The mapping of geographic names recorded in the head tax database was launched in the fall of 2008 by the Asian Library. It took 20 rounds of community–based meetings with Taishanese and Zhongshanese-speaking participants to match the towns and villages of origin reported by 90% of immigrants from these two counties with the geographical names in Chinese scripts. The results were released in May 2010 at the “Workshop on the Taishan and Zhongshan Immigrants in North America”.
The workshop inspired Rudy Chiang, one of the workshop participants to match the towns and villages of Sun Woy (Xinhui 新會) District found in the Head Tax database. Out of the 13,000 immigrants from Sun Woy, he successfully matched more than 7,100. On January 26th, Thursday, the Asian Library organized a workshop to celebrate Rudy’s research findings and his hard work in recapitulating the early Chinese Canadian history. Click here for Rudy’s Powerpoint presentation.
When more resources are available, mapping should also be conducted for Kaiping (開平), Panyu (番禺), Enping (恩平) and Heshan (鶴山), the remaining major sending counties. For more information on this project, please click here or contact Asian Library.