tapes?

As I work through this process, I need to ask myself about the goals of this project. Before investing time and dollars: What are the goals for converting the tapes to digital? Who is the intended audience? Where will the converted files be used? Where will the files be stored? How will the files be shared? Where will the files go in twenty years or more (legacy planning)?

Chinese Culture · Photo History · Womens History

Fashioning the Decades: my interview with Violet Tang

In this gorgeous virtual exhibition, artist, creator, and curator Violet Tang created an online look at the twin topics of fashion and the Chinese diaspora. It's truly breathtaking what she's done, recreating the full museum experience online. I encourage you to visit as you would in real life: slowly, savouring each piece.

Canadian Genealogy · Family history stories

Reflections: My life as a Chinese Canadian genealogist

There has never been a better time to get into Chinese genealogy. More and better records are being digitized, found, and released as privacy laws and resources permit. I'm excited to see what the future holds and I can't wait to teach more people how to find their own families. The fact that I, a non-Chinese speaker, can do what I do is testament to titanic changes in genealogy. As well, the story of Chinese settlement in Canada has all the hallmarks of a great novel: enormous sacrifices against overwhelming odds, generations of time, and oceans of distance. All it needs now is us to find and interpret the hidden stories and tell them to our kids.

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy · Chinese maps and places

Finding my family: Chinese graves at Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby, BC

The Mongolia/Willow area is a segregated Chinese section. (On the map it's at 3:00 o'clock.) Today the sections near Willow are called Elks (north) and Hope (south), therefore I reason that the section now called Elks was once called Mongolia. This is where Won Alexander Cumyow (d. 1955, age 94) and his wife Eva Chan Cumyow (d. 1939, age 68) are buried, just east of ...

Canadian Genealogy · Canadian laws · Chinese Genealogy

True crime, the Wing Sang Co., and police records: A trip to the City of Vancouver Archives

Once you're on site, my best tip for getting the most out of an archives visit is asking for a quick tour. Most times the archivist will ask you what area, subject, or time frame you're researching. They will also show you how to fill out a record retrieval slip and while I am an experienced researcher, I always appreciate the reminders. Every archive follows archival best practises, which means...