Category Archives: File

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.

Getting started in Chinese genealogy: a family historian’s step by step guide (even if you don’t speak or read Chinese) by Linda Yip

Getting Started in Chinese Genealogy Linda Yip
Linda Yip of Past-Presence.com has a new e-book, Getting started in Chinese genealogy: a family historian’s step by step guide (even if you don’t speak or read Chinese) 

Here are some of the subjects you will find in Linda’s book:
Top 15 tips for beginners in genealogy
What if the record is wrong?
9 Tips on reading Chinese when you do not read Chinese
How to find your surname in Chinese
Multiple wives
Things to know about Shee and Ah names
Exploring where you are from in China

Listen to a book review by Carly Morgan of Chinese genealogy 101 Family Tree Notebooks

Linda is giving away three copies of her new book. Enter and see if you can be one of the lucky three. The contest closes 15 March 2021. (Winners will be announced on the 16th!)

Happy reading!

Judge Blocks Sale and Closure of National Archives in Seattle

U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour granted a preliminary injunction Friday morning to stop the sale of the National Archives at Seattle.

Coughenour said the feds could have avoided a “public relations disaster” if they had “displayed some sensitivity” to how the closure affected the Northwest.

See the complete article by Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis:

National Archives Closure Hearing – Friday, 2/12/2021 at 9 a.m. (PST)

National Archives at Seattle

There will be a hearing on the sale of the National Archives on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9 a.m. (PST)
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his team will be in federal court to ask for an injunction to immediately stop the sale.

The Zoom video version is only for the lawyers and the judge, but the public can listen in by calling (669) 254-5252, and at the prompt, put in the meeting ID: 161 786 3808.

See today’s Seattle Times article for more information.