Chinese Yankee

Hong Kong born Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way), was an orphan brought to America for schooling in the mid-1850s, but enslaved in Baltimore. Only sixteen at the outbreak of war, Thomas ran north, joined the Freedom Army, and was blinded in the first major campaign. He failed to fully recover his sight and, deemed incapable of performing the duties of a soldier, was discharged. Yet he reenlisted twice, saved his regiment’s colors during the bloodbath of Spotsylvania, was lamed at Cold Harbor, and survived 9 months imprisonment in the dreaded Andersonville stockade. His health broken, but his spirit intact, he battled for survival and justice for his family and himself until his death in 1891. He was, as the New York Times noted, “singular.”

Local author Ruthanne Lum McCunn, author of the award-winning “Thousand Pieces of Gold: A Biographical Novel,” will talk about Thomas Sylvanus and how she came to write this historical novel on Saturday, February 7, 2015, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM in the Dublin Library Program Room, 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin, CA. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

For more information, call 510-608-1117 or email



Here’s one of Alameda County Libraries brand-spanking new databases to research history and genealogy.  The easiest way to access the database is to click on the following FOLD3+ .  This will take you to the A-Z Resource List.  This guide contains a full list of Alameda County Library resources organized by name and subject. The A-Z Resource List guide is catalogued in alphabetical order and the Fold3+ archive is located towards the middle of the this webpage.

Here’s a brief discription of what Fold3+ is: “Fold3 provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.

The Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.

Original records at Fold3 help you discover and share stories about these everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them. On Fold3, you can combine records found on the site with what you have in your own albums and shoeboxes to create an online memorial for someone who served.” 


There is the POPULAR US HISTORY RESOURCES section that covers the Civil War, historical newspapers, milestone documents, and the Vietnam War topics to name a few.   There is also a POPULAR GENEALOGY RESOURCES section that has information on census, naturalizations, and older city directories.  One section that some of you might find interesting is the MISCELLANEOUS section which has a section titled: Project Blue Book- UFO investigations.  I typed in the name of my hometown “Hayward, Ca.” in this section and found a report of a UFO sighting in 1953!

Have you wanted to discover your own family heritage but don’t where to start? Look no further than the Dublin Library! Volunteer genealogy docents from the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS) will be on hand in the Group Study Room on Saturday, October, 27th, 2012, to assist the public to begin their family history research. Bring whatever information may be available regarding the city, town, etc. where your grandparents lived in the 1930s and/or 1940s. If a flash drive is available, bring it to save found documents.
Genealogy docents will be available to help you on Saturday, October 27th, in the Library Study Room from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. For more information, please contact the Dublin Library at 925-803-7252.

Dublin Library is pleased to host three programs presented by docents of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.  These programs are made available to Dublin Library free of charge and to thank Alameda County Library for supporting the Asian Art Museum through the Discover & Go program.

The first program will be “Great Works of the Asian Art Museum,” in which docent LauraBeth Nelson will give an introduction to 5,000 years of  Asian art and culture by examining  the major works in the Asian Art Museum.  This program will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

The second program in this series will be “Phantoms of Asia:  Contemporary Awakens the Past,” also presented by LauraBeth Nelson, on Saturday, November 3, 2012.  This program will cover the interplay of contemporary works by leading Asian artists alongside traditional works from the Museum’s collection.    The four themes of this program will be:

Where—and how—do we fit into the universe?
Is there an energy that surrounds us? If so, can art make it visible?
What happens after death? Where will we go?
How can we envision the gods? Where can humans meet the gods?

The third program in this series will be “Maharaja: The Art of India’s Royal Courts,” based on the recent exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, will be presented by docent Eileen Bitten and will include stories of some of the maharajas and their fabulous courts, and focus on jewelry, art, photography, and vehicles within the Museum’s collection. This program will be given on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

All programs in the Asian Art Museum Community Speakers series will be held in the Dublin Library Community Room, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

I came across the website CurbSF and found an interesting series titled Hidden History by Alex Bevk.  The first Hidden History segment spotlights Fleishhacker Pool in San Francisco. Originally located where the current San Francisco Zoo parking lot sits, the public pool operated from 1925 – 1971.

Click on the following for the complete article : Fleishhacker Pool-Hidden History










From the U.S. Census News Release:

“In anticipation of the April 2 release of 1940 Census records from the National Archives, the U.S. Census Bureau is launching a new page on its website. Strict confidentiality laws ensure that census records are only unsealed after 72 years have passed, so genealogists, historians and researchers have waited with great eagerness for this release.

The site features an interactive overview of the 1940 Census, including questions asked on the census form, history facts, blogs, a 1940 Census video, pictures and a countdown clock. From the site, users will also find a direct link to the National Archives website for looking up individual 1940 Census records.

In addition, there is a newly released infographic providing a rich visual depiction of how characteristics of the U.S. population have changed between 1940 and 2010. This is the first in a series of three infographics that will explore topics related to the 1940 Census”

More Information is available at the following web sites:

National Archives 1940 Census to be released April 2, 2012

For people interested in Genealogy, here are the following links:

Upcoming Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society Event


In 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month by the United States Congress.  The month was chosen partly because of two significant dates/anniversaries  occurred in United States history.  The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the Transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869.

Here are some following links to learn more about Asian/Pacific American month, the history, culture, and or events happening near you:

Here are some books and materials on Asian/Pacific Americans available through Alameda County Library:


 Extraordinary Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Susan Sinnott  

a different battle 2

 A Different Battle:  stories of Asian Pacific American veterans by Carina A. del Rosario, editor


The Asian Pacific heritage: a companion to literature and arts by George J. Leonard, editor