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Chinese Origins of U.S. Families: A Guide to Local History and Genealogy Sources

Compiled by subject specialists at the Library of Congress, this guide provides topical bibliographies for print and online resources on researching the genealogy of Chinese families in the U.S., along with key national, state and local histories.


William Henry Jackson, photographer. Chinese subjects. Circa 1901. Detroit Publishing Company photograph collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Chinese people have migrated to North America for centuries. In modern times, some of these people stayed to build their families in the U.S., while many others returned to China or Taiwan to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Chinatowns grew up across the country wherever immigrants endeavored to preserve their culture and communities.  You may want to search for the stories of your Chinese American families using some of the resources listed in this guide.

This guide includes catalogs and archives outside the Library of Congress that have local histories, censuses, and land records. Look for various genealogy periodicals and publications, lists, useful websites and online databases, as well as services subscribed to by the Library.

About Local History & Genealogy Reference Services

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.