Prior recordings of our webinars & meetings

  1. Jan 15, 2020 What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You about Chinese New Year click by David Lei
  2. March 2020 BACGG Digital Town Hall Meeting click
  3. May 20, 2020 Family and District Associations; Six Companies and Tongs Explained click by David Lei
  4. July 15, 2020 Chinese Night Clubs click by Calvin Fong

    We have posted the answers to the many questions site asked during Chinese Night Club webinar. Thanks to the hard work of Ron, Gail, and Jeannie with 2 hours of interviewing Calvin, Cynthia, and Coby, let alone the hours of collating the data!

  5. Aug 29, 2020 Operation: WWII Chinese American G.I. site by Montgomery Hom

    Link to view your elder’s name on the list of having received the CGM (Congressional Gold Medal) site

  6. December 2 & 16, 2020. Census Research and Vital Records site by Kelly Summers 夏開理
  7. Feb 5, 2021 Chinese New Year of the Ox site by Rosemary Gong
  8. May 27, 2021 Family Tree by Doug Joe and Confession Program by Jeannie Young site
  9. Aug 14 and 21, 2021 Tsung Tsin Association Hawaii site by Brian Dillon, PhD

    This is a two part YouTube series presented by the Tsung Tsin Association of Hawaii site , a fraternal organization supporting the Hakka culture of Hawaii. It is cosponsored by both our Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group and the Chinese Family History Group of Southern California site . Many American Born Chinese (ABC) are unfamiliar with the Hakka and Punti (Cantonese) ethnicities. Beginning family historians barely understand the cultures of the Sze Yi, Zhongshan, and Sam Yup Cantonese speakers. Dr. Dillon, having married into an Hawaiian Hakka family, has done much original research and carries the tradition of academic methodology from his father Richard Dillon. His family is embedded in the history of the American west. The lectures have an abundance of references from his two articles in the California Territorial Quarterly. The first video is about the Hakka and their diaspora to Hawaii. It is a good treatise about the ethnic group. The second video is about the Chinese American experience in California. With sadness and shock, balanced by Dillon’s excellent lecture style, we are reminded of the vitriol against our ancestors and people during the 19th century. dj 2021

  10. Nov 17, 2021 West vs East – Chinese Herbal Medicine. site Calvin Fong’s recollection of his father’s Chinese herbal practice in Oakland, CA and organized medicine and government’s assault on the business.
  11. Mar 23, 2022 Chinese Lion Dance in the American Context site David Lei’s treatise on the Chinese Lion Dance in the USA
  12. Sept 14, 2023, Facing Challenges and Limitations: Where Do Organized Chinese Associations Get Respect?

All Things Chan (陳)

  1. Chan Surname Special Interest Group (BACGG) click
  2. Archive of Al Chinn’s now dark House of Chin (陳) click
  3. Huang Village Chin (陳) Family Tree (Gene Chin) click to view
  4. Public Geni family tree (陳) curated by Philip Tan click to view dj 2023

    Site considered progenitor of Chen clan into Guangdong.

  5. Chan Chronicles by Dr Kenneth D. Chan. Middle Kingdom to Gold Mountain – A Visual Compendium of Chan Family History. A kaleidoscope of Chan Family history, mythology, culture, ancestral roots, and family stories with pictures. A reference and resource for Chan Family historians and genealogists researching their Chan Clan roots.
  6. Chan China Roots Journal by Ron Chan

Pre-Pandemic Group Photos demonstrating how the group grew click to view

Beginning Genealogy Resource CD to purchase from Chinese Family History Group of Southern California  click

Research Tips

I. Handling and Studying Chinese Characters

  1. How to Capture Chinese Digital Characters link by Tom Loui
  2. 100 Chinese Surname by Ron Young site dj 2020

    Beginners: a site to find your surname. [select][copy][paste]into your files. Fairly complete IMHO

  3. Hoisanva English Dictionary 2023 by Gene Chin click to view by Gail Chong
  4. List of Common Chinese Surnames wiki dj 2020

    Another site to find your surname, frequently referred to by Henry Tom link

  5. Reading Chinese Gravestones by Doris Yau-Chong Jones Nov 2001 pdf dj 2020

    Nice treatise from Australia on interpreting tombstones. Remember, the dead don’t lie.

II. Media Management

  1. Scanning Tips with Epson V600 click by Ron Chan
  2. Colorize B&W Photos Free for a limited time click/ by Ron Chan
  3. Photo Restoration – Scanning and Retouching site click by Ron Chan
  4. VideoPad link dj 2020

    Full featured video editor. Free for 1 month. Older interface, similar to Microsoft Movie Maker . Beware as it seems like they install nagware on your computer. Mar 2021: they are very aggressive about you paying for updates. To prevent that, back up your program. Email me for of Jun 25, 2021, I cannot recommend this program without significant work-around

  5. Irfanview link dj 2020

    Free full featured image manipulator

  6. Audiacity link dj 2020

    Free full featured sound manipulator which VideoPad can also do with sound, but cost money.

