Chinese-American Research

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The January/Februay 2008 issue of Ancestry Magazine is a “special research edition” featuring twelve genealogy “superheroes” who have expertise in ethnic research including: German, French-Canadian, African-American, Italian, Chinese, Polish, Scots-Irish, Native-American, Mexican, Slovak, Scandinavian and Dutch. Each of the specialists had 600 words to answer a case-study research question pertinent to their area. CGS member, Jeanie W. Chooey Low, is the featured author of “From East to West: Researching Chinese Ancestry” on pages 28-29 of the magazine.

Low, a second generation Chinese-American and a native San Franciscan, wrote China Connection: Finding Ancestral Roots for Chinese in America, a compact guide for those interested in doing Chinese family research in the United States. She is bilingual and holds degrees in Library Technology and Chinese Studies and has presented workshops at conferences for the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Genealogical Society, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Chinese Historical Society of America and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department.

Ms. Low has been an active member of “Save Our National Archives” SONA, an ad hoc group formed in 1998 when the Regional NARA were threatened with closure. The group has spent ten years advocating for the preservation of the California Alien Files (A-Files) and Jeanie reports that their efforts were successful thanks to the support of Congressman Tom Lantos. Approximately one million Alien case files, which can each contain up to 100 pages of precious family documents, will be preserved and become available for research.

In addition to advocacy work, lecturing and research, Jeanie is also an award-winning quilt artist. She has developed her own techniques and finds that quilting allows for another avenue to express her love of family history. Pictured is one of her quilts which contains four generations of family photographs.

Jeanie accepts clients interested in her expertise in Chinese-American genealogy or in 20th century immigration research for any ethnicity. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or by snail mail to: J.W.C. Low Company, Post Office Box 472012, San Francisco, California 94147.



  1. Virginia Hill  January 28, 2008

    Kathryn, thank you so much for this information. I have a feeling it will be very helpful.