Category Archives: Birth Certificate

Wong Ming Bow and family – restaurant owner in Buffalo, New York

Collage of Wong Ming Bow and family
“Photos Wong Ming Bow and family,” 1932, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Wong Ming Bow, Wong Hong Sun, Wong Hango, Wong Hong Kew, Wong Dock How, Wong Tai You and Wong Hang Jew case files, Seattle, Box 577, 7030/4947, 7030/4939-4944.

Wong Ming Bow (grandfather), Wong Hong Sun (son), and grandchildren: Hango (Stella), age 8; Hong Kew (Rose), age 6; Dick How (Anna), 4; Tai You, 18 months; and Hang Jew (Joseph), two months.

[Continued from 22 May 2017]
Wong Ming Bow was in China from 1911 to 1913. He was visiting his wife, Lee Shee, and their two sons, Wong Hong Heung/Sun and Wong Shere Choon and daughter, Wong Gim Fon. He returned to his home at 64 West Genesee Street in Buffalo, New York where he was the proprietor of the Yuen King Lim Restaurant. Wong’s 19-year old son, Wong Hong Sun, joined his father in Buffalo in 1916. He was admitted as a student, the minor son of an alleged citizen. The interrogator asked him about his school in China, the village, his grandparents and their siblings, if his father knew his schoolmates, playmates or acquaintances; who lived in various houses in his village—name of spouse, names and ages of their children; property his father owned and many other questions. The interrogation was five pages long. His father’s interview was even longer. Many of the same questions were asked to make sure his answers agreed with his son’s. Wong Hong Sun was admitted about a month and a half after he arrived at the Port of Seattle and he left immediately for Buffalo.
Wong Hong Sun registered in District 3 for the draft and served as a private in the U.S. Army from October to December 1918. His record of enlistment and honorable discharge were submitted as evidence when he applied to visit China in 1922. [These records are not included in the file.] It was a special trip; he was getting married and bringing his mother, brother, sister, and new bride back to Buffalo. Wong Hong Sun was a part owner of Joyland, an American-Chinese Restaurant at 640 Main Street in Buffalo.
By 1933 Wong Hong Sun and his wife, Lee Shee, had five children, all born in Buffalo. Certified copies of their birth certificates are included in their files. They were all applying to go to China for a visit. Wong Hong Sun’s parents joined them; his mother planned on staying in China. They were going back to their native village of Mee Way, Sun Ning district and stay four or five years.
In September 1936, Wong Ming Bow returned to the United States through Seattle. His son, Wong Hong Sun, returned in April 1937 and his son’s five children came back as native citizens in July 1941 and were admitted. Wong Hong Sun’s wife stayed in China and died in 1946.
Eventually the family moved to San Antonio, Texas. [More information isn’t included because of privacy concerns.]

Chin King Jin – Kenneth Hazeyama, Japanese boy adopted by Chinese family

Chin King Jin (Kenneth Chin)
“Chin King Jin (Kenneth Chin) affidavit photo,” 1929, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chin King Jin case file, Seattle, Box 759, 7030/11066.

Chin King Jin, was the adopted son of Chin Ne Toy and his white wife, Gertrude Copeland (Kopelian–Chinese name Dong Shee) of Seattle. He attended Pacific Grammar School. He visited China when he was seven years old and returned when he was 12. He left again when he was 14 and was returning in 1938 at age 21.
During the time he was in the U.S., he made trips to Portland and New York with his father. He gave the following information in his 1938 interrogation: his father was Chin Toy, marriage name Chin Don Koon, and he did not know his birth mother’s name. The file contained a certified copy of Chin King Jin’s birth certificate which said both of his parents were Japanese. His name was listed as Kenneth Hazeyama; his father was Fumio Hazeyama, born in Japan; and his mother was Susie Hazeyama, born in “America.” [Her maiden name was not listed. Chin King Jin did not know he was adopted so this news must have been shocking.]
Chin King Jin married Yee Shee on 17 September 1936 in China. His marriage name was Chin Suey Beow. Their son, Jun King, was born 15 September 1937. Chin King Jin’s wife and son stayed in China and lived in Woy Pon Lee Village. Chin King Jin spoke in See Yip Hoy Ping dialect.
Chin King Jin’s adopted father, Chin Ne Toy, testified that he lived at Yee Chong Company in Seattle and he had an orange ranch in Bakersfield, California. He first saw Chin Kin Jin when he was about six years old. A Japanese acquaintance brought the boy to him and said he needed a home. Chin Ne Toy’s attorney, Mr. Lysons, obtained a birth certificate from the Board of Health for the child saying he was born on 2 November 1916 and drew up a certificate of adoption in the Superior Court in Seattle. The birth certificate lists the midwife for the birth as Tsuya Hirano. The interrogator thought Chin King Jin looked white, not Japanese, and that Chin Ne Toy could not legally adopt the child because his wife was not in the U.S. [There is no further mention of Gertrude/Dong Shee but she is listed as a stepmother on the file reference sheet.]
Chin King Jin and Chin Ne Toy were interrogated several times separately. Many questions about the family village were asked—How many houses in the village? The location of their house; direction it faced? What style? How many stories? The size of tiles on each floor? Where was the open stone court? Who lived in the house? Where is the nearest market?
In spite of many unanswered questions, since the applicant had been admitted to the United States on one previous occasion in 1929 as a U.S. citizen, the inspectors unanimously approved his application and he was admitted to the U.S. as a returning native-born American citizen.

