17 Apr 2014

Not Changed at Ellis Island

not changed at ellis island sassy jane genealogy

“Immigrants. Ellis Island.” (NPS)

Why ancestor surnames were not changed at Ellis Island by inspectors is today’s post.

Today is the anniversary of the busiest day in Ellis Island’s history.

One hundred and seven years ago, 11,747 individuals arrived to begin new lives in America. An average day saw 5,000 immigrants processed through Ellis Island.

Most genealogists who have worked with immigration records know ancestor surnames were not changed at Ellis Island by inspectors.

Mistakes happened and the process was flawed, but immigration officials were most probably not the source of name changes. Is Hollywood to blame for this misperception?


14 Apr 2014

Orphans of the Titanic

orphans of the titantic sassy jane genealogy

Courtesy Library of Congress

Waifs of the Deep: Orphans of the Titanic is an interesting article over at Picture This, the blog for the Library of Congress’s photograph collections.

In honor of another Titanic anniversary today, let’s see how some 20th- and 21st-century crowdsourcing resolved a family’s identity.

The New York Evening World featured this heart-tugger in the aftermath of the sinking on April 20, 1912:

Who are the two little French boys that were dropped, almost naked, from the deck of the sinking Titanic into the arms of survivors in a lifeboat?  From which place in France did they come and to which place in the new world were they bound? There is not one iota of information to be had as to the identity of the waifs of the deep – the orphans of the Titanic.

Did the Orphans of the Titanic find their parents?


4 Apr 2014

New Sassy Jane Guide Coming in May

A new Sassy Jane Guide, Discovering Immigrant Ancestors at Castle Garden and Ellis Island, is coming next month. What did your ancestors experience as they left their homes and sailed to New York, passed through immigration inspections, and entered the country?

Using resources of the National Archives, Library of Congress, academic archives, and genealogy sources, this new Sassy Jane Guide covers the complete immigration experience of your ancestors to New York ports. Focusing on the second and third waves of immigration, from 1855 at Castle Garden to 1920 at Ellis Island, this new Sassy Jane Guide also includes an extensive section on immigration records to aid your family history research.

new sassy jane guide sassy jane genealogy

“The Immigrant: Is He an Acquisition or a Detriment?” Judge, 19 Sep 1903 (Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress LC-USZC4-3659)

The political […]

3 Apr 2014

First Friday Genealogy April 2014

First Friday Genealogy April 2014 sassy jane genealogy

The First Friday Genealogy April 2014 issue goes out tomorrow, but there’s still time to sign up for my free newsletter.

Available (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month, First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane contains tips and tricks for your family history research and highlights from the Sassy Jane site, so you don’t miss a thing.

My focus is genealogy from an archivist’s perspective, including using primary sources effectively, search strategies, archives news, and technology tips. Frequent topics include how to organize genealogy research, catalog family photographs, and simplify sources and citations. I also like sharing information on using iPads and iPhones for mobile genealogy.

There are lots of genealogy newsletters out there, so I want you to know that First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane is: 1. short, 2. sweet, 3. free. Delivery is timed to inspire […]