NGS 2022 Speaker Spotlight – Grant Din

April 27th, 2022 by Roger Prince

Chinese Railroad Workers and Angel Island Immigrants–Grant Din

SESSION: T228 TRACK: Western States      TITLE:  Angel Island’s Immigrants from More Than Eighty Countries and the Records They Left Behind

SESSION: F302 TRACK: Chinese American  TITLE:  Chinese Railroad Workers’ Files from Mid-Nineteenth Century

Grant DIN is a professional researcher and lecturer. His specialties include Asian Americans, with particular knowledge about “paper sons” and “paper daughters” and other Chinese immigrants; the World War II Japanese American experience and Japanese immigration; and the development of Asian American communities. He is a board member of the California Genealogical Society, the local host society for this year’s national conference in Sacramento.

Din’s lectures focus on two important topics for Asian Americans in the western United States. On Thursday, 26 May, he discuses Angel Island, the so-called Ellis Island of the west. Angel Island, now closed, was the main West Coast immigration facility for many years. Din gives an overview of the more than 80 nationalities who came through Angel Island. For some, like Russian Jews headed to New York City, the path overland to China and then on to San Francisco was much safer than traveling through Nazi held Europe. Those with East Coast roots may be surprised to learn that their ancestors immigrated through Angel Island, not Ellis Island,  and then made their way to link up with family and friends in the eastern United States. On Friday, 27 May, his lecture covers the Chinese who immigrated to California to build the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad.

The conference program includes more than a dozen lectures in the Asian and Pacific Islander and Chinese American tracks. They cover Chinese, Japanese and Filipino Americans as well as the multi-ethnic experience of Hawaii. This earlier blog lists the talks and speakers.

Remember that online registration for the in-person NGS 2022 Family History Conference ends on May 13 and full refunds, minus a $50 service fee, are only available until May 1.