The mission of the Chinese Family History Group is to inspire and empower Chinese Americans by connecting them to their immigrant family history through research and education.
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Message from the President
A Message from Patrick Chew, President
Dear Family and Friends of the Chinese Family History Group,
In Solidarity, Sympathy, and Strength
A month ago, I wrote a message with greetings and wishes for the Year of the Rabbit/Cat New Year’s, wishing everyone a peaceful and prosperous New Year. We should all be continuing joyful celebrations, as our family traditions dictate, closing out the New Year’s celebratory season… and, yet, multiple (mass-)shootings and notable violence, however, have recently rocked, shocked, and impacted our AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) communities.
Despite myself being still incredibly shaken and shell-shocked by these continuous traumas that have been affecting our community more and more overtly, I would like to extend deepest condolences to all of those affected, especially those affected by the recent mass shootings in Southern California, where the CFHG has its roots. These tragic events have deeply affected our community/-ies, and I tell myself a story that many of you are feeling a great deal of frustration and fear, in addition to pain and sorrow.
I want to assure you that as the newly elected President of the Chinese Family History Group, I stand with you, and the families directly impacted, in solidarity and support. We are a strong and resilient community, and together we will get through this difficult time.
Rest, Reset, and Renaissance
Five years ago, CFHG incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and slowly started to reorganize itself. Not long after, in response to Lockdown and then throughout the harder parts of the Pandemic, the org shifted quickly to a more online presence…
You know those wonderful webinars that we’d scheduled and produced? Let it be known that it was all due to a lean and resilient webinars/program crew, who had all braved the steep learning curve to, not only learn how to navigate and manage the new technologies, but also think deeply about setting foundations for an online webinar presence … and then they actually grew the scope and reach of the CFHG!
Thank you: Barbara Lu-Baltazar, Chuck Woo, Evelyn Lee, Michael Ho, Michelle Jong, and Suzanne Woo!
That said, so many of these folk have been going at 200% for the past few years, wearing multiple hats and shouldering responsibilities non-stop, which calls to mind the adage “too busy chopping wood to sharpen the ax,” as well as the eventual burn-out.
While a number of these folks are helping this year’s new Board of Directors get up and running and transitioning operations over, they’ll be finally getting some good downtime and rest—which means we’ll be pretty quiet for the first half of the year with reduced resourcing. The current Board of Directors is going to take stock of where the org is at, set a North Star, and start to plan for a more scalable structured future.
That said, keep your eyes peeled for a few upcoming events in April and then May to coincide with AAPI History Month! More details to come as they develop!!
Want to help out, but don’t quite know how? Let us know by visiting our Volunteer form!
— Patrick Chew,
President of the Chinese Family History Group
PS: Since our Tibetan and Mongolian friends are celebrating the Year of the Rabbit on February 21st,
Chuck Woo is affectionately known as our favorite spotlighter to the Programs team! His quiet demeanor, easy going temperament, and dedication to this group is much appreciated.
Chuck has been an officer of the Chinese Family HIstory Group, having been the first Treasurer, as the group became a nonprofit organization in 2018 until 2021. As much as we miss Chuck on the board, his dedication and love of being Yeh Yeh is first and foremost what we want for him.
How did you learn about the Chinese Family History Group?
It’s been five or six years now, I don’t quite remember if someone told me about this group or I found it on a search, but I wanted to learn more about genealogy and I first attended a meeting in Chinatown on Bamboo Lane.
How long have you been researching your family history and what got you interested?
In 2014, I went to China with my sisters and their families. In total, there were 22 of us. The trip was arranged by a travel agency. We wanted to visit the must see places in China, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, but we also added a trip to visit our ancestral villages in Hoiping and Toisan. We flew from Los Angeles directly to Guangzhou and were met with a driver and a van and drove directly to my wife’s ancestral home in Hoiping where we spent about 2 ½ hours exploring not only the home but the four story dialou of the village.
After that, we drove to Toisan and to my parents’ home, which had been opened for us. We were greeted by the chickens that are currently housed there.
It was this trip that spurred my interest in learning more. There were people who helped tell me the names and Chinese characters of my ancestors before my grandparents.