immigration records

10 Nov 2016

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert – on Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13, ArkivDigital  is providing free access to everyone who wants to try out ArkivDigital All-in-One.
New users and users with Base subscription get access to everything in their All-in-One database on both days. Church records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records, military and other historical records are included, together with access to all registers.

Download and install the new software ArkivDigital 2.0 -beta software by clicking here.

Using ArkivDigital Sweden is easu via an online subscription service called ArkivDigital Online, which provides online access to the entire image database for a specific period of time. Download the Coverage Table here. You can also search their database by county and parish name, district name, record type, etc. Search results are improved when using Swedish spelling and diacritical marks when searching, e.g. Örebro rathr than Orebro.

ArkivDigital also offers the following tutorials to help you find and use records about your Swedish ancestors:

Introduction to […]

4 Nov 2016

U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000

A fascinating U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000, Immigration Explorer, is available online at The New York Times.
Both a research tool and a way to understand more about your immigrant ancestors, the map is highly customizable. As you can see in the image above, you can select from various countries to see how each settled across the United States each decade between 1880 and 2000. Data are available at the county and state levels for immigrants from these and other countries:

All foreign-born
Canada
Czechoslovakia
England
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Norway
Poland
Spain
Sweden
Russia

I love maps like these because I remain fascinated by my own immigrant ancestors, who left Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, and Scotland, to come to Chicago during the Second Wave of U.S. Immigration. The push-pull factors for my ancestors migration were pretty evenly split between poverty and joining siblings who had already come to America.

This map and others […]

19 Mar 2016

Why We Do Genealogy

How many times have you been asked why we do genealogy?
Back when I was a working archivist-librarian, the bosses who held the pursestrings would ask me why we should even bother with all that old stuff. After all, it was so expensive to take care of and nobody really cared about those dusty old archives. My immediate, though internal, answer was always, “How can you not care about history?”

None of my grad school classes in history or library science prepared me to justify archival preservation, research, or outreach, especially to bosses who had never done primary-source research themselves. Eventually I figured out ways (with more or less success) to make preservation and access to the historical records in my care palatable to administrators who only had eyes on the bottom line.

A few years ago, I posted about a visit to the Tenement Museum, one of the best historical museums anywhere.

I have eight great-grandparents […]

9 Mar 2016

Translating Hamburg Passenger List Categories

Is your German a little rusty or perhaps even non-existent, but you are using that great resource database,
the Hamburger Passagierlisten, 1850-1934?

Knowing and translating Hamburg Passenger List Categories before you search can be very helpful. Search both the departure lists in from Hamburg, as well as the arrival lists in New York or other U.S. ports. Before you decipher the German handwriting in a record your find, it helps to know what categories of information were used on the passenger list itself. (Right click or control-click on a Mac to download the image below for easier viewing.)

Hamburg Passenger Lists (Hamburger Passagierlisten, 1850-1934 available as a searchable database at Ancestry.com) were completed in Germany by clerks for the steamship line, using information from emigrants. The Germans were thorough about completing forms, so I have found far more of the all-important information about ancestral village names and birthplaces in these emigration records than I’ve found in […]