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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.

Heirlooms and Family Treasures

Your family may have collected many items over time which could provide useful clues to your family history, as well as a richer picture of people's lives.

One of the most useful types of memorabilia is the Chinese immigration certificates that were issued by federal immigration officials.

Other examples include:

  • Family Bible
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Letters
  • School yearbooks and report cards
  • Passports
  • Photographs

When possible, make copies of family memorabilia. In some cases, you may be able to make photocopies. However, older items are sometimes quite delicate, and cannot be photocopied. Prepare full physical descriptions of such items with written transcriptions of the contents. When taking photographs, record when, how and where the item was found and note its present location.

Some interesting examples of family memorabilia can be seen on the Internet:

The Yip Sang Collection
Images of artifacts from the Yip Sang Collection are featured on a website that tells the story of one of a Chinese-Canadian pioneer who became one of Vancouver's most successful merchants in the 1900s. The artifacts include CPR luggage tags and rubber stamps from the Wing Sang Company and other businesses owned by Yip Sang.

Historical Chinese Language Materials in British Columbia: An Electronic Inventory
Although it is primary a database of records for over 11,000 textual Chinese-language materials, this website includes an Image Gallery with examples of family memorabilia. Images of artifacts from several families are included, among them the families of Alex Chan, Bick Lee, Glen Wong and Paul Lin.

Chinese Canadian Women, 1923-1967
This online exhibit includes many digital images of family papers and photographs.