Hong Kong

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Also see

Information about ProQuest Historical Newspapers: South China Morning Post—1903-1998 (published in Hong Kong) and other databases containing Chinese and Japanese English language newspapers.


  • See General Register Office, UK
  • There was Civil Registration in Hong Kong, refer External links below. There are no records before 1873.
  • "Hong Kong Cemetery" Searchable and browsable database created by Ms Patricia Lim, with images. From Hong Kong Memory. Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong Government.
    • Details of some of the inscriptions from the Ossuary[1]
For expanded cemetery details, see Forgotten Souls : a Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery by Patricia Lim c 2011. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01015724284 . Sample pages Google Books.
  • See External links below for the Searchable database on the website China Families.
  • FamilySearch Research page Hong Kong for Historical Records. However, some records are classified as China records and it may be clearer to find records directly from the Catalog specifically for Hong Kong, see following item.
  • FamilySearch Catalog for microfilm/digitised microfilm records includes
"Births, deaths, marriages from Canton and Hong Kong newspapers, arranged chronologically, 1828-1862" catalogue entry microfilm 1208508, item 13, which has been digitised and may be viewed on your home computer.
"Europeans - China Coast : [card file]" “Individual cards for Europeans residing in Hong Kong and China during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”. Digitised microfilm which may be viewed on your home computer.
Search the FamilySearch Catalog for additional catalogue entries, for example by using keywords Hong Kong, and filtering by English language, and selecting Availability Online. There are many databases available, including Church Registers for Birth, Marriage and Death, Cemetery Inscriptions catalogue entry, Will extracts, Card Files and other data from the Carl T. Smith collection etc, most of which are viewable on home computers. Also see FamilySearch Centres for changes involving microfilms.
  • Refer online Hong Kong newspapers, see below, for birth, marriage and death notices.
  • See Hong Kong Government Reports Online, below. A researcher advised that he found details of a relative who worked for the Hong Kong lighthouse service in these online government publications.[2] The information was found in an official publication know as the Blue Book in a section "Civil Establishments of Hongkong" which lists information about Civil Servants.
  • See Cemeteries for websites such as Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and The War Graves Photographic Project, which include pages titled Stanley Military Cemetery and Sai Wan (China) Memorial, in addition to other pages.
  • The BACSA Archive at the British Library holds information on both Happy Valley and Stanley cemeteries under file reference Mss Eur F370/81
  • The book Garrison Memorials in Hong Kong: Some Graves and Monuments at Happy Valley by Solomon Bard 1997 is available at the British Library in the BACSA Archive, catalogue reference Mss Eur F370/1242. By the same author, but not held in the BACSA Archive, Study of Military Graves and Monuments: Hong Kong Cemetery 1991, (Hong Kong Antiquities and Monuments Office) thought to be available at the Public Record Office, Hong Kong, possibly as a typescript. May possibly include information about Stanley Cemetery.[3]
  • The book British and Indian Armies on the China Coast 1785-1985 by Alan Harfield 1990 is available at the British Library, UIN: BLL01009472436 . Includes lists such as “List of Known Recipients of the Hong Kong Plague Medal 1894” and “List of Officers who served with the Hong Kong Regiment 1892-1902”. This link lists some “Military Commanders of Hong Kong and China” from the book (pages 483-484).

Hong Kong Volunteers

Regimental history

  • Second to None : the Story of the Hong Kong Volunteers by Phillip Bruce 1991. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01012596174

