Our Lost Years – 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066



Sunday, February 16, 2020


11:00 AM, 2:00 PM


2 hours

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front, National Historical Park

1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000
Richmond, CA 94804

Join us for a special screening of the new film, Our Lost Years followed by a Q&A with the Director and Producer Lane Nishikawa. The film was created by the San Diego Chapter of the JACL and Lane Nishikawa to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. The film examines how lives were challenged, how livelihoods were lost, how families persevered and started over, and how the generations who have followed continue to feel the effect of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.


Seating is limited. Please call the Visitor Center at (510)232-5050 to make a reservation. 

The Chinese diaspora’s homeland: The archaeology of an emigrant village in southern China

Thursday, February 13, 2020
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Stanford Archaeology Center

The global dispersion of Chinese migrants from rural villages in southern China between the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century is often described as a labor diaspora. While these migrants labored abroad, they also maintained connections to their villages by sending remittances, writing letters, returning for visits, and building new homes. Archaeological investigations of migrants’ home villages provide a lens for understanding the material consequences of the maintenance of these transnational ties. In this talk, I will discuss my research on an emigrant village called Wo

Hing in the Gom Benn village cluster, which was partly established by Chinese migrants in the Riverside and San Bernardino Chinatowns in southern California. The Chinatowns are no longer extant but have been excavated in cultural resource management contexts; Wo Hing village and the majority of its original buildings still stand but have never been studied. I will provide brief highlights of the results of my surface collection in Wo Hing followed by a more in-depth discussion of the building and fresco survey I conducted in the village. My preliminary results indicate that migrants selectively incorporated foreign objects and architectural ornamentation into their everyday lives.

Laura W. Ng is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her dissertation examines the materiality of transnationalism by focusing on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chinese migration to the United States. Through an archaeological lens, she traces the transpacific linkages between three diasporically connected communities: two Chinatowns in southern California and a village in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Her research is funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Wuyi University Qiaoxiang Cultural Research Center, and various centers and programs at Stanford University. Laura earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego and MA in Historical Archaeology from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

A Guide for Researching Your Chinese Family History CD

Ron has in his possession a number of A GUIDE FOR RESEARCHING YOUR CHINESE FAMILY HISTORY 2nd edition description CD’s, from the Chinese Family History Group of Southern California site

If anyone wants a copy, please contact Ron bacgg.ron@gmail.com mail . You can donate to the CFHGSC via links above using a credit card or paypal. You do not have to pay the $2 shipping charge if you accept it at the March 18th BACGG meeting.

This is a great opportunity for genealogists of all levels, or as a gift to a budding family historian.

West Coast Immigration to the United States in the 20th Century

Oakland, FamilySearch Library. Sat, March 21. 2020 from 1:00PM to 2:30

20th Century immigrants to the west coast arrived by ship through Washington, Oregon, and California. Some immigrants arrived overland through Canada and Mexico. Vast numbers of these immigrants were Asian. This lecture will examine the ports of entry, the records generated, and the laws which impacted who and how the immigrants arrived. Many examples from the Angel Island Quarantine Station and Immigration Station will be used. 

Class will be a 75 minute presentation following by Q & A.


‘Our time is now’: How the California Museum is honoring Chinese American history

A long-term installation on Chinese American history in California dating to the Gold Rush period is now open to the public at the California Museum in Sacramento.

The exhibit, which began Sunday, lays out the history since the 1840s through a display of historical artifacts, photographs, interactive video stations and activities.

The exhibit is very important to teach our community, others and our children about the history, said state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, at the grand opening. Pan is the first Asian American to represent Sacramento in the California Senate.

“We have waited long enough,” Pan said. “Our time is now, and it is important that Chinese Americans and all Asian and Pacific Islanders have the opportunity to play leadership roles in this state and this country.”

The role of Chinese Californians in building the transcontinental railroad is well-known, but their other contributions in shaping the state over the last 175 years are often overlooked, said Amanda Meeker, the museum’s executive director.

“This exhibit highlights their unsung role in the state’s past and present while revealing connections to current issues of race, nationalism and civil rights,” Meeker said.

The exhibit covers six themed sections in its exploration of the Chinese American experience from the Gold Rush to now. It displays contributions not only to the transcontinental railroad to its completion in 1869, but also to the state’s agriculture, fishing and manufacturing. It also features how Chinese Californians fought racist laws, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a federal law that barred immigration from Chinese laborers, as well as the incarceration of Chinese immigrants at the Angel Island Immigration Station from 1910 to 1940.

Visitors watch an animated video about the story of Dr. Henry Yee, Chinese American who came to the U.S. in 1908, at the California Museum in Sacramento on Jan. 26, 2020

Legacy Family Tree Webinars Library

Note: Below is quoting from original reddit post: I have never used this specific service and have no financial relationship with the sponsors except having in the past used Legacy and MyHeritage.com. The below service requires your email address, and the webinars can be replayed over the next week. Nothing Chinese specific but general genealogical concepts and principles may be applicable. reposted FYI ~doug

X post from reddit Genealogy link

24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon – Free

March 12-13, 2020 – LIVE!

