The mapping of geographic names recorded in the head tax database was launched in the fall of 2008 as one of the “Asian Library’s Partnerships with Communities Program Series”. It took 20 rounds of community-based meetings with Taishanese/Zhongshanese-speaking participants to match the towns and villages of origin reported by 90% of immigrants from these two counties with the original geographical names in Chinese scripts. With the findings and on-going contributions to the list, community members interested in their genealogy, UBC students and indeed scholars from all over the world are able to work toward an international research network for reporting the roots of emigrants from Guangdong, China from 1885-1947.
Please click here for a detailed description of the project.
Part of the findings can be found in “Where Did the Immigrants Actually Come From?” exhibit.
Rudy Chiang, a community researcher took up the mapping of Xinhui (Sun Woy) after attending the Asian Library’s “Workshop on the Taishan and Zhongshan Immigrants in North America” in May 2010. He had worked on about 50% of the list. Check out Rudy’s database here and powerpoint presentation here.