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Chinese-Canadian Genealogy

Resources for Canadians of Chinese origin who wish to learn more about their personal connection to Chinese-Canadian history.

Chinese-Language Resources

Chinese-Canadian genealogists researching their family history in Canada will need to consult a variety of records, including many produced by federal, provincial and municipal governments. These include sources such as passenger lists, head tax records, and birth, marriage and death registrations. Most were generated by English-speaking government bureaucracies, and are in English.

Private records and publications produced by individuals, families, associations and other groups are another important source of information for genealogists. Many records of this type are both Chinese and English, or Chinese only. Some are referred to elsewhere on this website. See:

Other Chinese-language items are among the record collections listed in the Museums and Archives section of this website. For information and links to Chinese-language resources relating to genealogy in China itself, see Back to China. Some Canadian libraries also have Chinese-language research materials in their collections.

Useful resources on Chinese-language materials include:

A History Reclaimed: An Annotated Bibliography of Chinese Language Materials on the Chinese of America
Lai, Him Mark
Ref. 973.04X L18h
This bibliography mainly compiles information on Chinese-language materials published in the United States, but Canadian Chinese-language items are also listed. Categories include Background to Emigration, The Overseas Chinese, Immigration and Exclusion, Directories, Chinese American Organizations, Economy and Business, Biographies and Travel Accounts, Sociocultural Materials, China Politics, Journalism, and Literature. Holding locations -- primarily libraries in California -- are indicated. It may be possible to obtain items through interlibrary loan. Otherwise, contact or visit the holding location for advice about researching the records of interest to you.

Historical Chinese-Language Materials in British Columbia: An Electronic Inventory
This extensive database provides information on historical Chinese-language materials held at a variety of locations in British Columbia. An extensive Image Gallery includes photographs of many items.