Join us in making history as we embark on the first-ever 24-hour genealogy webinar marathon, where you will learn how to trace your ancestors from the world’s top genealogists and educators. From advanced Googling to DNA, from The Great Lakes to Australia and Germany, there’s something for everyone… in every time zone. And thanks to FamilyTreeWebinars.com and MyHeritage, the entire event is free! Pop in for a session or two, or stick around for the full 24 hours — it’s completely up to you. There will even be time for Q&A and door prizes. If you can’t join us in real time, we’ve got you covered: all recordings will be available absolutely free for a week. Beyond that, you can watch them anytime with a webinar membership to FamilyTreeWebinars.com.

Here’s a few titles that seem relevant to some posts I’ve seen lately:

  • How Do I Know It’s Correct: Evidence and Proof
  • Not Who He Once Was: Tips for Finding Your Name-Changing Ancestor
  • MyHeritage DNA 101
  • Researching a Hessian Soldier

More info here: https://familytreewebinars.com/intermediate_page.php?diply_nm=24

ALERT: Sample Protest Letter Regarding UCISS fee increase

There has been an extension see regs.gov for receiving comments regarding the massive genealogy fee increase. Please refer to USCIS-2019-0010. “The comment period for the proposed rule published November 14, 2019, at 84 FR 62280 and extended on December 9, 2019 at 84 FR 67243, is reopened. Written comments and related material must be submitted on or before February 10, 2020

The above new deadline is thanks to Tony King’s conversation with Ron at Henry Tom’s January Las Vegas conference

Your action is needed before February 10 to keep United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from increasing fees charged for genealogy files. 

These files are the basic starting point for most Chinese genealogy researchers including family historians.  The fees for a records index search are going from $65 to $240, whether or not there’s any information.  If there is info, the fees per file will increase from $65 to $385, for a total of $625 per file.  You can see how this fee increase would impact a researcher’s ability to follow paper trails and obtain critical information.  Please submit a comment no matter how brief.

Here is a sample comment that you can copy and paste and adjust to your personal situation:

To the USCIS:

Re: DHS Docket  No. USCIS-2019-0010, USCIS Genealogy Program 

I am a member of the Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group.  This is a non-profit organization that provides resource information to any person who wishes to research their family history, without cost.  Through this organization, I have learned about the USCIS Genealogy Program as a valuable resource in family searches.

The fee of $65 for an index search seemed high, but attainable.  In view of additional fees should there be records I wish to access, it’s a financial strain, but one I could probably manage.  Now, I learn that there is a rule proposal that would jump the index fee alone to $240.  That is not realistic for anyone – especially if there are no records.  But even with finding records, it could raise the total costs to $625 and more if paper files are requested.

These records would not exist if not for the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943) which imposed undue restrictions on immigration and caused our ancestors great harm and hardship.  Now you wish to continue that pain by charging us exorbitant fees to obtain those records. Furthermore, it was my understanding that these records were to be transferred to NARA where charges are minimal.  I hope I shall be able to access records that will tell me more about my family’s immigration history.

I strongly object to this fee increase and hope you will reverse it.


CC.  Senator ________
        Senator ________
        Representative _________
If you need your Congress person’s contact information, see the highlighted links below.

  • To send your comments, go to the link below that says Federal Rulemaking Portal.  That link will take you to another page of instructions.  To the upper right, is a “button” that says “Comment Now”.  Click that to get to the actual comment page.

Copy and paste your comment in the space provided.  Ignore “upload files” and complete your name.  Follow the rest of the directions to complete the process.  Remember, this comment will be posted on the USCIS page available for anyone to see, so it’s suggested you don’t get too personal.

Thank you for your help as it is important to all of us as Chinese family researchers

Send your comments BEFORE February 10, 2020 to:

• Send a copy of your comments to your US Senators and Representative (click on these links tor your senators and representative) and refer to DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010. Tell them you care about preserving access to federal records!

Two X-posts from chineseamericanfamilyhistory

From our member Marisa

Sending wishes of good health to all in this New Year.

Some somber news to share: the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City was severely impacted by a fire on Thursday night. The Chinatown building that was its original home – and which houses its extensive collections and archives – was heavily damaged. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/24/nyregion/chinatown-museum-fire.html) The building is not yet structurally sound enough to enter and assess the damage to their collection, and time is of the essence when salvaging items that have been water damaged.

There’s a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $30k over the last 24 hours to assist the museum as they recover their archives and offices from the fire. Please consider making a donation.

MoCA is updating its Facebook page with news: https://www.facebook.com/mocanyc

From a non-bacgger

More bad news for Chinese historians and family history researchers. 


Gung Hey Fat Choi to you and yours. The best is yet to come.

Thank you one and all for joining us at the biggest EVER meeting January 15, 2020.

  1. Seminar Audio, PowerPoint linkand Photos Posted see Thank you David Lei for presenting.
  2. Group Photo click
  3. Our membership drive was widely successful. Thank you for your support to allow us the resources to help make each meeting better than the last. If you missed the January meeting and still wish to make a voluntary donation click, we recommend $20 or whatever you feel appropriate.
  4. SAVE THE DATE: March 18. Richard Le’s seminar details on how to conduct effective genealogical research by learning proven research strategies, tips and common mistakes to avoid. This will be a longer content rich session, so we will do a brown bag in the interest of time.
  5. Video and Photographer Volunteers Wanted. Many of you asked if we recorded the seminar. To do such, we need a volunteer to help us take video. Also, to capture the heart of our meetings, we need photographers to take pictures.
  6. Ear ring found. If you lost an ear ring send me a description and we will mail it to you.