Get OrganizedUse Genealogy ChartsStart Your ResearchPut It All TogetherAdditional Resources
Milestones in Chinese Canadian HistoryMigration & SettlementChinese-Canadian Pioneer StoriesHeritage ProjectsChinese DiasporaChinese-American GenealogyAdditional Resources
AboutTraditions and CharacteristicsChinese Names in CanadaSearch TipsResources
PeopleHeirlooms and Family TreasuresClans and District Associations
Cemetery Records and Monumental InscriptionsCensus RecordsChinese Consular RecordsChinese-Language ResourcesCivil RegistrationChurch RecordsDirectoriesLand RecordsLibrariesMilitary RecordsMuseums and ArchivesNaturalization and CitizenshipNewspapersOther Government RecordsRailway ConstructionWills and Probate
1891 Census of Canada - British Columbia - Cariboo1891 Census of Canada - British Columbia - New WestminsterChinese Communities in the 1891 CensusChinese Communities in the 1891 Census - British Columbia - 2-A1 - Burrard InletChinese Communities in the 1891 Census - British Columbia - 2-A2 - North ArmChinese Communities in the 1891 Census - The Territories - 197 - AlbertaChinese Communities in the 1891 Census - The Territories - 198 - Assiniboia EastChinese Communities in the 1891 Census - The Territories - 199 - Assiniboia WestChinese Immigration ListChinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 2Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 3Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 4Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 5Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 6Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 7Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 8Chinese Immigration List Transcription - Page 9Ships from China to Canada's West CoastShips From China to Canada's West Coast - T-4863 Film NotesShips From China to Canada's West Coast - T-4864 Film NotesShips From China to Canada's West Coast - T-4865 Film Notes
Genealogy in ChinaYour Ancestral Home
Chinese Immigration CertificatesGeneral Register of Chinese ImmigrationOther Records of the Chief Controller of Chinese ImmigrationChinese Immigration Case FilesPassenger ListsBorder Entry Records
This is the "Other Government Records" page of the "Chinese-Canadian Genealogy" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Chinese-Canadian Genealogy   Tags: chinese, genealogy, history  

Resources for Canadians of Chinese origin who wish to learn more about their personal connection to Chinese-Canadian history.
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2017 URL: http://guides.vpl.ca/ccg Print Guide RSS Updates

Other Government Records Print Page
  Search: 
 

Other Government Records

Many of the documents and records introduced on this website were produced by federal and provincial governments. Key government records of interest to genealogists include census, civil registration, land grants, military and estate records, but government documents of potential value to genealogists are not limited to the above. Governments produce a vast array of archival documents and published material that may be useful to genealogists in a variety of ways.

This section profiles the following collections of government records held by the B.C. Archives:

For help identifying additional government documents at produced by other provincial governments, contact one of the archives' on the Provincial and Territorial Archives and Libraries list from Library and Archives Canada.

Riots associated with a coal miners' strike on Vancouver Island in 1913 and 1914 led to injury to people and damage to property. A Commission on Claims was struck in 1916 to report on resulting claims for compensation. 380 claims were filed, with sessions held at Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Victoria between May and December 1916. Claimants included many Chinese people. The Commissioner's report includes information and files relating to individual claimants.


FINDING THE RECORDS

At B.C. Archives

The Commission's papers, comprising five boxes of documents, are held by the B.C. Archives as GR-0518. The records are not microfilmed and must be consulted on-site.

Box 1, File 1 includes a list of the 380 claimants, the majority of whom were Chinese. Remaining files in Box 1 consist of the claims, submitted on standardized, notarized forms. Box 5, Files 90-110 contain Chinese statements and translations.

A detailed list of the boxes and files is found in the archival description of GR-0518, which includes a Detailed Finding Aid. If you are unable to visit in person, contact the B.C. Archives for more information.

There are two types of B.C. coroners' records:

  • Inquests - investigations by a coroner's jury, leading to a ruling on the cause of death. Inquest files may comprise a variety of documents, including witness statements, transcripts, autopsy reports and other items.

  • Inquiries - investigations carried out by a coroner alone. Documentation usually consists of a single form.

B.C. inquest records cover the period from 1859 to 1967. Inquiries run from 1859 to 1970. However, access to inquiry records less than 100 years old and to all coroners' records after 1909 is subject to the B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Many records relating to the deaths of residents of Chinese origin are found in B.C. coroners' records.


