Have you searched for your Caribbean Chinese Diaspora ancestors?
I did. I consulted the UK-National Archives. It was part of my research efforts to find Trinidad and Guyana immigrants with Chinese heritage for my film “From Shanghai to Harlem.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBHYtofVnh0)
The UK-National Archives offered some very helpful advice about Caribbean-Chinese diaspora genealogy search. Here is their reply to my recent inquiry:
“There aren’t a lot of records of Indentured labour. Most of the records relating to this subject are of an administrative nature and relate to the functioning of the indentured labour system. I don’t think you are going to find much relating to individuals, if anything.
“You would need to consult the Colonial Office Original Correspondence for the relevant colony. The correspondence consists of letters coming into London from the colonies. For example:
CO 111 Colonial Office Original Correspondence British Guiana
CO 345 Registers of Correspondence: British Guiana
CO 295 Colonial Office Original Correspondence: Trinidad
CO 372 Registers of Correspondence: Trinidad
As Venezuela was not a British Colony any relevant records will be in the records of the Foreign Office in:
FO 80 Foreign Office: Venezuela
FO 420 Foreign Office: Confidential Print: Venezuela
If grants of land were made at the end of the period of indentured labour then I think these would be in the Archives in Guyana or Trinidad: HoweverI have consulted our database of overseas archives and we don’t have details of these.
If you are new to this kind of research, please go to the Start your research here section of our website for help on where and how to begin your research.
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Neil G Cobbett
Dear The National Archives,
My name is Sylvia Wong-Lewis, and I am producing a film about my family. My Chinese great-grandparents signed indentured servant contracts with the British government in Hong Kong and were sent to Venezuela, Trinidad and Guyana. I want to find out more about my Chinese ancestors and tell a story about their migration from China to the Caribbean.
I am writing for advice about finding their contracts. If I cannot find their exact contracts, is it possible for me to take a look at other contracts of Chinese indentured servants sent to Venezuela, Trinidad or Guyana.
I greatly appreciate your time and help!
Do you know anyone with Caribbean Chinese or Caribbean-Asian ancestors? Are they conducting family history searches?