This is an edited re-blog of a newsletter from the Scotland-China Association.
Were your ancestors out in China? If so, track them with China Families:
China Families is directed by Robert Bickers, Professor of History at the University of Bristol. The database platform allows you to search across 60,000 names of men and women who lived, worked or died in China, between the 1850s and 1940s. The information is drawn from ten different sources, and you can search each one of these individually, but you can also search across all of them. There are many Chinese names here, as well as the names of foreign residents.
In the century before 1950, tens of thousands of foreign nationals lived and worked in China. They could be found in large communities in major coastal cities like Shanghai or Tianjin, as well as in tiny countryside missionary compounds, or isolated Customs stations deep in China’s interior. Often thought to be exotic and obscure, these communities created newspapers, and directories, and their lives and activities were widely recorded. But finding out about ancestors who spent time in China can be difficult, for the records are scattered, and even old cemeteries were destroyed in the 1960s. Therefore, China Families helps uncover a hidden past.
Its companion site Historial Photographs of China makes available over 20,000 photographs of the period, many of them supplied by China families.