An inside look at four Alien Cases from one box sitting in the NARA Pacific Region-San Francisco Collections
Chew Poy (A10761817)___________________________________________
In 1920 in Wo Fung Village, 22 year old Chew Poy took a wife in an old custom marriage which had been arranged by his mother Ng Shee. The village with about twenty houses was completely occupied by the Chew family, but his only immediate family present at the time was his mother. His father Chew Wen Art was in Sidney, Australia and he had no siblings.
Just months after the marriage Chew Poy left his bride, Jan May Kew, to travel to America. He arrived in the US in April of 1921, but continued on his way to Mexico where he remained until 1926. In August of that year he jumped the border at Calexico, California. Chew Poy was in the San Francisco Bay area by 1940 when he was employed at the Quong Yuen Shing Company’s bean curd factory.
In November of 1959 when Chew Poy applied for Permanent Residence status he was employed at the Lantern Café in Oakland and living in that city. After he was granted permanent status in January of 1960 he applied for his wife Jan May Kew, then living in Hong Kong, to join him. In a letter sent from the INS field office in San Francisco to the US Consulate in Hong Kong, many of the details of Chew Poy’s life were outlined. He had one son, Chew Buck See, living in China. Chew Buck See had six daughters. One was living in Hong Kong with her grandmother. Jan May Kew had a sister and three brothers. Two of her brothers were living in Havana, Cuba.
The A-Files can provide a wealth of family information. You can find details on births, marriages, children, occupations, residency, taxes paid, membership in organizations, and much more. For more information on the Smith (Alien Registration) Act and the creation of the Alien Case Files (A-Files) see NARA’s Researching Alien Files (A-Files) at the National Archives at Kansas City
Posted by Cath Madden Trindle, SMCGS Publications Chair
Thank you to Marisa Louie, Archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco and Sharon Rummery, USCIS for their help in preparing this series of posts.