What I’m Reading Today…

Erika Lee and Judy Yung. Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. I bought this volume from MAIA Books at the German Conference last week, because I have been looking for a book on the U.S. Immigrant Station in San Francisco.

Some 77 countries sent immigrants to America through this portal. And some very important learnings I have gleaned from this informative book:

Chinese Immigrants were excluded from 1882-1943 so they devised some clever legal fictions to bring the Chinese into the country–called a “crooked path” by the authors: they came as paper sons of San Francisco merchants or other United States citizens. And they were in constant fear of being detected.

A special 4-page section defines immigration terms, such as non-immigrant aliens–spouses, children, close relatives of citizens–U.S. Nationals–someone owing allegiance to the United States, but they did not become citizens by acquisition. This status applied to residents of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam acquired after the Spanish-American War.

Illegal alien and illegal immigration are no longer politically correct. The new term is undocumented immigrants.

The FamilySearch catalog includes these pertinent passenger lists:
Passenger Lists and Alien Manifests, 1893-1953; 429 reels now online, M1410.
Index, M1389.
Passenger Manifests and Crew Lists, 1954-1957; 19 reels digital images.
Custom Passenger Lists, 1903-1918, M1412. 13 reels of microfilm, #1463582-94.
Chinese passengers, 1882-1914, M1414. 32 reels of microfilm.
Insular Possessions Passenger Lists, 1907-1911, M1438. 2 reels of microfilm.
Passengers from Honolulu, 1902-07, M1494. 1 reel of microfilm.

Printed lists compiled from newspapers, journals, and diaries by Louis J. Rasmussen, by Clifford Neal Smith, and others are also listed in the FS Catalog. These include overland passengers who came to California for the Gold Rush.

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com

PS Imagine my surprise when I could actually document Dr. John Kelly who came from New York to become rich in the California Gold Rush!

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