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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.

Use Genealogy Charts

A major focus of any genealogical research project is the identification and gathering of basic details about each ancestor, such as name, and date and place of birth, marriage, death and burial.

Genealogical research often involves more than a search for names and dates. There is much more to be learned about each ancestor, including his or her reasons for immigrating to Canada from China, the kind of work he or she did, family and social life, and other interests and activities.

Finding out the basic details concerning names, dates and places, however, gives you a framework that helps put everything else into context and informs your research. After all, if your grandfather was born in China in 1904, there's no point looking for him in the 1901 Canadian census.

Genealogists usually record basic information on charts. Although many types of charts are used, the most common are the Ancestor Chart and the Family Group Record.

The Ancestor Chart, like the Family Group Record, is one of the charts most commonly used by genealogists. Also called the pedigree chart, the Ancestor Chart is a multi-generational chart that presents information about three, four, five or even six generations.

The Ancestor Chart only shows your direct ancestors - that is, your parents, your parents' parents (grandparents), your parents' parents' parents (great-grandparents) and so on back through the generations. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brother and sisters, nieces and nephews are not included (see Family Group Record for information about charting these family members).

Click on the image at the left for an example of a four-generation Ancestor Chart for Frederick Cumyow, (eldest son of Won Alexander Cumyow, the first baby of Chinese origin born in Canada). You may notice that there are many empty spaces on Frederick Cumyow's Ancestor Chart. In fact, there is no information at all about the 4th generation - Frederick Cumyow's great-grandparents. Genealogy is about collecting the information to fill those gaps.

There are many versions of Ancestor Charts. The one used for Frederick Cumyow includes space for each individual's name, and his or her date of birth, marriage and death. Other versions of Ancestor Charts have room for additional details, such as place of birth, marriage and death, and details of burial.

Print this blank Ancestor Chart [PDF] and use it to begin recording your direct ancestry. 
Start with yourself as the PRIMARY INDIVIDUAL.

 

If you have information about more than four generations, enter the next generation on another chart. Use numbers to link charts together. Spaces for recording linking numbers are usually provided on blank Ancestor Charts, including the one on this site.


Recommended Formats

The following are recommended formats for entering name, date, and place information on Ancestor Charts:

Name (Chinese)

LI Da Huang 

[Surname in capital letters - Given name(s) - Chinese name in parentheses]

Name (English)

Kenneth MAH 

[Given name(s) - Surname in capital letters]

Include both Chinese and English names, if known.

Date

22 November 1903

Place

New Westminster, B.C. (province only, if in Canada)

Ju Hong, Hay Ping, China (include country name if outside Canada)

The Family Group Record, like the Ancestor Chart, is one of the charts most commonly used by genealogists.

The Family Group Record documents information about nuclear families. (For genealogical purposes, a nuclear family is defined as a family group consisting of two married parents and their legal children). Each Family Group Record provides details about each married partner (husband and wife), together with information about each of their children.

The images at the left show an example of a Family Group Record for Won Alexander Cumyow and his wife, Ye (Eva) Chan.

Each direct ancestor on an Ancestor Chart appears in two Family Group Records. In the first Family Group Record, the direct ancestor is listed (with his or her siblings) in the "Children" section on his or her parents' Family Group Record. In the second Family Group Record, he or she is either the Husband or Wife. For example, in addition to the chart shown at the left, Won Alexander Cumyow would appear as one of the children on a Family Group Record for his parents, Won Ling Ling and Wong Shee.

Grace Cumyow, listed with her siblings on Won Alexander and his wife Eva's Family Group Record, would also appear as the Wife on another Family Group Record, together with her Husband, Cecil Sit Shin Lee, and their children. Family Group Records for each of Won Alexander Cumyow's other children could also be compiled.

 

Print this blank Family Group Sheet [PDF] and use it to begin recording details about the families of each direct ancestor on your Ancestor ChartStart with yourself and your spouse as the Husband and Wife.

 


Recommended Formats

The following are recommended formats for entering name, date, and place information in Family Group Records:

Name (Chinese)

LI Da Huang 

(Surname in upper-case - Given name(s) - Chinese name in parentheses)

Name (English)

Kenneth MAH 

(Given name(s) - Surname in upper-case -Chinese name in parentheses)

Include both Chinese and English names, if known.

Date

22 November 1903

Place

New Westminster, B.C. (province only, if in Canada)

Ju Hong, Hay Ping, China (include country name if outside Canada)

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