Find out what Chinese immigrants endured at the Angel Island Immigrant Station, 1910- 1940.
What family records are at the National Archives and Records Admininistration?
PRESENTED BY: GRANT DIN
Grant Din, Community Relations Director at Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF), talked about the history of immigration through Angel Island and the documents that are often available about those who have passed through it and other ports of entry. Some are available at National Archives branches, especially in San Bruno, CA, as well as Seattle, Riverside, etc.; and others need to be requested through various government agencies. Grant showed examples of some of the information that is available at the Archives and elsewhere and tips on how to find them. He will talk about deciphering some of the information one can find online such as ship manifests and "Board of Special Inquiry" reports to determine how long people were detained at immigration centers. He will also talk about AIISF's Immigrant Voices website and encourage attendees to share their family stories on it.
Grant Din has been searching for his family's and other families' stories for over thirty five years. His family's history in the U.S. started when his maternal grandfather walked across the border from Huntingdon, BC to Sumas, WA in 1905, with merchant status, and he has found documents about all of his grandparents' time spent on Angel Island. His real family name is Gong, but his paper son grandfather also went by Ow, Doon, and Din. His paternal grandmother had to pretend to be married to her brother-in-law to immigrate to America, and his maternal grandparents brought a nephew over and claimed he was a son from a first marriage - all this to get around the Chinese Exclusion Acts. In Grant's job at AIISF, he has been able to help many families learn about their family immigrant histories, with many of these stories shared on its Immigrant Voices website (www.aiisf.org/immigrant-voices). You can see some of his research on his and his wife's families at www.tonaidin.net