Get To Know Your History With A Little Help From Your Friends

Monday, September 20, 2010


Roy Chan didn't know much about his grandfather until a trip about five years ago to the family's ancestral village in China. There, to his surprise, he found the man's name -- Ong Yet Nam -- on the facade of a community center. The discovery led him on a journey into his family's past. What he learned changed his life and prompted him to organize a family history conference Oct. 10 in Chinatown [...]

Today, online tools make the search easier. But for Chinese Americans, tracing one of the most far-flung diasporas in modern history can still be tricky. Documentation is scarce; the 1906 earthquake destroyed many records and surnames might have been switched in records or falsified, as in the case of "paper sons." Historians estimate about 150,000 Chinese who came to the United States between 1910 and 1940 were "paper sons," men who claimed to be sons of U.S. citizens to evade restrictions meant to keep Chinese from entering the country.
Event Information

Sunday, October 10, 2010
8:30am registration; 9am – 5pm conference

Oakland Asian Cultural Center: 388 - 9th Street, Oakland Chinatown

Registration (online/ mail) is only $25 online or by mail (includes a box lunch!) and $15 for students with current ID. Online Registration ends on October 7. Registration on the day of the conference will be accepted based on availability and does not include box lunch.

Sign up early! Space is limited.

For more info, contact Roy Chan at: or (510) 637-0463 or go to