When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Photographic Records of Chinese Migrants - Brisbane c.1898

Ah Lee

If you are working on a genealogy project involving early Chinese migrants who arrived in Brisbane then you'll find this gold. The National Archives of Australia has four journals that are records of Chinese migrants who arrived in the port of Brisbane. The records document dates of arrival, ships of arrival, name and a photograph of each person and I have reproduced these photo images from the digitised archive files. Many of the photos in the journals are in very poor condition or have deteriorated completely and the four we selected were of better quality.

Charlie Ah Tung

Ah Sam

Lip Hie

As I  flipped through the journals it became apparent that  there seemed to be two distinct types of Chinese migrants, those who were affluent and those not so. How so? The first two entries in the journal image below have photos of different styles that could differentiate the migrants. The larger photos were always studio style photos often posed with adornments; the subjects in full European dress, while many are smaller passport style photos.


National Archives of Australila Series # J1694

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