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.

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...

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy · Japanese Genealogy

A trip to the United Church of Canada Archives, Vancouver

After census records and vital statistics (birth, marriage, and death records), church records are some of the most important fonds in a genealogist's toolkit. For the Chinese, however, it was a circuitous path to worship and so it appears relatively few Catholic or Protestant records exist. I am working on understanding better how the Methodist Church ministered to the Chinese populations in Canada. My research shows they established missions for non-white congregants and it was the Vancouver and Victoria mission fonds I wanted to explore.

Canadian Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos

How to read an original record for evidence

In this post I share my thoughts on some confusing concepts in genealogy - original and derivative records; negative evidence; primary, secondary, and indeterminable information - all by looking at one original record from the BC archives. Genealogy Search - BC Archives Those of us fortunate to research in British Columbia rely on the Royal… Continue reading How to read an original record for evidence

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy

Over 5K new Chinese Canadian records are now online at Héritage Canadiana

In this post I will discuss the new release of digitized records at Héritage Canadiana, show you how to access them and then share some thoughts about what the aggregated collection can teach us. What is a C.I.9? A Chinese Immigration Certificate no. 9 is a Canadian reentry certificate. They were official government documents issued… Continue reading Over 5K new Chinese Canadian records are now online at Héritage Canadiana