Japanese-American Immigrants – Chinese-American Emigration
I’ve discussed searches for Native American and African-American immigration documents in the last week or so, so I wanted to cover the subject of how to find Asian-American immigration records.
Those who’ve read this site over the months know which resources to use to find many ancestry records. But if you are Chinese-American, Japanese-American, or an American of another Asian nation, you might encounter special challenges in learning about your ancestors.
So I want to point you to specific resources you can use to learn about your Asian-American heritage. Below is a list of reading material and electronic resources to help you in your family research.
Japanese in America – Books on Japanese-Americans
The National Archives and Records Administration is right there with the Library of Congress and the Ellis Island files as among the most useful U.S. government records sites for ancestry researchers. NARA suggests reading materials for Japanese-descent Americans wanting to learn about the history of similar people in America. Here’s that list.
- Japanese in the United States: A Critical Study of the Problems of the Japanese Immigrants and Their Children by Yamato Ichihashi
- Oriental Exclusion: The Effect of American Immigration Laws, Regulations, and Judicial Decisions upon the Chinese and Japanese on the American Pacific Coast by Roderick Duncan McKenzie
- Japanese American history: an A-to-Z reference from 1868 to the Present
- Removal and return; the socio-economic effects of the war on Japanese Americans by Leonard Boom
- Nisei: the quiet Americans by Bill Hosokawa
- The Abrogation of the Gentlemen’s Agreement: Being the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Prize Essay for 1936 by Paul W Rodman
More Japanese Research
If you want to do more specific research online, here’s the Japanese research page at Genealogy dotcom. There’s also that author’s suggestion for further reading on the subject.
- National Archives at San Francisco – A lot of Asian-American entered the country through San Francisco, so searching through the San Fransisco NARA immigration documents is a good place to start. This site maintains files for USCIC District Offices in San Fransisco, Reno, Honolulu, and Guam. If you don’t take my word for it, the University of California at Berkely suggests on their Early Arrivals Record Search (E.A.R.S.) the same thing.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Service – The USCIS genealogy page is often overlooked, but genealogical researchers with a valid record citation (USCIS file numbers) can request files, for fees ranging from $20 to $35. For those who might not know, the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service is the successor to the defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), replacing it after bureaucratic shakeups after the 9-11 Tragedy.
- Chinese Immigration to the United States – The National Archives website has information on the history of Chinese immigration to the United States (and periods where Chinese migration was outlawed), and gives you information on researching your Chinese heritage.
- Online Archives of California – The Online Archive of California not only offers search options, but it also offers its own long list of universities with immigration studies and research resources.
More USA Immigration Resources
If you believe your Asian ancestors came to this country through one of the Eastern seaboard ports, here’s a list of Ancestry Dotcom links to cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans.
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