Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a collaboration of the information and databases they have compiled over the past years
in an exhibit entitled "The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858-1947" at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/chinese-canadians/index-e.html

They have divided the site into five different areas of interest to genealogists, and they are -

- The history of Canada's early Chinese immigrants - explores why and how they came to Canada.

- Photos, government documents and letters that have been collected by the LAC

- Head Tax Records - You can search the General Registers of Chinese Registers online from 1885 to 1949.

- Chinese Canadian literature and historical research

- Coming soon will be educational resources for classroom study for secondary school teachers.

By the LAC's own admission, the General Registers of Chinese Immigration is the most important part of the history because it represents the payments made by the Chinese when they came to Canada. The Chinese were the only ones who paid the head tax when they came into the country.

Over 95,000 immigrants are recorded on these rolls.

There is also personal essays on the site, as well as family histories and suggested websites.

I have written about the Chinese-Canadian immigration in an article entitled "Uncovering Chinese-Canadian Records" in the January 2009 edition of Internet Genealogy, pages 20-21.

For an interesting look at the Chinese New Year, please visit www.chinapage.com/newyear.html