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.

Chinese Culture · Chinese Genealogy

The Chinese Canadian Museum (Victoria): a peek inside and a chat with Charlayne

In this post I explore the new Chinese Canadian Museum (Victoria) and hear a few stories from my host, Charlayne Thornton-Joe. Before my visit, I knew Charlayne slightly from the Facebook group Chinese Community of Victoria. Charlayne Thornton-Joe is a third-generation Victorian. Until recently, she served as a long-time city councillor, encouraged to run by… Continue reading The Chinese Canadian Museum (Victoria): a peek inside and a chat with Charlayne

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 · 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