Preserving Family Photos, Stories and Documents

San Mateo County Genealogical Society

Saturday, Nov. 21 , 2020 – Zoom 10:30 am-12:00 pm. Free.

Sign up here to get on mail list to register click

The link to each Zoom meeting, along with the handout, will be sent to everyone on the mailing list several days prior to the session.

Presenter: Carolyn Williams

This presentation provides organizational tips and procedures for capturing the story behind a photo or document, scanning the image, and then preserving both the physical and digital photos and documents for the next generation.

Carolyn Williams is a family genealogist and recent SMCGS board member. She holds a certificate from the Boston University Genealogical Research program and is a former Silicon Valley technology marketing professional.

The Mystery Aussie

San Mateo County Genealogical Society

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 – Zoom 10:30 am-12:00 pm. Free.

Sign up here to get on mail list to register

The link to each Zoom meeting, along with the handout, will be sent to everyone on the mailing list several days prior to the session.
Presenter: Pam Wong

At a time when most Chinese villagers never strayed far from their birthplaces, Jan See Chin joined other sojourners seeking a way to make a living overseas.  In 1884, at barely fifteen years old, he emigrated from Guangdong, China, to Queensland, Australia, by sea, at the time of British colonialism. Battling his way in a hostile white man’s society, he received meagre earnings working at odd jobs while he struggled to adapt to local culture.  He saved enough to buy a small farm, and then married a young half-Chinese, half-British woman named Maud Young. Together they raised thirteen children.  

Pamela Wong writes about Chinese immigrant experiences against the backdrop of historical events.  Passionate about preserving oral stories about experiences of the elders, a UCB alumna, Pam writes about future generations in mind to help them understand that they stand on the shoulders of their predecessors.

Awesome Theater Hour: Fighting History of San Francisco Chinatown

8PM, Thursday, July 9,

Ongoing sessions every 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 8PM

EPISODE 7- THE FIGHTING HISTORY OF SF CHINATOWN: Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience.

Our next episode takes one of the most popular and notorious tours in San Francisco and brings it into your home. “The Fighting History of San Francisco’s Chinatown- Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience” starring local writer and lecturer, Marc Pomerleau is a fascinating virtual tour of Chinatown like you’ve never seen. Based on his award-winning Airbnb experience, The Fighting History of SF Chinatown takes you back to the birth of the first and largest Chinatown in the United States and tours you through stories of brutality, beauty, resilience, and sheer audacity and creativity that have enabled the Chinese to survive and thrive against the odds. From the Tong Wars of the 1800s, The Chinese Exclusion Act and relentless racism, to Bruce Lee’s battles in the bay area, and the gang wars and Triad presence of modern-day, this tour promises to transform the way you see San Francisco and the Chinese immigrant experience forever.

 The Awesome Theatre Hour

Hosted by Colin Johnson
Featuring “The Fighting History of SF Chinatown: Stunning Stories of Audacious Resilience” Written and performed by Marc Pomerleau
Thursday, July 9, 8 PM PST
Facebook Live and YouTube


  • Japanese American Museum of San Jose / Chinese Historical & Cultural Project
  • Saturday, July 25, 2020
  • 1:00 PM  2:00 PM

To watch the stream, please “like” and bookmark the page to watch the stream:

The hour long segment with questions and answers focuses on the last Chinatown in San Jose, Heinlenville.

Before the Japanese. Before the Filipinos. Before any other Asian community in San Jose, there were the Chinese. Did you know that five Chinatowns existed in San Jose? And did you know that the fifth Chinatown, Heinlenville, provided the nurturing environment that gave birth to San Jose Japantown? 

Join us in an ongoing series to discover the historic and cultural treasures of the San Jose Japantown community through the Hidden Histories of San Jose Japantown Augmented Reality Art Project.

In episode 2, Curt Fukuda, documentarian for the project, explores the little known history of Japantown’s Chinese American roots. Historian Connie Young Yu and Brenda Hee Wong of the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project will discuss “Heinlenville” Chinatown, the Ng Shing Gung Temple, and the interconnected histories of Chinese and Japanese in San Jose.

Beyond the Military Record: A Case Study

Sat, Dec 5, 2020 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PST

Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library

As with many veterans, George Randall downplayed his military service. His military record gave rank, awards, dates and places of service. But, what was his service experience really like? The journey uses WWII history, and many research sources to develop the experience of his military service.

Cousin Baiting and Cousin Stalking

Sat, Aug 1, 2020 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PDT

We will discuss the many ways to reach out to distant living cousins to help you expand your pedigree chart forward in time. You may find family treasures, photos, DNA test takers and information that will break down a brick wall. We will explore online trees, lineage societies, online cemetery indexes, obituaries in newspapers, living people finder websites and social media.

