Posted by Mike Dowd on February 12, 1998 at 01:07:37:
In Reply to: Tom family from 1800s posted by Karen Tom on February 09, 1998 at 15:55:46:
Karen: I am no expert on Chinese immigrant records, but I have done a lot of research on my Irish immigrant ancestors in 19th century America. I have lived in China and Hong Kong for the past 8 years so have a real interest in Chinese history too. I am aware that in the 1800s the California government imposed a special tax on non-white residents of the state. This unfair tax forced many Chilean immigrant gold surveyors to leave the country, but the Chinese payed the tax and stayed anyway. When the individual couldn't pay the tax, often the Clan association would pay on his behalf. I hope soemone responds with some better answer, but it seems to me that these tax records would be a good place to start. Don't know if they are even accesible. If you could link the Tom family to a Clan, there might be an obvious connection to a village in China. I would love to hear about how this turns out. Good luck!
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