European Immigrant Ancestors: Their Experiences and the Records


(2 customer reviews)

Find your European immigrant ancestors, their experiences, and their records with direct links to migration records in Europe, the US and Canada. Learn about the factors that pushed or pulled our ancestors from Europe to North America between 1820-1920.

Discover arrival and departure passenger lists, permission to leave records, shipping news, emigrant aid society records, naturalizations, and more in this Sassy Jane Genealogy eBook.


European Immigrant Ancestors: Their Experiences and the Records eBook

Find your European immigrant ancestors with direct links to migration records for New York, the US, and Canada between 1820 and 1920. Discover arrival and departure passenger lists, shipping news, and more for your European immigrant ancestors.


Steerage passenger ID tag (Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

What did your ancestors experience as they left their homes in Europe and sailed to the New World? What happened when they were called before an immigration inspector, and either detained or granted entry to a new country?

This eBook focuses on the second and third waves of immigration, from 1820 to 1920, through New York, the largest port in the U.S. Additional resources for other U.S. and Canadian ports are also included in Chapter 5 of this eBook.

Finding European Immigrant Ancestors’ Records

Discover departure and arrival passenger lists, shipping news, permission to emigration, and other records. Essential sites, such as Ancestry and


Steerage passengers aboard the RMS Olympic prepare to dock in New York City. (Library of Congress)

FamilySearch, are included. Then discover  free resources from academic archives, European archives, the National ArchivesLibrary of Congress, and Library Archives Canada.

Unusual resources, such as the Irish Mission at Watson House, can help your brick-wall research.

Inside European Immigrant Ancestors eBook

Chapter 1. Leaving the Old World

  • Waves of Immigration
  • 1607-1775: First Wave of Immigration
  • 1820-1860: Second Wave of Immigration
  • 1880–1920: Third Wave of Immigration
  • Push – The Need to Leave
  • Pull – A Reason to Come

Chapter 2. Voyaging to the New World

  • Beginning the Journey
  • Migrant Villages
  • Departure in Steerage
  • What Did Steerage Fare Cost?
  • What Did Steerage Fare Buy?
  • Firsthand Accounts

Chapter 3. Arriving in America

  • US Customs House, 1820-1855
  • Castle Garden, 1855-1890
  • Barge Office, 1890-1891; 1897-1900
  • Ellis Island, 1892-1897; 1900-1954

Chapter 4. Staying in America

Chapter 5. Finding Migration Records

  • Before You Search
  • Major U.S. Immigration Laws
  • New York Passenger Arrival Lists
  • Canada Emigration & Immigration Records
  • All Other U.S. Ports
  • Passenger List Guide
  • European Departure Passenger Lists
  • Newspaper Shipping News
  • Resources by Nationality and/or Ethnicity
  • Emigrant Aid Society Records
  • Naturalization, Citizenship, and Alien Records
  • Naturalization Legislation Affecting Immigrant Ancestors
  • Types of Naturalization & Citizenship Records
  • U.S. Customs and Immigration Service Records (USCIS)
  • Finding Naturalization Records

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2 reviews for European Immigrant Ancestors: Their Experiences and the Records

  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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