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03 March 2016

1 million Angel Island immigrants: what genealogical clues were left behind?

Do you have Japanese, Chinese, Jewish, or South Asian ancestors that came through Angel Island

Join member Grant Din and learn about the more than one million people from over eighty different countries who were processed by officials on the island.  You might be familiar with Angel Island’s Chinese poetry-carved walls, but did you know that quite a lot of genealogical resources are now available to researchers?

Angel Island, photo courtesy of Linda Okazaki

Linda Okazaki, our current President says, “Grant is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of Angel Island, as well as the federal records generated when the immigration station operated there from 1910-1940. I've heard Grant speak several times while ‘on’ the island. Now I'm excited to have him present here at the California Genealogical Society’s Library.”

What’s the format?
Learn from case studies of Chinese, Jewish, South Asian and Japanese immigrants.  Find out about the National Archives and other resources that might be available for your own research.

Topics covered
  • Gain an understanding of the different groups who passed through Angel Island.
  • Resources for Angel Island and West Coast immigrant research that available online and at the National Archives in San Bruno.
  • Interpret documents such as ship manifests to find valuable information.
  • How to obtain government files such as "A-files" (A for "Alien") via online requests.

Member Grant Din has been working in Bay Area non-profit organizations for more than thirty years and has conducted genealogical research for even longer.

He works as the community relations director at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, where his work includes managing the Immigrant Voices website.  It currently houses 200 stories of Pacific Coast U.S. immigrants from throughout the world, including many who passed through Angel Island.

Grant's interest in genealogy started at a wedding reception in his youth, where a relative showed him to be the 36th generation of the Gong family on a family tree.  Later he learned that he’s a member of the 24th generation of Owyangs on his mother's side.

He recently received a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and has traveled throughout the U.S. and China for his research.

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited so please register early. CGS members enjoy free admission. 

Not a member? Not a problem. 

Non-member admission fee is $30.00 and can be applied towards a new one year CGS membership (starting at $40) the day of the class.

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society