Thursday, 28 February 2019

Chinese Canadians - Genealogy Research

Initially, my intention was to write an article about Chinese Canadian soldiers in World War One, however, I found so many other interesting resources that I wanted to include them here as well.

You will find most references to Chinese Canadian soldiers on the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society page.

Vancouver, B.C.    © C. Weir 

A database (list) - of names - can be found in Marjorie Wong's book The Dragon and the Maple Leaf: Chinese Canadians in WWII.

World War I and II

A 1918 Account of Traditional Martial Arts in the Chinese Labor Corps

Canadian Secret Sailors - a presentation (2016) at UBC by Clifford Pereira - Asian crews and transportation of Chinese on Canadian Pacific ships - WWI

Ceremony on the occasion of the Qing Ming festival, the Chinese celebration of the Dead.  Amongst candidates for UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Chinese who helped win WWI -  a little bit more history about the approximate 100,000 Chinese labourers who worked during WWI as mechanics and trench diggers. They were transported to the front with a short training stopover in British Columbia and England.

Chinese Labour Corps  -  WWII - Did you know the Chinese Labour Corps (actually troops from China), Newfoundland Regiment, and Indian Cavalry all played a part in the Battle of Cambrai?

First Hand Account of Martial Arts in WWI - This is a podcast which lands at first on a pop up advertisement, but if you close it without clicking on the ad, you will find a very good article underneath.

How Significant was Chinese Labour - First World War - this is a page which contains a very in-depth look at the Chinese Labour in the First World War with a commentary of the author's visits to various CWGC cemeteries. Be warned of the annoying pop up advertisements. If you can ignore these, it is an article worth reading. At the bottom of the article there is a notation about further reading, I won't copy and paste the article here, as that may be plagiarism. 

The Memory Project - wow! - memories told by veterans - some of the Chinese soldiers named on this page:
Thomas Kwok HUNG “Tommy” WONG, Air Force, WWII; 
Herbert LIM, WWII; 
Peggy LEE, WWII; 
Paul Lup CHAN, Army, WWII

Novelles-sur-Mer Chinese Cemetery - Each year, the Chinese remember their WWI dead at this cemetery in the Somme.

Other Resources

Announcement - University of Toronto   New Chinese-Canadian Archives

Burney, Sheila. 1995. Coming to Gum San: The Story of Chinese Canadians..Toronto: D.C. Heath Canada for the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1995.

Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC

Chinese History in Toronto

Early Chinese Canadians - Government of Canada - 1858-1947

Library and Archives Canada - History of Canada's Chinese Immigrants  a research guide written by Paul Yee

Multicultural History Society of Ontario - this is a links page with references to Chinese history in Canada as well as Vietnamese and Indochinese

Ryerson University Library & Archives - Asian Heritage - scroll down this page to 'Chinese Canadians' - there's a long list of authors and very interesting books some of which are oral histories!

Six Chinese Men who survived the Titanic - some of whom lived in Canada - this is one of my blog articles

Vancouver Public Library - Chinese Canadian Genealogy

Wong, Marjorie. 1994. The Dragon and the Maple Leaf: Chinese Canadians in WWII.  This book contains a database of sorts - a list of names of Chinese soldiers. at

Linda Yip  Past Presence - Chinese Canadian Resources - Linda lives in Saskatchewan,
researches Chinese Genealogy and also provides a genealogy research business.

If you know of any other resources for researching Chinese Canadians not reported here, 
please do leave a comment. With thanks!