Sassy Jane Genealogy

US and European Genealogy Research

Sassy Jane Genealogy

US and European Genealogy Research

Discovering Immigrant Ancestors


(2 customer reviews)

Discovering Immigrant Ancestors contains 25 pages of direct links for 19th- and 20th-century European immigration records through all U.S. ports. Links to resources for migration records, both essential and lesser-known, are also included in this Sassy Jane Genealogy Guide.

Find and follow in the footsteps of European immigrant ancestors, who arrived in the second and third waves of immigration to the U.S. between 1865 and 1920. What did your ancestors experience as they left their homes and sailed to America?


Discovering Immigrant Ancestors uses the resources of the National ArchivesLibrary of Congress, academic archives, and European archives.

The “Finding Migration Records” chapter has 25 pages of active links for essential and lesser-known resources for departure, arrival, migration, passenger lists, and naturalization records. The focus of this chapter is on finding records for the second and third waves of migration from Europe to the United States, between 1865-1920. 

Because European records were usually created and kept at the town level, the identification of your immigrant ancestor’s native village, parish, or even province, is imperative. As you research your immigrant ancestors, it is important, as in all genealogical research, to work backwards through the person’s life.

Discovering Immigrant Ancestors

Hamburg-Amerika Linie poster, c. 1867

In the other chapters of Discovering Immigrant Ancestors, you’ll learn how ancestors made the decision to leave Europe, and what it was like to journey to America and pass through immigration inspections to start new lives in America. This guide provides insight into the European-to-U.S. migrant experience.

Your ancestors may have immigrated through ports other than New York. Searching multiple ports for difficult-to-find ancestors is strongly indicated. This guide contains an overview of U.S. ports and surviving records. This Sassy Jane Genealogy Guide contains links for ports throughout the United States that can focus your research.

“Scarcely any phase of family history research is as fascinating as tracking immigrant origins—and scarcely any phase is as challenging,” according to the authors of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. But with Discovering Immigrant Ancestors, you’ll have a guide at your side. 

Discovering Immigrant Ancestors is an illustrated 75-page color PDF. An iBooks format for your iPad is also available upon request. There are five chapters and two appendices in this book:

Leaving the Old World

Voyaging to the New World

Arriving in Port

Staying in America

Finding Migration Records

Appendix A: Bibliography

Appendix B: First-Person Immigrant Accounts

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2 reviews for Discovering Immigrant Ancestors

  1. Katherine R. Willson

    An excellent guide to all aspects of our immigrant ancestors’ journey to America – the factors involved in their decisions to leave their home, preparations for the journey, experiences aboard the ships, their first day in America, and life after immigration. The last section on finding immigration records is especially outstanding – rather than simply discussing passenger lists (which she’s done in a superb fashion), the author guides the reader towards additional records that are rarely sought after, documents that may contain valuable information that’s not been found anywhere else. I’m eagerly awaiting Ms. Loe’s next books!

  2. Nancy Loe

    John in Illinois writes, “With your ebook, I found several new records. Thanks!”

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