III. Oral History

  1. Transcribing Oral History click by Ron Chan
  2. 10 Steps To Conducting Oral History Interviews click by Ron Chan
  3. How to Interview Your (APA) Parents and Grandparents shared by Grant Din on another Forum click dj 05/2021

    Grant posted: I “met” online Stephen Lee, a Korean American who has been a reporter, lawyer, and prosecutor. He’s put together a website called Our APA Heritage, and offers great resources for those telling or researching their family stories, including interview tips, his family stories, and more. You can see his website above… He’ll even help you with an interview if you wish!

IV. Researching American Documents

  1. How to Effectively Research the National Archives Portal site click by Marisa Louie-Lee
  2. The A-Files (Alien Files) – Research and Access link Jeanie Low 2020
  3. Resources to Learn about Angel Island Immigration and its Documents post by Grant Din
  4. Beware of the Elixir of NARA click dj 2020

    This is my opinion meant for newbies when accessing their NARA files

  5. Standing up for Chinese merchants in the 1880s click by Grant Din via dj 2021

V. Researching Chinese Documents (Zupu 族谱) and Tombstones

  1. Henry Tom’s 2019 How to study your Chinese genealogy

  2. Tracing their roots: genealogical sources for Chinese immigrants to the United States by Sheau-yueh J. Chao pdf dj 2020

    Janey Chau wrote this academic treatise on the zupu/jiapu. She would be the expert on Chinese family tree documents this side of the International Date Line.

  3. Chinese Lunar and Gregorian Calendar Converter by Philip Tan spreadsheet dj 2020

    Philip Tan wrote out the calculations and Chinese characters for converting the Chinese calendar with the Gregorian calendar in spreadsheet format.

  4. The Village Database by Friends of Roots site dj 2020

    The reincarnation of the Village Database done by the San Francisco Friends of Roots.

  5. Geography of Kwangtung Province for Hawaii Residents by Francis Woo pdf dj 2020

    Francis Woo has declared her document as an open source publication.

  6. If you’ve traced your ancestors to Huang Di opinion site dj 2020

    The sentiment of Him Mark Lai, added to the genealogical principle of always sourcing your family tree.

  7. Reading Chinese Gravestones by Doris Yau-Chong Jones Nov 2001 pdf dj 2020

    Nice treatise from Australia on interpreting tombstones. Remember, the dead don’t lie.

  8. The purpose of the Zupu-Explanation on Chinese Genealogy Forum by user laohuaqiao site dj 2020

    This formerly active participant on the Chinese Genealogy Forum explained the purpose of the zupu.

  9. The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe pdf dj 2020

    Governance in China: How the Clan ruled villages in China compared to how guilds ruled villages in Europe. The reason Mao Zedong burned the zupus during the Cultural Revolution.

  10. How I recently obtained my zupu 族谱 (jiapu) link dj Jan 2010

    Tony King has done an excellent job explaining how to interpret your jiapu/zupu. Contact me if you need additional help with your Chinese family tree booklet, the ‘Holy Grail’ of Chinese genealogy ! See item 11 below to view Tony King YouTube video “Interpreting Chinese Genealogy Books”.

  12. Tony King’s Interpreting Chinese Genealogy Books

  13. During Lina Lee’s Chinese Burials and Tombstones sponsored by Family Search broadcasted Fall 2020, she shared helping people (including non-members of the LDS) translate/digitize their Chinese words. The website is Free Online Consultation, the sessions are 20 minutes. You will need to upload an image of of your documents. Since the time limit is 20 minutes, this precludes translating pages of your zupu/jiapu/Chinese genealogy document. If you need help with uploading images, or are looking for other alternatives to digitizing your material, please click the About section above and send an email to one of the planning committee members.

VI. Chinese Culture

  1. What Ching Ming Means to Me click by Ron Chan
  2. The Complicated Chinese Tree site dj 2020

    Cute YouTube video on Chinese family relationships

  3. Having Face in Chinese Culture by china-mike site dj 2020

    This site has helped me understand the Chinese concept of ‘face’ as I compare with the American concept of face. I keep these lessons in the back of my mind as I converse with Mainland Chinese based genealogists.

  4. Concept of Guangxi by china-mike site dj 2020

    Another necessary lesson when networking with Mainlanders.

  5. The “Chinese Stomach”: Why Chinese Travelers Prefer Bad Chinese Food Over Any Other Food by David Chan site dj 2020

    I know understood why my parents always went to Chinese restaurants in other cities.

