Journeys into Chinese Australian Family History

S. Couchman (ed), Journeys into Chinese Australian Family History, Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria: Melbourne, Vic, 2019

Commendation: Community Diversity Award, Community History Awards, 2020

Despite improvements in our understandings of Australia’s Chinese history and heritage, there remain many aspects of the lives, culture and community of Chinese immigrants and their descendants about which we know frustratingly little. This can be daunting for those researching their Chinese ancestry. What members of the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV) want to demonstrate through our work is that these challenges are not insurmountable, and you don’t have to face them alone. The first half of this book illustrates the diverse paths CAFHOV members have travelled in order to understand more about their families. Each journey starts with a different set of circumstances and challenges. The second half of the book focusses on historical sources and skills which might prove valuable to those researching their Chinese ancestry.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction – Sophie Couchman
  • Family history and pioneering project in academia – Mei-fen Kuo

Part I: Family History Journeys

  • Harm Goong and Leung Mang Yee: Sally Keam
  • Finding Dong Low and our ancestral village: Alan To and Terry Young
  • Who is Chin Loong? A Chinese grandfather discovered: Mei-Ling and John Griffiths
  • Henry Lamson (Lim Son) of Cheshunt, King Valley: Wayne Brown
  • We are all connected…: Irene Poon

Part II: Journeys into the Archives

  • Working with Chinese language when you don’t speak Chinese; Sophie Couchman
  • Researching Chinese Australian ancestry in Hong Kong: Pauline Rule
  • How to use Certificates of Title to track down your family history: Brian Tseng
  • Understanding Sands & McDougall directories and local government rate books: Sophie Couchman and Barbara Nichol
  • Using DNA in your search for Chinese ancestors: Sally Keam
  • DNA for beginners: What’s in it for me?: Wayne Brown

To be launched Sunday, 18 August at the Chinese Museum as part of CAFHOV’s Chinese Australian Family History Day.

Launch of Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (1857 -1867)

Maryborough Regional Library, Friday 2 August

We are proud to announce the completion and launch of the digitisation into Trove of the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (1857-1867) and would like to congratulate CAFHOV Treasurer Robyn Ansell for her leading role in it. The goldrush in the Maryborough district comes alive with the digitisation of this local paper, made possible by a Local History Grant from the Victorian government’s Public Record Office.

The guest speaker Robyn Ansell has family links to the goldfields, with an Irish Mining Registrar from Ballarat and Chinese miners from Creswick and Maryborough. A member of the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria, the Maryborough Midlands Historical Society and the Creswick Historical Society, Robyn is keen to demonstrate to you why newspapers on Trove are a gift to genealogists and students of history.

This is a free event held in conjunction with National Family History Month:


Maud & Anetta Whay around 1900. Private collection: Robyn Ansell