External links

  • “Major Genealogical Record Sources in Hong Kong” by the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Series J, No. 4 1975. lib.byu.edu. Refers to Civil Registration. Records prior to 1873 no longer exist. All pre-war marriage records have been lost.
    • Immigration Department contact details. This Department is responsible for Civil Registration but the website does not include information about certificates for family history purposes for persons not resident in Hong Kong, so you would need to contact the Department.
  • Newspapers, including online
    • Hong Kong Public Libraries
      • Information about Old Newspapers and microforms available, now an archived page (details at 2013/03, it is not clear whether this information is also available on the current website.)
      • Newspapers and Periodicals Services, now an archived page (details at 2013/05, it is not clear whether this information is also available on the current website.)
      • To access online historical newspapers, from the link, Multimedia Information System (MMIS) select Collection then “Old HK Newspapers” to view these online. Previously the website advised the online newspapers are in TIFF format. If you cannot see the newspaper images, you may need to download a TIFF plug-in. The Newspapers available in English are
        • China Mail (1866/01/04 – 1961/12/29),
        • Hong Kong Daily Press (1864/01/04 – 1941/09/30),
        • Hong Kong Sunday Herald (1929/01/06 – 1950/10/29),
        • Hong Kong Telegraph (1881/06/16 – 1951/03/30)
        • Hong Kong Weekly Press (1895/01/03 – 1909/12/24)
Note some issues and pages may be omitted
  • Overland China Mail was the weekly edition of China Mail, also containing articles from Evening Mail and Sunday Herald, and was published 1848 to 1941.[4]
Overland China Mail is available on Findmypast, category "Newspapers & periodicals/British Newspapers ", with 'County' classified as Hong Kong China, with the same contents also available on the British Newspaper Archive, both pay websites, added Feb 9, 2021. The date range when added was January 11, 1853 to December 30, 1915 being 1853-1861, 1863-1894, 1897-1915 (with 1848–1916 planned), with details on a BNA page. For BNA, the 'Region' is classified as South Central China, and the 'County' is classified as Hong Kong, China. It is possible to browse individual editions on BNA, in addition to searching. To browse the Findmypast editions, use the filters under "Narrow your search results" (left hand side of the webpage) "By Newspaper" and "By Date".
"Voices from the Stones" by Ko Tim-keung. history.cuhk.edu.hk

Second World War


Historical photographs online

Historical books online

1862: First publication; 1867, 1877; 1878; 1879 pdf from Oxford University Library, may be slow to open, 1879 Google Books edition; 1880, Google Books, 1880, HT with rotatable pages; 1881; 1889; 1901; 1902; 1903; 1904; HathiTrust Digital Library editions to 1925 viewable in restricted areas such as North America: A and B
In addition, Colonial Office List, 1863 and Colonial Office List, 1870 are available in the findmypast (pay website) dataset "Britain, Directories & Almanacs" located in Newspapers, Directories & Social History/Directories & Almanacs.
FamilySearch has a catalogue entry for a series of microfiches of the Colonial Office List, (produced by Chadwyck-Healey, 1987), currently (2019/06) available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with however the potential to be digitised in the next few years, and perhaps be more widely available, or at least searchable. The same microfiche series may also be available at some other libraries, or to a very limited extent at some other FamilySearch Centres.
Colonial Office List (to 1925) and the later title The Dominions Office and Colonial Office List are available at the British Library UIN: BLL01002841625 and UIN: BLL01007173533
Hong Kong Holiday by Emily Hahn 1946. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
At the Going Down of the Sun : Hong Kong and South-East Asia, 1941-1945 by Oliver Lindsay 1981. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.


Journals online

Hong Kong Journals online The University of Hong Kong Libraries. Click on 'Browse the titles' to see all the titles available. Included are the following:

  • Online editions of Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1961-2007
    • "Transactions of the China Medico-Chirurgical Society" [Hong Kong], 1845-46 by H. A. Rydings Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Volume 13 (1973)
    • "Incident between the Hong Merchants and the Super-cargoes of the British East India Company in Canton, 1811" by J. L. Cranmer-Byng Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Volume 15 (1975)
  • "The Colony of Hongkong - From a Lecture on Reminiscences of a long Residence in the East"by Rev. Jas. Legge, D.D., LL.D. The China Review, or notes & queries on the Far East Volume 1 No. 3 (1872)
  • "Historical Outline of Medical Missions at Canton, Hongkong and Macao" The China Review, or notes & queries on the Far East Volume 4 No. 5 (1876)


  1. "The Ossuary". A series of articles by Christine M. Thomas from December 2018. 2019/01, 2019/03. There are biographical articles about the cemetery from June 2010. Hong Kong Cemetery.
  2. Who Do You Think You Are? Forum thread "Lighthouse keeper in the dark", now no longer available http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/forum/topic10068.html
  3. Challenging Dead. A Look into Foreigners’ Cemeteries in Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan by Gotelind Müller 2018, page 16, footnote 72 and page 18, footnote 85. See External links, above.
  4. Hong Kong Public Library page. Also "Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week" February 15, 2021. The British Newspaper Archive Blog.