FINDING THE RECORDS

Finding the record of a coroner's inquest or inquiry consists of two steps:

  1. Search an index to locate a reference number.
    • Indexes to B.C. coroners' records from 1879-1937 are available at the Vancouver Public Library. Online indexes are available for the years 1859-1871 and 1872-1892 (see Searching the Indexes, below).

  2. Use the reference number to locate the corresponding coroner's record.
    • Records for 1859 to 1892 are available on microfilm at the Vancouver Public Library. Records from 1893 to 1909 are available only at the B.C. Archives. See Finding Inquest and Inquiry Documents(below) for more information.

See also: BC Coroners' Records in the Genealogy and Family History guide.


SEARCHING THE INDEXES

There are two separate indexes to coroners' records, one covering the colonial period, 1859-1871, and the other covering the period from 1872-1937.

Index - 1859-1871
The online index to B.C. coroners' records, 1859-1871 is available in the online finding aid for GR-1328. The index is incomplete, and includes only three named Chinese individuals, as well as two identified simply as "Chinaman". This reflects the fact that large-scale immigration from China did not begin until the 1880s, when Chinese labourers were brought in to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The link above also includes information about locating additional and unindexed pre-1871 coroners' records.

Index - 1872-1937
If you are looking for records relating to deaths that occurred between 1872-1892, see the B.C. Archives' online finding aid for GR-1327. The finding aid lists the names of individuals for whom there are coroners' records. The list is divided into two sections, corresponding to two microfilm numbers, B02372 and B02373. If you find a name for which you would like to see the corresponding coroner's record, make a note of the file reference, for example, 44/90 (Foo Yow) and the microfilm number. For information on obtaining records, see Finding Inquest and Inquiry Documents (below).

If you are looking for a death that occurred between 1892 and 1937, you will need to look at online description of GR-0432, a record set comprising registers and indexes to coroners' inquiries and inquests that occurred between 1874-1937. It has been microfilmed in 10 volumes on two reels, B.C. Archives' B07894 and B07895, available at the Vancouver Public Library. It is not necessary to check GR-0432 if the death occurred between 1872-1892 (see previous paragraph).

If you know the date on which the death occurred, refer to reel B07894:

Volume 1     1889-1900; 1874-1888
Volume 2     1901-1918
Volume 3     1919-1929
Volume 4     1929 (beginning with inquest 356) to 1937

 

If you know the name of the person who died, refer to reel B07895:

Volume 5     1879-1891
Volume 6     1889-1905
Volume 7     1906-1911
Volume 8     1912-1915
Volume 9     1916-1922
Volume 10     1923-1937

 

Note that while Chinese people are included in the main sequence of alphabetical entries in Volumes 5-9, Volume 10 has separate indexes for Japanese, Chinese and East Indian names, following the main sequence.

If you find a name in the microfilm indexes for which you would like to see the corresponding coroner's record, make a note of all the information in the reference. This includes the year file number, name of the person, whether it was an inquest or an inquiry, and the place, for example:

1913         151         Yip Wing         Wycliffe

FINDING INQUEST AND INQUIRY DOCUMENTS

Access to coroners' records created in or before 1909 is unrestricted. Once you have found a coroner's reference number in an index, you can obtain the original document to which it corresponds from the B.C. Archives. You will need to supply the information from the index and the number of the microfilm containing the original document.

1859 - 1871
Coroners' inquest and inquiry documents for 1859-1871 are on B.C. Archives microfilm B02446. The microfilm is available at the Vancouver Public Library. Records are found on the reel in the same order that they are listed in the online description of GR-1328.

1872-1909
Once you have found an index reference (see above), look at the online description of GR-1327 to determine the number of the microfilm containing the corresponding full documentation of the inquiry or inquest. For example, record number 49, created in Cumberland in 1908, and corresponding to Chung Lung Fong, will be found on microfilm B02383, which contains records 233 (1907) to record 5 (1909). Records from 1893-1892 are available on B.C. Archives microfilms B02372 and B02373, available at the Vancouver Public Library. Records from 1893 to 1909 are available only at the B.C. Archives in Victoria.

For additional information on locating B.C. coroners' records, see the B.C. Archives' Guide to Coroners' Records.

