Chinese Genealogical Resources

My husband and I were on a cruise recently and met a young man, Andrew, on board who was interested in researching his family history. He asked me how to get started and I told him what I tell everyone: Begin with yourself and work backwards through parents, grandparents and so on.

Andrew’s experience, though, was going to be different than that of most people. He was the immigrant generation and he came from China. Because of that, he is a step ahead of those who are second or third generation immigrants, because he is fluent in several languages, including Mandarin, and he knows quite a bit about his parents’ lives and home villages and also  of his grandparents” origins.

For those with Chinese ancestry, here are some on line resources:

1. FamilySearch China Genealogy

2. Philadelphia, PA Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1900-1923

3. Chinese Historical Society of America

4. Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project

5. The Chinese in California 1850-1925

Usually, I only list resources with digitized links. Because Chinese resources are so sparse and this collection is so large, I am including it:

6. FamilySearch, Collection of Genealogies 1239-2013 – These are microfilms which must be ordered from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and read at your local Family History Center.

There are not many resources out there, but there are some that look very promising, especially if you can read Mandarin or one of the other dialects.

I also recommend looking for ethnic organizations in the towns where your family settled.


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