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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 Immigration List

In 1885, the federal government imposed a head tax on Chinese immigrants, the amount of which was raised in 1900 and again in 1903, creating a major financial obstacle to would-be immigrants from China. The head tax was followed in 1923 by comprehensive legislation designed to exclude Chinese people from entering the country and regulate those already living there. Under Section 18 of the Chinese Immigration Act, all Chinese in Canada were required to register, including those born in Canada to parents of Chinese origin. 

The purpose of the Act was to curtail immigration from China. The legislation also placed restrictions on those already living in Canada. Section 18 required all individuals of Chinese origin to register with federal authorities. At the time of registration, native-born Chinese (those born in Canada) were issued with a Chinese Immigration Certificate No.44 (C.I.44).

The resulting Chinese Immigration List includes the date of birth, birthplace, name, and the number of the C.I.44 certificate issued to each person.

For further details, see the archival description of the Chinese Immigration List in the General Inventory on the Library and Archives Canada website.


At the Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library has a photocopy of the Chinese Immigration List, obtained from Library and Archives Canada in November 2005:

Chinese Immigration List
Ref. 325.1 L697c

In the case of individuals born after 1895, date of birth and C.I.44 number have been withheld under the privacy provisions of Section 19(1) of the Access to Information Act (R.S. 1985, c. A-1).


A searchable online transcription of the portion of the Chinese Immigration List covering the period from 1861-1900 is available here.

Characteristics of the Vancouver Public Library's photocopy of the original document and the manner in which its contents have been transcribed can be found in the various tabs (above).

Use the table below to browse the Chinese Immigration List by page number. Or enter a name in the Search box near the top of the page to locate an individual.

Page 2

Transcription (1-62)

Chinese-Canadians born 14 February 1861 - 14 November 1889

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Page 3

Transcription (63-129)

 Chinese-Canadians born 19 January 1890 - 14 August 1892

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Page 4

Transcription (130-196)

Chinese-Canadians born 15 August 1892 - 5 March 1895

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Page 5

Transcription (197-263)

Chinese-Canadians born 13 March 1895 - 17 July 1896

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Page 6

Transcription (264-327)

Chinese-Canadians born 15 August 1896 - ? April 1898

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Page 7

Transcription (328-393)

Chinese-Canadians born 7 April 1898 - August 1899

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Page 8

Transcription (394-458)

Chinese-Canadians born 23 August 1899 - 11 November 1900

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Page 9

Transcription (459-461)

Chinese-Canadians born 14 November 1900 - 24 December 1900

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The pages of the photocopy of the original (hereafter referred to as the "original") are prominently numbered in the lower-right corner, beginning with "1". These numbers appear to be the work of Library and Archives Canada staff and are the numbers according to which the wiki transcription is organized.

Page 1 of the original seems to be an errata or addendum to the main Chinese Immigration List but there is no explanatory note. It has no original page number (as opposed to the page number added by Archives staff). It lists only 4 individuals and does not show their dates of birth or C.I.44 numbers (see Dates of Birth below). This part of the original has been omitted from the wiki transcription, due to the lack of clarity concerning whether or not these 4 individuals were born before 1901.

The list proper begins on Page 2, with the first entry corresponding to Won Alexander Cumyow. Page 2 does not have an original page number (applied at the time that the document was created) but subsequent pages do have original numbers, which appear at the top. These numbers do notcorrespond with the page numbers applied by Library and Archives Canada staff. The latter are those to which the wiki transcription corresponds.

Entries have been transcribed into the wiki exactly as they appear in the original, without correction. The transcription includes obvious errors seen in the original. For example, there are instances in which the original indicates "B.D." instead of "B.C." as an individual's province of birth. Although this is clearly a typographical error, the transcription is faithful to the original. There are also cases in which there appear to be duplicate entries. Again, the wiki transcription follows the original. This guideline is applied consistently.

Entries have been numbered as a navigational aid. These numbers do not appear in the original.

Prior to being photocopied and supplied to the Vancouver Public Library, the Chinese Immigration List was the subject of a review under the provisions of the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act (ATIP). While the complete original list held by Library and Archives Canada shows the Date of birth, Birthplace, Name, and C.I.44 number of every individual who registered under the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, the photocopy only shows all of these details in the case of individuals born prior to January 1, 1896. For entries after this date, only the Birthplace and Name of each individual are shown. This is due to ATIP. With the passage of time since the list was acquired by the Vancouver Public Library in 2005, ATIP would likely now allow release of some further (post-1895) records.

The wiki transcription is based only on the portion of the Chinese Immigration List corresponding to individuals born prior to 1901. In the case of individuals born before 1896, Date of birth is shown in the original document and therefore appears in the wiki transcription. The Date of birth indicated in the Chinese Immigration List and shown in the transcription is the Date of birth shown in the person's individual wiki profile. If there are discrepancies between this date of birth and a date or dates identified in other sources, this fact is noted in the Comments and Queries section of the profile.

In the case of individuals born after 1895, B.C. Vital Events Records were used to identify individuals who were born before 1901 and who therefore fall within the scope of this wiki. These dates are not in the photocopy supplied to the Vancouver Public Library and therefore do not appear in the wiki transcription. They do, however, appear in individual wiki profiles. The relevant B.C. birth record is cited in the Source notes.

In some cases, birth records could not be located. This is particularly true in the case of people born before 1897, when the B.C. civil registration system, which had not previously applied to people of Chinese origin, was expanded to include them. In cases where a birth record could not be located, the year of birth has been surmised based on the position of the individual's name in the Chinese Immigration List relative to other individuals whose birth details were found. Again, this year of birth is shown in the individual's wiki profile but does not appear in the main transcription.

B.C. vital records indicate that the final individual listed in the wiki transcription, Lee Kang Gee, was born on December 24, 1900. In the case of five individuals who appear in the Chinese Immigration List directly after the entry for Lee Kang Gee, it is unclear whether they were born in 1900 or 1901. They are omitted from the transcription.

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