Monthly Archives: February 2016

Thomas Chin 1919 Birth Certificate, Omaha, NE – midwives listed

Thomas Chin 1919 Birth Certificate Nebraska 1068_8715 11 20
“Certificate of birth for Thomas Chin, Omaha, Nebraska,” 1919, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Thomas Chin file, Seattle, Box 1068, Case 8715/11-20.

Thomas Chin, the son of Gin Chin [Chin Ah Gin] and Unce Chin was born on 14 December 1919 at 1917 Cass Street, Omaha, Nebraska. The attending physician, C. B. Foltz, M.D. and nurse-midwives, Miss Smith and Miss Unger were from Lord Lister Hospital. [The name of the hospital is not filled out on the certificate so it was probably a home birth.] Thomas’s father was born in California and his mother in China. The birth certificate was used for proof of birth so Thomas could obtain a Certificate of Identity. The family was about to visit China and needed the proper papers so they would be re-admitted on their return to the U.S. Beside Thomas, their younger sons George Chin Gin and Carl Chin were traveling with them.
According to Chin Ah Gin’s statement, in April 1891 the U.S. District Court of San Francisco, California established that Chin Ah Gin’s place of birth was San Francisco. A copy of the court document is included in his Seattle file #2792. By 1909 Chin had made four trips to China. He had to prove his citizenship every time he re-entered the U.S. On his last trip he was admitted at Portal, North Dakota.
Chin Ah Gin and his wife had nine children; three were born in China and six in the United States. Their daughter Fong Yin died in Omaha about 1925. All the children were living in the United States in 1927.

Thomas Chin photo 1927
“Photo of Thomas Chin, Form 430,” 1927, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Thomas Chin file, Seattle, Box 1068, Case 8715/11-20.

Thomas Chin and his family returned to Seattle, Washington on the S.S. President Grant on 9 April 1828, were admitted then went home to Omaha, Nebraska. The file does not give any information on how they traveled from Seattle to Omaha.
Chin Ah Gin owned and managed the Mandarin Café at 1409 Douglas Street in Omaha.

Advertisements

Kwan Ngau – Actor Mandarin Theatre Troupe – San Francisco

Kwan Ngau Actor Soldier 1028_7314_2-2 sm
“Photograph of Kwan Ngau,” ca. 1927, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Kwan Ngau file, Seattle, Box 1028, Case 7314-2-2.

Kwan Ngau entered the United States at Seattle on 31 July 1927 on the S.S. Princess Marguerite. He was 21 years old and was born in Singapore. He was employed by the Mandarin Theatre Troupe in San Francisco, California. As with most actors, he was allowed a temporary stay of 12 months and a $1,000 bond was taken out to assure that he would not overstay his allotted time in the United States.
His photo as a soldier was most likely for one of his acting roles. He returned to China in July 1928. Kwan Ngau also had a membership card from the Mandarin Theatre Troupe. It contained a less flattering photo, his name, date and port of arrival, name of the steamer, immigration serial number, and stated that he was bonded by Union Indemnity Company.
[Many actors came to the United States especially for World Fairs. Their files usually do not contain much information. Earlier files do not even contain a photo. None of the actors who came for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909 had photos in their files. See Chinese Community at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909 ]

Woo Sing Family Portait – Registering Proof of Birth in Richmond, VA

Chas Wm Sing 1898 Fam photo sm 1070_8787_13 8
“Woo Sing family portrait,” 1898, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Charles William Sing file, Seattle, Box 1070, Case 8787/3-8.