Jung Ah Can – 1879 San Francisco Birth Certificate; 1904 copy

“Certificate of Birth for Jung Ah Can,” 1904,
“Certificate of Birth for Jung Ah Can,” 1904, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Jung Ah Can case file, Seattle, Box 1264, Case 36414/1/5.

According to the 1904 certified copy of Certificate D27299, Hall of Records, Office of the County Recorder, City and County of San Francisco, California, Jung Ah Can was born on 4 June 1879 at 745 Clay Street. His father, Jung Chong Ping, was a manufacturer of cigars. His mother was Jung Shee. On 25 May 1904, Edmond Godchaux, County Recorder, certified that the certificate was a true and correct copy of an original record as it appears in Book 6 of Register of Births, page 75. Affidavits were sworn by Lai Young Kow and Jung Book Sang.
Attached to the certified copy in Jung Ah Can’s Exclusion file was a current photo of Jung Ah Can and a stamp that is only partly legible. “from Malone, N. Y. [???] 16, 1907, signed F. M. Berkshim {???], Chinese Inspector.” Handwritten across the certificate in red ink,“Canceled May 2/19; C.I. 30663, signed G. H. Mangels, Inspr.”
Jung Ah Can went to China in 1907 and returned via Malone, New York in 1908. Jung was re-admitted in 1908 by Inspector in Charge Sisson using his birth certificate as proof of citizenship. At some point Jung moved to Cleveland, Ohio and from there he applied to visit China in 1912.
A 31 January 1913 memorandum in the file regarding an appeal for the case of Jung Ah Can, alleged citizen refers to the “utter worthlessness of the ‘birth certificate,’ is not an impressive one…” It notes that there was no evidence that a fraud had been perpetrated and Inspector Sisson in Malone was a careful officer. It states that there was no indication that Sisson made an error in his decision. The appeal was sustained. Jung’s application was approved and he received his certificate of identity. He made one more trip to China in 1919 to visit his wife and their four children in Mong San Village, Sun Woy District. Jung Ah Can died at Cleveland, Ohio on 8 March 1926.

Chung Hing Sou – Family Portrait

chung-hing-suo-portrait
“Portrait of Chung Hing Sou family,” ca. 1920, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Chung Hing Sou (William) case file, Seattle, Box 1377, Case 41093/4-2.

Front row: Ah Jung (Chung Hing Jung b.1917), Hom Shee (mother, b. ca. 1872), Chung Don Poy (father, b. ca. 1850), Ah May (Chung Yut May b. 1913), Ah Joon (Chung Hing June b. ca. 1882), Chung Yut Sim (Rosie Chung b. 1900)
Back Row: Ah Lun (Chung Hing Lun b. 1909), Ah Ming (Chung Yoot Ming or Pansy b. 1902), Ah See (Chung Hing See b. 1907), Ah Hom (Chung Hing Hom b. 1904), Ah Fay (Chung Hing Fay b. 1895), Ah Sou (Chung Hing Sou b. 1893), Ah Ngo (Chung Sou Ngo or Violet Chung, b. 1897).
[Certified copies of Oregon birth certificates were presented for all the children except Ah Joon. They were all born in Portland.)
In 1922 Chung Hing Sou was applying for a Native’s Return Certificate. We wanted to visit China, get married, and bring his bride back to his home in Portland, Oregon.
Chung Hing Sou produced a certified copy of his Oregon birth certificate for proof of his citizenship. He was born on 16 August 1893 but the certificate was not filed until 13 October 1921 so he was required to show more evidence of his birth. His parents, several of his siblings and two Caucasian witnesses testified in his favor.

Hom Shee, Chung Hing Sou’s mother, age 50, testified that she came to Portland from China as a merchant’s wife when she was 20 years old. She and Chung Don Poy had eleven children together; ten were living.
Chung Don Poy testified that he had been married twice. Ah Joon (Chung Hing June) was his son from his first wife who died in China. Chung Don Poy was a merchant at Yuen Hop Company, Quon Yee Yick Company and the Gum On Wo Company before he retired.
Chung Hing Sou was known as William or Willie Chung to White people. As a child he attended Park School (later known as Ladd School). His teachers were Mrs. Sloane and Ella Ross. His report cards were used as proof of his attendance. He lived in Montana for a couple of years and registered for the draft in Flathead County in 1918. He and his brother Chung Fay were supporting the family so they were classified as Class 3B. He was a registered voter and voted in Montana once and two or three times in Portland.
William Chung’s half-brother, Chung Hing June, was a farmer in Cherryville, Clackamas County, Oregon.
(William or Willie) Chung Hing Sou’s Caucasian witnesses were George W. Wilson, a lawyer, and L. A. Pike. Wilson knew the Chung family for many years. He first met Willie about 1905 after the World’s Fair in Judge O’Day’s office. The family was purchasing a home on Lake Street. Although Willie Chung was a minor, the deed was taken out by him because he was an American citizen. About 1914 Wilson sold a house and lot at 527 Greenwood Avenue to the Chung family and William signed the deed.
The other Caucasian witness, L.A. Pike, was a Deputy Collector of Customs in Portland and worked for the Customs’ Service for thirty-one years. He was well acquainted with the parents in the family portrait and knew William and most of the other children.
H. W. Cunningham, Chinese and Immigrant Inspection recommended that Chung Hing Sou be adjudicated as a genuine native-born citizen of the United States and Chung’s application was favorable recommended by R. Bonham, Inspector in Charge.

Bertha Hoy – 1905 NYC Birth Certificate

Birth Certificate for Bertha Hoy 1905
“Bertha Hoy’s New York Birth Certificate,” 1905, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Bertha Hoy case files, Seattle, Box 1371, Case 40875/8-12.

Bertha Hoy’s birth certificate describes her as a white, female; the daughter of Tom Jung Hoy and Long Ho Hoy, born on 25 January [1905]. The date of record is 3 April 1905 and the date at the top of the document is 21 July 1908. Her father was 33 years old and was born in China. Her mother was 20 years old and her place of birth is not entered. The family resided at 5512 5th Avenue, New York City. This was their second child. A current photo [ca. 1923] of Bertha Hoy is stapled to the certificate.
The family left for China from Seattle on 30 August 1908.
Bertha Hoy returned from China on 17 January 1923. Her application for Certificate of Identity includes her Chinese name, Jung Bik Ha. Bertha presented a copy of her birth certificate as proof that she was a U.S. citizen.
An Immigrant Inspector thought it was necessary to compare her birth certificate No. 7595 with the original record on file at the Brooklyn Board of Health. A comparison was made in the presence of Dr. S. J. Byrne, whose check marks appear on the official copy and he verified it as genuine.
Witness Woo Bing, manager of the Qwong Tuck Company in Seattle, was called forth. He exhibited a Qwong Tuck Company’s departure book showing the names of hundreds of Chinese that departed for China. The book listed the Jung Hoy family’s departure on 30 August 1908.
[A note at the bottom of the interview says, “The book above mentioned shows Chinese departing for China from the year 1906 to December 3, 1912.”]
The Board of Special Inquiry unanimously agreed to admit Bartha Hoy to the United States as a returning native-born Chinese.
[Nothing in the file mentions anything about Bertha Hoy’s birth certificate listing her as “White.” They may have decided that it was a clerical error not worth pursuing.]

Georgie Lee – Chinese Champion Bantamweight of the World

Georgie Lee Letterhead
“Ancil Hoffman Letter regarding George Washington Lee,” 1921, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, George Washington Lee & Raymond Lee case files, Seattle, Box 1349, Case 40233/1-1 & 40233/1-2.

George Washington Lee and his brother Raymond Lee were pugilists (boxers). Their primary home was in Sacramento, California but they were being promoted to box all over the world—United States, Canada, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, France and British Isles. In 1922 they were returning from their first trip out of the U.S.– a boxing match in Vancouver, B.C. Their manager was Ancil Hoffman and James J. Corbett created a promotional biography for George Lee. He called him the “yellow peril” and said he held his own with Bud Ridley, Young Farrell, Al Walker and Felix Villamore, know on the West Coast as the “Big Four.”
This is a condensed family biography gathered from Form 430, witnesses, letters, interviews and the promotional material in the file:
The progenitor of the family was Lee Moy, who was born in China, and his wife, Neevis Paderas, born in California of Mexican descent. They had seven children, four boys and three girls: George, Raymond, Elwin, Daniel, Emma, Dora and Irene. The mother died in Sacramento in 1917. (Moy and Neevis’s 1899 marriage certificate and Neevis’s death certificate were reviewed by the inspectors and returned to the family.) Their son Daniel died in 1918. George and Raymond were born in San Francisco before the earthquake and fire. (Raymond’s birth certificate is included in the file.)
Lee Moy serviced in the U.S. Army as a mess attendant on the U.S.S. Pinta and was receiving a pension for his military service. He worked as a cook after his stint in the army.
In 1921 George Lee applied for and obtained a U.S. passport from the Department of State. (included in the file)
Ira M. Conran, Chief of Police, Sacramento, Mr. Tharpe, a detective, and Ted N. Koening, a policeman, all testified that they knew George Lee since he was a child. A copy of a torn family portrait was included in the file.
The inspectors were satisfied with the applications and they were accepted.

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.