The following is an example of how a Chinese Exclusion Act case file can add to your family history. Cathy Lee had numerous family stories about her great-aunt, Grace Chen, but there were many dates and places missing. Once Grace’s Chinese Exclusion Act file was found, Cathy searched additional archives and libraries and found more documents about her aunt. The article below is the culmination of the Cathy’s research and the fascinating story of the life of Grace Chen. Go to article at Grace Chen by Cathy Lee
“Grace Chen, Section Six Precis photo”1928, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Grace Chen case file, Seattle Box 1102, file 9666/2-7.
Chan Ying Tak was born 8 January 1906 in Hong King, China. She was a student in Oi Hoi Village, Sun Whai District from 1912 to 1919 and Pui Ching School in Canton from 1919 to 1923. She came to the United States in 1923 as a student under the provisions of the Section 6 exemption of the Chinese Exclusion Act. She received her B.A. degree from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio and obtained her medical degree at Rush Medical College at the University of Chicago. She interned for one year at the Women’s College Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1933 she was a medical researcher at the University of Chicago.
In 1933 Miss Chan was applying for a re-entry permit so she could visit her family in China. Her father provided her with $2,000 a year while she was attending school. She described him as retired but a stock owner in various department stores and railroads in China. The interviewer asked if she would describe him as a retired Capitalist. She replied, “Yes, I think I would.”
Dr. Ying Tak Chan received an excellent letter of recommendation from B. C. H. Harvey, Dean of Medical Students, the University of Chicago and Edward H. Parson, Immigrant Inspector approved her application. Information not in the file: She returned to the U.S. and was very successful. Details to come…