27 June 2013

The Chinese Name of George Drollette

We've blogged about George Drollette before, but a search for him on Ancestry.com located "Certificate of Registration of American Citizen" which had not been located before.

I have seen George's several passports before and most of the information on this registration was repetitive of information contained on those records. However, there was something written in Chinese which has been circled in green in this first image.

I was not certain what the Chinese meant, but further down on the document it became clear. It was his Chinese name.

 A little backtracking on the  Ancestry.com site assisted me in determining the actual source of this material--the National Archives. George's "database results" screen from  Ancestry.com makes this clear (it was also reasonably clear on the first screen shot shown in this post as well):

What are these records?

The ARC ID for these records is 1244186.  Viewing that entry on the National Archives website  (the "Archival Descriptions Search" page for 1244186) provided more detail about the creator and location of the original records, which is partially included below:

Consular Registration Certificates, compiled 1907 - 1918
ARC Identifier 1244186 / MLR Number A1 548
Textual Records from the Department of State. Division of Passport Control. (08/13/1918 - 01/16/1926)
National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (Civilian), College Park, MD
Series from Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, 1763 - 2002

The Scope and Content portion of the Archival Descriptions Search for 1244186 also provided background information on the records:

"This series contains certificates filed at U.S. consulates and legations by U.S. citizens intending to stay in a particular country for a considerable period of time. Each certificate contains the name of registrant, consulate at which he registered, his date and place of birth, general travel data, names and places of birth and residence of his spouse and children, and the registrant's current place of residence. An "Affidavit to Explain Protracted Foreign Residence and to Overcome Presumption of Expatriation" is part of the file for registrants who had resided outside of the United States for a long period of time."


Ancestry.com frequently adds new material. It is difficult to keep on top of it all. While I do have concerns about the compiled data, images and databases such as these can provide the user with new information. 

It won't always be your relative's Chinese name however. 

No citation here?

Our general citation philosophy on Rootdig:

I'm a strong believer in citations and in my work (and in Casefile Clues) I cite material in the spirit of Evidence Explained. Here on the Rootdig blog, I have a different philosophy. Posts made here have enough information that the reader could locate where the material was obtained.