Discovering Immigrant Ancestors uses the resources of the National Archives, Library 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.
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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