By Kenneth Hong
May 30, 2023
The threads of history are woven together in unexpected ways. My family's story is inextricably linked to that of a man who fought for his rights as a U.S. citizen. A man whose name I had never heard of until a few years ago. I owe my very existence to that man named Wong Kim Ark.
Wong was born on Sacramento Street in San Francisco in 1870. My great-grandfather, HONG Yin Ming was born a few blocks away on Washington Street that same year.* We don't know whether or not they ever met, but they lived almost identical lives.
Identification Photo of Wong Kim Ark
on 1904 Immigration Affidavit
Identification Photo of Hong Yin Ming
on 1899 Immigration Affidavit
Official Map of San Francisco Chinatown 1885, with
Sacramento and Washington Streets Highlighted
Keep reading to learn more about Wong's legacy and how it affected Hong Yin Ming and his descendants.