Project Title

Journey to America: Perspective from a Vietnamese Boat Person

Submission Date

Fall 2019


The purpose of the Genographic Project was to explore my ancient ancestry by tracing their migration patterns. The results from my DNA test from 23andMe showed that I am 87.3% Vietnamese. The DNA results also revealed that my maternal line could be traced back to Haplogroup L3 and branches off to Haplogroup M7b, which contributes to many Southeast Asian populations today including the Vietnamese population.

For the second portion of my project, I intended to investigate my near family history. As a first-generation American, I was intrigued by my family’s experience of living in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and their journeys to America. I mainly focused my project on the boat migration and the experience at the infamous Vietnamese refugee camp in Palau Bidong of my paternal side in 1978. I utilized genealogical search engines and national archives to look for documentation, involving Vietnamese refugees, boat people, and the refugee camp at Palau Bidong in Malaysia. For the continuation of my genealogical project, I intend to investigate how my maternal side was able to obtain access to U.S.-sponsored evacuation in 1975 prior to the fall of Saigon.

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