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The Source: A Guidebook > Chapter 9: Immigration Records

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message 1: by Liz (last edited Sep 01, 2010 05:18AM) (new)

Liz | 379 comments Chapter 9 consists of roughly 4 parts with notes and references at the end. There is no reading schedule for this chapter.

message 2: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments I began my preview of this chapter and was very impressed with its thoroughness. The chapter will provide an excellent foundation for a more detailed reading on immigration records to come later. I love the table on p. 364 giving a chronology of major settlements, immigration and naturalizaion 1562-2004.

Many of the source records listed are now available on or Footnote!

There are also 2 FHL Research Outlines on immigration research:

FHL Research Outlines
Immigrants 1820-1920

Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestor

The Family Search Wikis are a work in progress but may provide some additional information:

And, there is always Cyndi's List:

message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Joe Beine crops up again for his excellent selection of links to online transcriptions of passenger records and lists! The lists can now be found at
Joe Beine's site goes beyond lists - it also provides research guidance. I am definitely going to start here when I begin my exhaustive search on a few of my immigrant ancestors!

BTW, The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy recommends completing other research before going after the passenger records because the passenger records are unlikely to identify your ancestor's country of origin.

message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments This chapter is more like an entire book on immigration research! It is crammed full of fantastic references including some very specific sources - like Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1921 by Donald B. Cole. I'll be focusing on my husband's line when for the immigration research since I've already done a great deal on mine. Cole's book should be just the ticket to get started!

message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments There is a discussion about using passenger lists in newspapers in port cities as a way of identifying the ship. Think broadly about the port cities: Cincinnati, Louisville and St. Louis (among others) were all bustling inland ports in the 19th Century. Early Cincinnati newspapers frequently posted lists of arrivals - sometimes including the name of the steamboat. If you find someone on the list, you can backtrack to the port of New Orleans and search for further records there.

message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Loretto Scuzs, one of the authors of this chapter on immigration will be presenting, They Became American: Finding Ancestral Origins Workshop, at the Chicago NARA, Nov 13, 9 am - 9 pm. For more information see Chicago NARA's facebook post at!/event.php?...

Would love to go but I don't see how I will be able to fit it into my schedule. :(

message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments The Source is is available online from Google books

You can also read it on Wiki:

That is just one of the reasons that reading a chapter or two of The Source between other books is great! The other reason, is of course, it is an outstanding resource. :)

message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe Beine (fairangels) | 10 comments Thanks for mentioning my website, Liz :) Here's an update...

On page 393 of the book (the Source) there's a web address (URL) that has changed. Where it says "Sources for Keeping up With Online Passenger Lists—Joe Beine provides an excellent selection of links to online transcriptions of passenger records and indexes..."

The URL given there has moved to:

What Passenger Lists Are Online?

Happy searching.


PS-I updated the URL in the Wiki version.

message 9: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Thanks Joe - Don't you LOVE those wikis!

message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) sure do.

message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments We are wrapping up the discussion of the immigration chapter of The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy. I'll leave the book on the group home page for about another week to allow anyone to make additional comments. We will revisit the immigration topic in January when we read They Came in Ships: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record.

message 12: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I have seen all of this on where I am inputting all my information, it is good to revisit to be reminded why we are doing this.

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