Documents & Records
Records of the Chief Controller of Chinese Immigration
The federal Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 (48-49 Vic. Chap. 71) imposed special controls on Chinese immigration to Canada, including the infamous head tax.
Administration of the Act was the responsibility of the Department of Customs. Customs officials in port offices acted as Controllers of Chinese Immigration and reported to the Chief Controller of Chinese Immigration in Ottawa. In 1892, control of Chinese Immigration - and the position of Chief Controller - were transferred to the Department of Trade and Commerce. Then in 1911, they were transferred to the Immigration Branch of the Department of the Interior, where they remained through various departmental changes until repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1947.
The federal Chinese Immigration authorities generated large numbers of records, including the General Register of Chinese Immigration, a major source of genealogical information. Several other series of records have also survived.