Tribute to Chinese Railroad Workers

Chinese Historical Society of America’s Tribute to the Chinese Railroad

On July 1st, 1862, the Pacific Railway Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, providing federal support for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Almost seven years later, the transcontinental railroad was completed, in large part due to the contributions of Chinese railroad workers. Long overlooked by this country, the U.S. Labor department finally recognized the work and sacrifice of the Chinese railroad workers who help build the Transcontinental Railroad in 2014 by adding these workers into the Labor department’s Hall of Honor. Watch CHSA’s tribute to Chinese workers today to honor their legacy.

“I’m Not Who You Think I Am: An Asian American Woman’s Political Journey”

Thursday, July 9, 202012:00pm to 12:45pmOnline Via Zoom

Maeley Tom released her memoir entitled “I’m Not Who You Think I Am.”  Her story describes her journey to becoming the first woman and first ethnic minority to serve at the highest level of California Legislature. Her book also serves as political history in discovering how she went from political neophyte to seasoned insider to be the first to reach the top of an all-male, nearly all-white power elite in the California capitol. In “I’m Not Who You Think I Am,” we learn how Maeley helped create and advance the Asian American presence in California politics, along with a core group of close friends and colleagues.  

The book is a glimpse into how Maeley dedicated herself to giving voice to an under-represented community, led by example, and how her actions and accomplishments became inseparable from the rise of the Asian American political community. She has seen great success, as well as setbacks, hardship, and scandal. Her experience includes enduring prejudice and discrimination, and her story includes how her perseverance and integrity helped her and the Asian community emerge as a strong and influential community.  Her journey is documented in her memoir of a life well-led, with hard-fought gains and deeply-felt sacrifices; a story of painful struggles for professional recognition, self-knowledge, and personal fulfillment; a story of the rewarding, but often harsh, intersection of the personal and the political.

URGENT: COVID-19 Volunteers: Seeking Bilingual Cantonese & Vietnamese Speakers

by – Anna Eng

Additional note from Anna:  All work can be done remotely from home by phone or email or WeChat. Seeking bilingual and English speaking only. Email Anna directly if you wish to help.

Dear Friends,
I am working with some Chinatown non-profits to help support local small businesses severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and need bilingual Cantonese and/or Vietnamese speakers to help us.

Many of you may be aware of the federal gov’t’s $2T stimulus package under the CARES Act (Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security).

In addition to automatic stimulus payments to individuals there are economic emergency relief loans for Small Businesses to help them continue to pay their workers, rents and utilities while they are forced to be shut down in the interest of public safety.  Unfortunately, the application for these loans are primarily only online and only in English.  Many of our local small businesses are non or limited English speaking and/or do not have access to internet and do not know how to apply for these programs.  Many do not even know these programs exist at all.  Unfortunately because these programs are open to everyone in the country no matter how severely impacted these funds are depleted very quickly often before our minority and non-English speaking businesses even have a chance to apply.   Funds for the recent Calif. Stimulus relief package were depleted and closed within 1 week. 

Many of our local Chinese and other Asian small businesses were already severely impacted even before the Shelter in Place because of racism and the consistent identification of the Coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus.” 

[ Ron’s Edit – relevant video regarding the “Chinese virus at ]

With the increasing xenophobia and the devastating effects of this virus, we anticipate severe long term effects on our communities which will be very hard for them to recover from without some economic assistance for our businesses, workers and their families.

We are setting up a bilingual Cantonese, Vietnamese task force (phone banking, hotline, outreach) to help applicants apply for these programs.  If you are a bilingual speaker or better yet can read/write as well, we really can use your help.   If you have experience in banking or processing loans even better.  We need volunteers immediately– we will train you.  We expect these programs to go live this Fri. Apr. 3 and expect they may only last 1-2 weeks.  If you can help at all, please email me with your name, email, phone #, language skills, availability and I will get back to you with more info.

Please forward this to others who may be able to help.
Thank you!  Be safe, stay healthy and be vigilant!

In solidarity,
-Anna Eng

Volunteer Help Wanted: Part Time Bookkeeper

BACGG needs a Bookkeeper. I realize this is tax season and you book keepers / accountants are up to your eyeballs in returns, but after your life settles down, can you give us just a few hours a month? 

Bookkeeper duties:

Accounting/bookkeeper – Person to data enter financial transactions and maintain chart of accounts.  Good with numbers, organizational and communication skills. QuickBooks and Excel experience desirable.     

If you are interested helping as BACGG’s bookkeeper, contact:

Doug Joe, Treasurer         

Leona Lau, Volunteer Auditor