VII. Miscellaneous

  1. California’s Chinese Heritage: A Legacy of Places click by Jeannie Young
  2. Oregon’s Chinese Heritage: A Legacy of Places click by Jeannie Young
  3. A Genealogical To-Do List While You Keep Your social distancing click by Ron Chan
  4. Free Chinese Online Genealogy Consultation click by Ron Chan
  5. Celebration of the End of World War 2 YouTube CHSA site Sep 26, 2020

VIII. Members Online Genealogy Sites

  1. Our Family Jiapu 家譜/家谱 site by dj2020
  2. Welcome to the Lew Family Genealogy of Slen War Lee (新 和 里) and Oong War (東 和) site by Tom Loui
  3. Welcome to! site by Grant Din
  4. Gabby Gail’s Combined Family Trees site by Gail Chong
  5. The Hong Family: Recollections on Serving the Community site by Kenneth J. Hong

IX. Book Review by dj2020

The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America by Mae Ngai ISBN-10:0618651160
I highly recommend this book. Please refer to the other 33 reviews on Amazon site

  • Parallels the life of my ancestors and elders, the middle class of Chinese Americans.
  • An excellent representation of the social, physical, and emotional environment of the turn of the 20th USA.
    The text paints a picture of what my grandfathers had to endure in the early 1900’s.
  • Familiarity with the SF-Berkeley and Portland, Oregon region makes Ngai’s descriptions more poignant
  • Despite claiming knowledge of racism against Chinese, I was awed by the amount and virulence of the anti Chinese sentiment. Even though it is an underlying and recurring theme, Ngai’s style is subtle but effective.
  • Narrative is easy to read, novella-like. One might question its authenticity until the reader reaches the footnote section. A 2nd generation E book did not display the footnotes appropriately.
  • Because of the extensive footnote section, this book could be a college level textbook. Such status would quadruple the price
    dj 08/2020

X. Historical Links of Interest by dj2020

Frequently as I research my family history, I look for context in Chinese (American and world) histories to get an idea of what my ancestors had to live through.

A. China’s Contribution to WW1

B. China’s Infrastructure

C. Anthologies of Chinese and Chinese American History

D. YouTube Videos explaining China’s Century of Humiliation ~1840 to ~1949 by dj01/2022

Many of our families’ ancestors emigrated during this period. In my research of family history, I look for explanations of historical reasons to understand what my ancestors lived through, and why they left their homeland to live in North America. I have tried reading many Wikipedia’s and endlessly trying to wrap my brain around this information. I (IMHO) found these video depictions by very useful. There is a lot of information, and take your time to wind press pause in order to comprehend the details. A trick I find useful is to increase the playback time and turn on auto-generated English subtitles. You can adjust this by clicking on the gear icon on the bottom right of the video.

  • Video by Victor Historia dj 05/2021

  • Video by Time Ghost History dj 01/2022

  • Video by Time Ghost History dj 01/2022

  • Intro to Historical Chinese Geography

XI. Places to Visit both physically and virtually


Remembrances of relatives who served our Armed Forces link

  1. Doug Joe click
  2. Ron Chan click
  3. Leona Lau click
  4. Susan Lee click
  5. Janwyn Funamura click
  6. Justine Wong click
  7. Cathy Chung click

2 thoughts on “Resources”

  1. Good evening, I am currently enrolled in an online genealogy course dealing with religious records in the United States. The course materials give us very little to go on when it comes to early immigrant records for Buddhists. I am not assuming all Chinese immigrants were Buddhists it is just one of the religions they touched on in a Chapter that covered Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. While I would most certainly refer a client to a Genealogist with experience in Chinese family and clan history, I am wanting to better understand what records would replace a lack of religious records. When researching early Chinese immigrants in California where do you search for vital records and religious records? Did the Churches established by the early Chinese keep records of membership? birth? marriage? Death? Burial or Cremation? I appreciate any time or assistance you are willing to share with me. I am just beginning my journey to certification and have included my website. It is still very raw and under construction.

  2. My grandmother was a Christian in China, and had a Christian wedding. There was a recorded record in the church as I have the wedding certificate with pictures of both my grandparents on it. I also found their wedding photo. I asked a Christian friend of mine in Hong Kong to see if the Church still exists, but he said trying to find a church 100 years ago in a Communist country was not easy.

    My suggestion is to check with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Family Search Center. If anyone would have expertise in locating religious affiliations, I would think they can advise, or point you in another direction. I don’t see your address on your website, but the local FSC to BACGG is located at 4766 Lincoln Ave, Oakland, CA. (510) 531-3905. But there are similar centers worldwide so there is bound to be one near you.

    You could also post your question on the Chinese American Family History forum ( )

    That’s my .04 (.02 adjusted for inflation)

    Good luck in your research.



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