The beginnings of researching your Chinese Australian heritage will be similar to that for anyone who sets out to research their family history from any ethnicity or background. The general advice from groups like the Society of Australian Genealogists is applicable and useful. You may also find State and local libraries to be full of good general resources. Local family history societies will be similarly useful.
National Library of Australia overview
However there will be issues that are peculiar to Chinese Australian family history research. Here are some specialised tips and hints that we hope you will find helpful:
- A beginning explanation to Chinese Names
- Guide to Chinese Australian Family Research (Chinese Museum, Victoria)
- Immigration Archives Guide A “how-to” about getting started with Chinese research in the National Archives of Australia records.
- Finding Chinese family connections in the National Archives
- Top 3 tips for Chinese Australian family history research by Kate Bagnall. Kate has also written a guide to the Immigration Archive records.
- Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV)
- They also have an Ancestor Register
- Roots Village DB – look up your ancestral village.
You might also find Chinese Genealogy useful. This forum has a number of participants from Australia and New Zealand.
Want to know more?
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone over a cup of tea (green perhaps) about your latest Chinese Australian research success or brick wall. The Chinese Australian Historical Society has established a Family History Facebook Group to encourage and assist those who have an interest in tracing their Chinese ancestry in Australia. Please join and ask questions or contribute what you have found already.
For an overview of the files germinated by the White Australia policy and its bureaucracy see: Would not this help your Federation?
Need encouragement or inspiration?
Not everyone’s Chinese Australian history will be as exciting or interesting as an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Here is a selection of other stories in various mediums from around Australia.
Success at finding a lost ancestor reconnecting current day Chinese with ancestors buried in North Queensland.
Retracing Chinese Australian family history and settlement a story from regional NSW
Mak Sai Ying a.k.a. John Shying
And a real Who Do You Think You Are? – Jeff Fatt (the Purple Wiggle
Genealogies and Family Histories
Chinese Ancestors stories of some Chinese Australians in Victoria.
Damper in A Wok a work-in-progress Chinese Australian genealogy. Also with a Facebook page