Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos

The startling details of a Chinese Case File, pt. 4 – How to get your ancestor’s file

This is the follow up post to "Chinese Immigration Act Case Files: Finding aids at LAC," written exactly three years ago. In that post, I'd hoped to one day acquire a Canadian Chinese Case file. Now I have seen four and they are everything I'd hoped - and feared - they would be. For my community, simultaneously ignored by some systems while being overdocumented in others, it feels right that we reacquire the information collected about us.

Canadian Genealogy · Canadian laws · Chinese Genealogy · Family history stories

The startling details of a Chinese Case File, pt. 3 – stories & tools for analysis

In this series, I have focused on one Chinese Case file as the source material and applied an intensive analysis to the correspondence. My advice to all those who have acquired one or more Case Files: Go slowly. Take your time processing. Write a story.

Canadian Genealogy · Canadian laws · Chinese Culture · Chinese Genealogy · Family history stories · Stories of WWII

The startling details of a Chinese Case File, pt. 2 – What happened to George’s sons?

When I reflect on this story about George Sing's ten year battle to bring his sons Gee and Get to Saskatchewan set against the backdrop of the Second Sino-Japanese War where twenty million Chinese died, I'm reminded of another sorry tale in Canadian immigration history. A high-level immigration official, when asked how many Jews should be admitted to Canada during the Second World War, said, “None is too many.” This xenophobic quote has been ascribed to Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King and Immigration Director Frederick Blair and is probably neither but shows the attitude at the highest levels of government. Canadian Immigration, helmed by Blair, was deaf to the pleas of Canadians desperate to shelter their relatives living under the threat of war and too many died as a result of his "careful control" of Canada's borders.

Canadian Genealogy · Chinese Genealogy · Family history stories

The startling details of a Chinese Case File – the story of Quon Hing, aka George Sing, pt. 1

I received my first Canadian Chinese Case file this summer. And it's everything I hoped (and feared) it would be. For some time my research into the records of the sixty years of the Chinese Immigration Act (1885-1947) has been hinting at something bigger. And that the currently available bits and pieces refer to an even bigger genealogical treasure in Chinese Case files.

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!

Canadian Genealogy · Genealogy How Tos · How To Videos

Explore the new Library and Archives Canada site (Oct 2022)

... Before, you went to Library Archives Canada's site, and then you went to the siloed databases. Like if you wanted "Immigrants before 1865," you search there. And then if you wanted "Russian Immigrants," you'd search there. So it was extremely difficult to find anything at Library and Archives Canada. And what was missing was a central collection search. Well, guess what, there is now a central collection search...