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.
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.
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.
Censuses are considered some of the foundational record collections in genealogy. However, as comprehensive as they are, they are not a full picture of who was in the country. Gaps include the people of all underrepresented populations. In this post, guest Carol F. Lee shares her story about looking for – but not finding – her grandfather Quan Gow in the 1931 Canada census.
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.
... 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...
Like you, I spend inordinate amounts of time researching obscure documents at odd hours. (Truthfully, sometimes it's research and sometimes it's getting lost down rabbit holes.) If only everything was online. I read archival finding aids like a Christmas wish list: I want this, and this, and this too. My curiosity is far bigger than my budget (to pay external researchers).
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
In this post I'll introduce you to one of my most important, can't live without it, tech tool: Asana. It's project management software that is robust enough to run large companies but customizable enough for starting small. And it's free.
A case study for finding people on the General Register of Chinese Immigration 1885-1949