TRACING YOUR US IMMIGRANT RELATIVE
Copyright 2008 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes
This page was last updated 2008-05-19.
Return to the Hyde Park Family History Centre Home Page or the Events Page or the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page.
WELCOME AND WHAT THIS CLASS IS ALL ABOUT
- Instructors are Elder and Sister Donald R. and Diane M. Snow of the England London Mission, London Family History Centre (Formerly Hyde Park Family History Centre) (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
- These notes with active Internet links are posted on the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group website http://uvtagg.org under Class Outlines , in Don's Listings , and are linked on the Hyde Park Family History Centre website http://www.hydeparkfhc.org under Events . Many other class notes for family history are linked on both sites also.
- This class will discuss ideas for tracing your US emigrant ancestors, where, when, and why they might have gone to America, and how to find them in records there.
INTRODUCTION TO MIGRATION
- The word "migration" includes both "immigration" (= inbound "in") and "emigration" (=
- Many emigrants to America from the 1600s to the 2000s
- Many reasons for going
- Only way was by ships until the middle 1900s, so ship passenger lists are a main search tool
- Articles and links about migration
EMIGRATION (OUTBOUND) FROM THE UK
- Passenger Lists outbound
- From UK -- see http://www.findmypast.com/home.jsp
-- records primarily from 1890-1960, but will have additional years later
- From Europe and Russia -- Hamburg Passenger Lists (see information on websites listed above)
- If can't find on outbound lists, may be
able to narrow down the time of emigration by finding when
they are no longer shown in:
- From the UK people emigrated to the US, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, etc.
- Some emigrants returned to the UK, so check incoming
passenger lists too -- http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=106
(INBOUND) INTO THE US
- Articles and links
- Where did they go in the US?
Some passenger lists show the relatives and address where the emigrants were going
- Reasons for going may indicate where to look for them
- Finding date of immigration
- Filby's Passenger and Immigration List - printed
volumes -- http://home.att.net/%7Earnielang/ship00PassengerAndImmigrationListsIndex.html -- now
online on Ancestry.com at http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7486
- Hamburg and Other Passenger Lists -- passenger lists going to US ports
- US Censuses
- Taken on the decade years - 1790, 1800, ...,
2000; censuses 1850 and after listed everyone in household
- Censuses up through 1930 are available to
the public and are posted on Ancestry and Heritage Quest Online
- 1900 and later censuses asked when they came to the US, so you get immigration year
- Can do some surname searches based on censuses to see what parts of US have that surname
- History of New York immigration -- http://members.tripod.com/~L_Alfano/immig.htm
- Of the 30 million US immigrants between 1820 and 1920, 24 million (79%) went through New York City -- see map listed above on FamilySearch
- Castle Garden -- 1855-1890 -- search the records for free at http://www.castlegarden.org/
- Ellis Island -- 1892-1924 -- search the records on http://www.ellisislandrecords.org -- have to
register, but it is free
- No name changes at Ellis Island -- see article about Ellis Island by Kimberly Powell on About Genealogy
- Stephen Morse's search engine for New York and other passenger records -- http://www.stevemorse.org
- Through Canada -- St. Albans records for entry to US
- Through other ports
- Many online lists
OTHER DATABASES AND PEOPLE SEARCH ENGINES
- Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
- Vital Records -- in US are kept on state and county level - no nationwide index, so you have to know the state to search these
- US military records
- If immigrant was in US military service, you may be
able to get a copy of his service record with many details about him --
- Draft Registrations -- nationwide during WW I of
all not already in military service -- on Ancestry.com (commercial site)
- Military Graves -- veterans can be buried in
military cemeteries and indexes may give details -- http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/j2ee/servlet/NGL_v1
- Korean and Vietnam War Military Death Indexes -- on old DOS version of FamilySearch in some family history centres
- Historic newspapers being digitized
- Library of Congress has given grants to many states
to digitize their newspapers, especially their smalltown newspapers
- Major collections on Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank.com (commercial sites)
- Example of
Utah Digital Newspapers and what I found about my Father
- People search engines for the US
- Showing growth of some US cities by plotting
the years the home lots were sold -- http://hindsight.trulia.com/
- Finding your US relatives may not be easy since there is no central source of immigration records, naturalization records, nor vital records
- Can sometimes find them in the US by clues in the "old" country
- Check FindMyPast for someone who may have left the UK and gone to the US.
- Do a search on the Ellis Island Records for one of your surnames and look at the actual passenger list.
- Do a search on the Social Security Death Index for someone to see what kind of information it gives.
- Do a Switchboard.com search for a name to see what it has.
Return to the Hyde Park Family History Centre Home Page or the Events Page or the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page
or Don's Class Listings Page.