The Wing


Luke Family Association

What are Family Associations?

As Chinese pioneers sojourned from villages in Southern China to areas throughout the world, they set up organizations to help the Chinese community settle. Here in the US, when Chinese immigrants began arriving in large numbers to the West in the late 1800s, these family associations soon became fixtures in American cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

Gee How Oak Tin Family Association Room, Wing Luke Museum. Photo by Dean Wong.
In most cases, family associations were established around family names, such as Lee, Wong, and Eng. These associations welcomed new immigrants who couldn't speak English, helping them find a home and job as well as serving as a central hub for social gatherings and special celebrations. 

In their heyday, family associations were the social and political glue for Chinatowns across America, helping to meet the basic needs of the immigrant community and fighting against discrimination and anti-Chinese laws of that time. Today, most family associations have evolved to be primarily social organizations and keepers of genealogical ties to ancestral roots in China.The Museum's building originally housed several family associations - the Gee How Oak Tin Family Association, the Yee Family Association, the Lee Family Association, and the Ho Nam Family Association. On the Museum's historic hotel tour, you will visit a historic Family Association and see and hear about where these Family Associations are today.

Additional information and resources:

Gee How Oak Tin Family Association

Seattle Yee Fung Toy Association

Seattle Lee Family Association

The Ho Nam

The Ho Nam Association, also known as the Luke Family Association, was created in the early 20th century for Chinese immigrants who shared the last name Luke, Luc, Look, Lu, Luu and Loh. It still exists today and encourages participation across generations. Continuing its legacy in the Museum's building, the Ho Nam Association currently operates in a top floor room of Museum, just floors above its original home.

Do you have photographs and memorabilia related to the Ho Nam Association and associated family members? Items can be donated to the Luke Family Association, preserved under the care of The Wing, and will help us further document our rich history.

For info or to join the Ho Nam Association mailing list, contact:

Ho Nam Luke Family Association
719 South King Street, 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104


Andre Loh (English or Chinese) (206) 236-0749
Bettie Luke (206) 465-4600
Marge Young (206) 784-8275


Affiliated with:

Hours & Directions | In the News | Media Inquiries | Contact Us
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use