This photo was taken in Richmond, Virginia about 1898 of the Woo Sing, his wife Sue King, their son Charles William, and their daughter.
Charles William Sing, born 16 November 1895, was said to be the first Chinese baby born in Richmond, Virginia. [In 1908, the Acting Chinese Inspector stated that the Department of Health did not records birth in the City of Richmond during the years 1888 to 1900.] Woo Sing, knowing that his son nativity might be questioned in future years and his rights under the Constitution may be endangered, had several affidavits recorded in Chancery Court. Woo Sing stated that he was born in China and came to the United States in 1875 at the age of nine, married Sue King, of Chinese descent, but born in San Francisco. They were married there according to the laws of the State of California. They moved to Richmond about 1894 and lived at 2 South 7th Street. He set down the date of his son birth in Chinese and that statement was attached to the affidavits of the attending midwife and two persons who knew him personally. His affidavit was signed 28 April 1898. He paid $1.75 in filing fees. Minetree Folkes, a Notary Public for the City of Richmond, certified Woo Sing’s document.
Walter Christian, Clerk of the Hustings Court of the City of Richmond, certified Folkes’ qualifications.
Caroline Claton, a colored woman, swore in an affidavit that she was a midwife, resided at No. 4 Jackson Street, Richmond, and that on 16 November 1895; she attended to Woo Sing’s wife in the birth of a male child afterwards called Charles William.
Jefferson Wallace swore that he had his linen washed at the laundry of Woo Sing, sometimes called Hop Sing, He knew Woo Sing four or five years, knew that his wife bore a male child in the autumn of 1895 and the child was named Charles William Sing.
Bettie T. Hayes, residing at 817 Floyd Avenue, Richmond, swore the Woo Sing was her tenant and that she has no doubts about the time and place of the birth of Charles William Sing and that his mother brought him to her house on numerous occasions.
These statements were admitted to record on 8 August 1899 by Charles O. Saville, Clerk of the Court of Chancery. The documents were recorded in Deed Book 166 “B”, page 63.
In early September 1908, Woo Sing’s attorney asked the immigration authorities to do a pre-investigation on Charles William Sing to assure that he would not have any problems re-entering the United States. John H. Sargent, Inspector in Charge, in Seattle, complied. On 25 September 1908 John C. Williams, Acting Chinese Inspector, Norfolk, Virginia reported that he had done a thorough check of records and reported that “all the evidence produced and the people interviewed would seem to indicate that there is no doubt of the birth of a Chinese child at #2 So. 7th St., Richmond, Va. about the time set forth in the father’s affidavit.”
On 19 April 1911 Woo Sing, also know at Woo Yip, testified that he was 46 years old, a cook, and living at 655 West Highland Drive, Seattle. His wife and son and daughter were living in China. His statement was in reference to his son, Charles William Sing, coming to Seattle to live with him. Charles, age 16, arrived in Seattle on 15 April 1911 and was admitted. He went back to China in 1913 and 1927 for visits. The final document in his file shows that he was re-admitted on 23 April 1928. He was married. His married name was Woo Gong Jim; his Chinese name was Woo Gong Foon. He had seven children—four sons and three daughters, age 8 to 2. The oldest was born in China and he was staying in Seattle. The others, all born at 1023 King Street, Seattle were going back to China to attend school and return later. He had birth certificates for the children born in Seattle.
Other information not included in the file obtained from Library of Virginia :
The Richmond Dispatch, a Richmond, Virginia newspaper published an article, “Woo Sing Has a Son. He paid $1.75 Yesterday to Certify to this Fact. An [sic] Unique Paper Filed in Court” on 9 August 1899.
[There must have been a problem with Charles William Woo’s return in 1908 because these articles were in the local Richmond, Virginia newspapers.]
“Richmond-Born Chinaman is Denied Re-Admission,” The Richmond Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia 24 September 1908, p.10, col 1.
“American Chinaman Barred,” Appomattox and Buckingham Times, Volume 16, Number 48, 30 September 1908, p7, col. 2.

 

 

Louie Chuck Lum – Ballard street car transfer

Street car ticket Ballard
Ballard street car transfer, side a & b, ca. 1914, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Louie Chuck Lum file, Seattle, Box 1059, Case8310/3-12.

Louie Chuck Lum Ticket B 8310_3-12
Louie Chuck Lum, son of Louie Lang Jin, arrived in Seattle on the SS President Taft on 16 January 1928. He was 22 years old, single, a rice farmer, on his way to visit his cousin Louie Jew in Portland, Oregon. He was seeking admission to the United States as the son of a native. He was born in Hang Mee village, Hoy San district, China on 15 April 1905.
His village had about 300 houses in nine rows–his was the 5th house, 4th row from the head. [The interview contains copious details about the size of the houses, the direction of the rows in relation to the village, the amount of space between the houses and an exhaustive description of his house.
Louie Chuck Lum’s father, returned to China in 1914 and eventually died there. On his 1928 trip to Seattle, Louie Chuck Lum brought some of his father’s clothing with him. He wore his father’s suit on the ten-day trip from China even though it was a little big for him and he wore his father’s vest at his interview. He showed the interviewers the undated street car transfer in the pocket of his father’s suit. The ticket became part of the file.
He was asked why he and his older brother were not married and he said it was because they did not have enough money to get married.
Four Chinese witnesses made affidavits testifying that Louie Chuck Lum was the son of Louie Lang Jin, a U.S. citizen. On 9 March 1928 Louie Chuck Lum was admitted to the United States.

Little Dancie Wong – crying and a little happier

 

Little Dancie Wong 1932 & 1937
Photo of Little Dancie Wong, form 430, 1933; Photo of Little Dance Wong, Certificate of Identity Application, 1937, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Little Dancie Wong file, Seattle, Box 742, Case 7030/10486.

Little Dancie Wong was not a happy baby when she had her photo taken in 1933. She was 2 years old, 2 feet, 8-1/2 inches tall. This photo was taken when Little Dancie and her mother and brothers, Pershing and Kellogg, were applying to leave the U.S. for a trip to China.
The 1937 photo was taken when Little Dancie and her family returned from China and were headed back to Rosedale, Mississippi. She was now six years old and 3 feet 6 inches tall. They arrived on the S.S. President McKinley on 10 November 1937 in Seattle, Washington. This photo was on her Certificate of Identity number 75531.

Information not included in the file:
According to FindAGrave.com, Little Dancie Wong died on 24 February 1951 and is buried in Beulah Cemetery, Bolivar County, Mississippi.  If anyone knows more details about Little Dancie, please let us know. See the Contact Form.