The arrival of Chinese immigrants leading to the development of a permanent residential community began in 1858. For more information on the history of Chinese immigration and settlement in Canada, see History and Pioneers.
The federal Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 (48-49 Vic. Chap. 71) imposed special controls on Chinese immigration to Canada, including the infamous head tax.
Administration of the Act was the responsibility of the Department of Customs. Customs officials in port offices acted as Controllers of Chinese Immigration and reported to the Chief Controller of Chinese Immigration in Ottawa. In 1892, control of Chinese Immigration - and the position of Chief Controller - were transferred to the Department of Trade and Commerce. Then in 1911, they were transferred to the Immigration Branch of the Department of the Interior, where they remained through various departmental changes until repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1947.
The federal Chinese Immigration authorities generated large numbers of records. Explore these records in the following sections:
- Chinese Immigration Certificates
- General Register of Chinese Immigration (a major source of genealogical information)
- Other Records of the Chief Controller
The Vancouver Public Library acknowledges the participation of the Chinese-Canadian Historical Society of B.C. and members of Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian community. Many individuals have contributed time, knowledge and ideas. We particularly thank Loretta Chow, Ray Chow, Gordon Mark, Trev Sue-a-Quan, Ed Wickberg, Larry Wong, May Yan-Mountain, Gail Yip, and Eleanor Yuen for their enthusiasm and support.
The Vancouver Public Library Trust was generous in providing the financial support necessary to develop and launch the initial phase of this website.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of Library and Archives Canada, whose contribution has allowed us to expand and develop the content of the Chinese-Canadian Genealogy Website.