Chinese immigration records: Newfoundland register of arrivals and outward registrations

Available reels: 1

Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Employment and Immigration.
Chinese immigration records: Newfoundland register of arrivals and outward registrations
RG 76 D 2 d v
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Until 1917, two federal departments - Agriculture, followed by the Interior - were responsible for immigration. In 1917, the Department of Immigration and Colonization was established. Since then, Immigration has existed as a separate department, except for the period from 1936 to 1949, when it was the responsibility of Mines and Resources. Today, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for issues dealing with immigration and citizenship. The department was established in 1994 following a reorganization within the federal government.
In 1885, the federal government decided to pass the Chinese Immigration Act, which put a special $50 head tax on Chinese immigrants in the hopes that this would deter the Chinese from entering Canada. No other ethnic group had to pay this kind of tax at the time. The head tax would increase a number of times in the early 20th century, and would prevent wives and families from joining their husbands or fathers in Canada. By 1903, the Chinese head tax was increased to $500 per person to eliminate Chinese immigration. This fee was roughly equivalent to two years worth of wages for a Chinese labourer living in Canada at the time. However, some employers, such as the railways, needed cheap labour, and were willing to pay this fee for adult men. That meant that Chinese immigration wasn't eliminated altogether, but that Chinese women and children didn't get the opportunity to join their husbands and fathers. This created a Chinese bachelor society in Canada. However, in 1923, the federal government passed a law called the Chinese Exclusion Act. This law prevented the immigration of anyone from China. Only 15 Chinese immigrants were allowed into Canada between 1923 and 1947, when this law was finally revoked.
C.I.9 and C.I.9A certificates were issued to people of Chinese origin who wished to leave Canada temporarily. This included both foreign-born individuals and those born in Canada.
This collection consists of two separate lists: one of Chinese persons entering Newfoundland as immigrants; the other of Chinese persons leaving Newfoundland temporarily or permanently. The first list is a typescript "Register of Persons of Chinese Race Admitted into the Colony of Newfoundland Under the Provisions of the Chinese Immigration Act 6 Edw. VII cap. 2". It lists persons admitted as immigrants under the Newfoundland Chinese Immigration Act of 1906, who were issued identifying NF 63 certificates numbered 1-384,June 4, 1910, to March 26, 1949. The register appears to be either a copy of an unlocated original Newfoundland Government document, or a late compilation from unidentified sources, possibly by the Canadian Immigration service after Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949. The entries are typed on stencilled blank pages in rough chronological order by NF certificate number. There are some gaps. Each entry gives: person's arrival date, name, age, NF 63 number, name of ship by which he/she arrived, birthplace, occupation, amount of head tax paid, and occasionally a case file number (in the Canadian Immigration first Central Registry or CH series). The second is a list of persons leaving Newfoundland temporarily or permanently under Newfoundland C.I.9 certificates nos. 1-436, issued September 6, 1906, to February 24, 1950 and under what seem to be a short series of four Canadian C.I.9 certificates nos. 1-4, issued July 5, 1949 to February 24, 1950. The entries are in rough chronological order by C.I. number. Each entry gives: person's name, aliases, age, C.I.9 certificate number, readmission date (if any), birthplace, and date of original entry to Newfoundland.
No finding aid is available.