In 1894, Chinese residents of Victoria petitioned the Governor General of Canada to amend a law passed in 1892 (55-56 Victoria, Chapter 25, Section 1) requiring Chinese residents who left Canada to return within six months. The Petition of Chinese Residents of the City of Victoria, British Columbia for an Amendment of a Certain Act requested that the time be extended to eighteen months. It was signed by 34 Chinese Victoria residents, all of whom identified themselves as wholesale and retail merchants. The list indicates the number of years each signatory had resided in Victoria, a period ranging from 2 to 34 years. The petition does not record the birthplaces of the individuals listed.


FINDING THE RECORDS

At Library and Archives Canada

The original petition can be viewed on-site at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. For more information, see Library and Archives Canada's Access the Records web page. The reference for the Petition is File no. 1629, RG174-26-2-E.

Online

The Library and Archives Canada online archival inventory description of these records is linked to a high-quality complete digital copy of the original petition.

As part of Canada's centennial celebrations in 1967, commemorative medallions were awarded to residents of B.C. who were born in Canada or resident in Canada before January 1, 1892. A similar program was offered in 1971 in connection with the centenary of B.C.'s entry into Confederation in 1871- see Pioneer Medallion Application Forms 1970.

Eligible B.C. residents could apply by completing and submitting a Pioneer Medallion Application Form. The following information was collected on the forms:

  1. Name in full
  2. Date of birth
  3. Place of birth
  4. If married - Maiden name
  5. Husband's given names
  6. Wife's full maiden name
  7. Occupation now or before retirement
  8. If born outside Canada:
    a. When did you first come to Canada
    b. Where did you first live in Canada
    c. Where did you live immediately before coming to Canada
  9. If born in Canada but outside British Columbia:
    a.When did you first come to British Columbia
    b. Where did you first live in British Columbia
    c. Where did you live immediately before coming to British Columbia
  10. Names of parents in full, including maiden name of mother:
    a. Father
    b. Mother
  11. Given names of brothers or sisters
  12. Any remarks you may care to make about your family background or experiences
  13. Do you have in your possession family records?
    - Photographs?
  14. Would you be willing to make them available to the Provincial Archives as a gift?
    - Loan?

FINDING THE RECORDS

Although increasing numbers of Chinese were settling in Canada by 1892, virtually no Pioneer Medallion Application Forms corresponding to individuals of Chinese origin have been found among the records. However, there is no index and they have not been comprehensively surveyed.

The records are owned by the B.C. Archives and have not been microfilmed. Forms were completed in duplicate, and filed in two separate sequences: by name of community and name of pioneer. To see the files, it is necessary to visit the B.C. Archives. A list of boxes and files is found in the archival description of GR-1489, which includes a Detailed Finding Aid. If you are unable to visit in person, contact the B.C. Archives for more information.

As part of the celebrations of the centennial of B.C.'s entry into Confederation in 1871, commemorative medallions were awarded to residents of B.C. who were born in Canada or resident in Canada before January 1, 1897. A similar program was offered in 1967 in connection with Canada's Centennial - see Pioneer Medallion Application Forms 1966-1967.

Eligible B.C. residents could apply by completing and submitting a Pioneer Medallion Application Form. The following information was collected on the forms:

  1. Name in full
  2. Date of birth
  3. Place of birth
  4. If married - Maiden name
  5. Husband's given names
  6. Wife's full maiden name
  7. Occupation before retirement
  8. If born in Canada but outside British Columbia:
    a. When did you first come to British Columbia
    b. Where did you first live in British Columbia
    c. Where did you live immediately before coming to British Columbia
  9. If born outside Canada:
    a. Where did you live immediately before coming to Canada
    b. When did you first come to Canada
    c. When did you first come to British Columbia
  10. Names of parents in full, including maiden name of mother:
    a. Father
    b. Mother
  11. Given names of brothers or sisters
  12. Any remarks you may care to make about your family background or experiences
  13. Address, signature and date

FINDING THE RECORDS

Although increasing numbers of Chinese were settling in Canada prior to 1897, few Pioneer Medallion Application Forms corresponding to individuals of Chinese origin have been identified in this collection of records. However, there is no index and the records have not been comprehensively surveyed.

The records are owned by the B.C. Archives and have not been microfilmed. Forms were completed in duplicate, and filed in two separate sequences: by name of community and name of pioneer. To see the files, you will have to visit the B.C. Archives and request boxes and files from GR-1489. A list of boxes and files is found in the archival description of GR-1490, which includes a Detailed Finding Aid. If you are unable to visit in person, contact the B.C. Archives for more information about obtaining copies of Pioneer Medallion Application Forms.

Contact

Profile Image
Vancouver Public Library
 
Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip