Category Archives: File

Northwest Asian Weekly/Seattle Chinese Post

Mahlon Meyer “One newspaper closes and another goes online — Community looks back and mourns,” Northwest Asian Weekly, 19 January 2023.

The Northwest Asian Weekly and the Seattle Chinese Post ceased print publication on January 19, 2023. The Weekly will be available online.

Assunta Ng, editor of the Northwest Asian Weekly and the Seattle Chinese Post

See 19 January 2023 Seattle Times article by Daniel Beekman for more photos and history.

Update on Donaldina Cameron and the Ming Quong Home

Elena B. Wong Viscovich, Ed.D, sent me a clarification and update on the original 3/21/2016 blog entry on Donaldina Cameron and the children at the Ming Quong Home.

Ming Quong Home was established 1925 for girls that were orphans, half-orphans, children of divorce, unwanted by a step-parent, or because of mental, physical health of parents, and of refugee status, etc. The children at Ming Quong Home were not prostitutes, orphans of prostitutes, nor illegitimate children. 

Photo from The Story of the Ming Quong Home website

For a more complete story about the Ming Quong Home, please go to “The Story of the Ming Quong Homes” and its citations by Elena B. Wong Viscovich, Ed.D, a Ming Quong alumna. While researching the Ming Quong Home, Dr. Wong Viscovich found the original log listing the names of the girls at Ming Quong. She then helped redesign the contents of the Ming Quong Museum Room at the Pacific Clinics property in 2021. The log listed the reasons for placement which is mentioned above.

Piecing Together the Past: The Chinese Experience in the American West

Author Mark Johnson & Certified Genealogist Trish Hackett Nicola present:

PIECING TOGETHER THE PAST: THE CHINESE EXPERIENCE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

Sunday, January 8, 2023
2:00PM: Presentation
3:15PM: Reception & Book Signing
Fr. Healy Chapel Theater
Seattle Preparatory School. 2400 11th Ave East
Seattle, WA 98102

“Highlighting voices of Montana’s Chinese residents via their own words, Johnson artfully connects personal accounts with regional and global history. The result is an important book about risk, agency, resilience, resistance, cooperation, and hope.” -Kelly J. Dixon Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana

From 1882-1943 the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States, the only group singled out so specifically for exclusion. Yet, the very process used to discriminate against this group has produced a rich documentary record that archivists and historians use today to describe this aspect of American and world history.

Join Trish Hackett Nicola, genealogist and expert on the Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files, and historian Mark Johnson, Prep faculty member (2003-2007)* and author of The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky to learn about the preservation, interpretation, and use of these sources in telling the history of the Chinese experience in America.

This event is sponsored by the Prep student-run Asian/Pacific-Islanders Club (APIC).
*Mark taught Collegio at Seattle Prep and is the recipient of the 2007 Ignatian Educator Award.

BOOK EVENT RSVP

Mark T. Johnson is an associate professor with the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives. Author of the recent book The Middle Kingdom under the Big Sky: A History of the Chinese Experience in Montana, Johnson focuses on telling the history of Chinese communities in the American West in their own words and through a global lens. Details on these projects are available at www.BigSkyChinese.com 

Trish Hackett Nicola is a Certified Genealogist® with over thirty years of family history and genealogical research experience. She has conducted historical research for authors and published many articles on her own research. Her main interest is the Chinese Exclusion Act case files located at the National Archives at Seattle. Her blog contains a sampling of interesting files is located at ChineseExclusionFiles.com 

Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files – NGS Conference, Sacramento, CA

On Friday, 27 May 2022, Marisa Louie Lee and Trish Hackett Nicola, CG gave two presentations on the Chinese Exclusion Act case files, “Researching Chinese American Family History Using Chinese Exclusion Records – Part I & II” at the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, Sacramento, California.

Part I – Covered the historical background of the Chinese Exclusion Act through its repeal in 1943, the documents in the files, how and where to find the files, women in the files, Chinese naming conventions, paper sons and daughters, merchant partnership case files, other records of genealogical interest, and the 1965 Immigration & Nationality Act which ended race-based quotas.
Part II – Marisa Louie Lee’s case file, which was presented at the conference, was only available on this website until June 30, 2022.

A list of NARA facilities with Chinese Exclusion Act case files

Marisa Louie Lee – Case Studies
Louie Family of Fresno, California
Der Quock and the Chinese Confession Program

Trish Hackett Nicola, CG – Case Studies
Ng Yat Chin born in China
Benjamin Exner Chi’s Long fight to stay with family in Minnesota


National Archives at Seattle is re-opening!

The research room at the National Archives at Seattle is open on a limited basis, by appointment only, Monday thru Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

 Research visits are by appointment only and require a virtual consultation prior to the onsite visit.  Email seattle.archives@nara.gov to request an appointment using Request for Appointment – [your name] in the subject line.

Or call 206-336-5132 for a virtual consultation appointment prior to requesting a research visit.

Researchers should monitor the NARA web page archives.gov/seattle for details and updates, as the situation can change quickly.  To plan your visit, see archives.gov/seattle/plan-your-visit

Amy Chin – Jail Ledgers at Port Henry, NY

Amy Chin knew her grandfather entered the United States through the Port of Seattle in 1911. While searching for more records on him, she found he had been in northeastern New York state near the Adirondacks by 1903. She found more information about him in a jail ledger at a museum in Port Henry, New York, near the Canadian border. Read about Amy Chin’s discovery of the jail ledgers and her collaboration with the NYSCA Museum Program, Iron Center Museum, Town of Moriah Historical Society, North Star Underground Railroad Museum, and the Museum of Chinese in America, and how they got the jail ledgers digitized and available online. Thank you to Amy Chin and everyone involved in the project for making this information available to families and researchers.

Here’s the story. You can see the 719 images at MoCA’s online archive. The ledgers belong to the Iron Center Museum/Port Henry-Moriah Historical Society in Port Henry, NY. They and the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA) in New York City jointly own the digitized records.

Lee Quong On’s entry in the jail ledgers

Lee Quong On’s file featured on April 29, 2019 blog post, contains information from 1901 to 1941. After hearing about the jail ledgers from the Port Henry area and that they were digitized, I searched and found an entry for Lee Quong On.

In early 1901 Lee Quong On left China. He arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; then took a train to Montreal, Quebec and made his way to Burke, Franklin County, New York. He was immediately arrested. On 15 March 1901, he was brought before Hon. William V. S. Woodward, U.S. Commissioner of Plattsburgh, N. Y. and charged with unlawfully being in the U.S. A trial was held. He and three witness: Chin Sing, Chin Dan and Tsao Dong, testified in his favor. The evidence was considered, the charges were cleared, and Lee was released. He received his discharge certificate with his photograph attached in August 1901 at Port Henry, New York from Fred W. Dudley, a United States Commissioner, Northern District of New York. For the complete post, see  https://chineseexclusionfiles.com/2019/04/29/lee-quong-on-1901-discharge-papers/

Lee Quong (On), the jail ledger at the Iron Center Museum/Port Henry-Moriah Historical Society in Port Henry, NY. He is the top entry on page 49. (These are copies of the same image; the second is darker so you can read all of the words.)

“Courtesy of Town of Moriah Historical Society, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection”.
“Courtesy of Town of Moriah Historical Society, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection”.

When will the National Archives reopen?

An Update for Researchers From the Archivist (May 24, 2021)

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC. (National Archives file photo)

In late May David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, announced that the National Archives launched a pilot program to test the policies and procedures that were developed for reopening. A small number of researchers were admitted to the National Archives Building in Washington, DC (Archives I) to start this process. A test launch pilot at the National Archives at College Park, MD (Archives II) was started about June 21. There is a plan to expand the opening of research room services to the rest of the research rooms over the summer, depending on local health conditions, lessons learned and best practices identified in the early stages, and availability of staff. See the update for the complete article.