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16 December 2010

Christine In Search of Her Roots

Imagine an intensive internship for young genealogists to learn how to research their family history in America, culminating in a pilgrimage to their far-off ancestral villages.

Fantasy? No!

In Search of Roots is an annual San Francisco program created in 1990 for Chinese Americans aged 17 to 26 with families from the Pearl River Delta region in the Guangdong province of China. More than one hundred interns have visited over 150 ancestral villages, including our own Christine DeVillier.

I recently ran into Christine and saw the gorgeous photo book she created to document her experience. The book had just arrived in the mail and Christine was eager to share it with some genealogy-mad friends. Where better to find some than at the CGS Library?

Ancestral Homes of the Lim - Wong Family documents Christine's amazing trip to Hoisan, Guandong, China in July of this year when she visited the ancestral villages of her maternal grandparents. Christine used MyPublisher's bookmaking software and her photographs to chronicle once-in-a-lifetime moments, like when she met her grandfather's younger sister, Lim Cahn Woon, who had met her brother only once when he returned to China to marry.

Christine called her newly found great-aunt "Goo Paw." Goo Paw helped to fill in missing parts of the family tree and led Christine to her grandmother's village and family home using only her memories of the wedding that took place more than sixty years ago.

Christine has been researching her family for almost ten years. She was one of the speakers at the recent Chinese American Family History Conference at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and she was one of the four creators of the two-part Chinese Ancestry Workshop organized by the California Genealogical Society in the spring.

Thanks, Christine, for sharing!

Photographs from Ancestral Homes of the Lim - Wong Family courtesy of Christine DeVillier.
Photograph of Christine courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 10/6/2010, Oakland, California.

Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library


Marisa said...

Yay Christine! Your book is gorgeous and I hope that your family has been inspired by it to seek out their roots. I know it's getting me going to tie up the loose ends from my rooting.

Blog readers - ISO Roots 2011 is accepting applications until January 31.

Christine said...

Thanks Marisa! My sister is applying for 2011.