July 29, 2008

Almshouse Records & Immigration Dates

In the early 1800's port cities in the USA bore the burden of immigration. By the time they arrived, so many immigrants were tired, hungry and poor they ended up in the City Almshouse. This meant the citizens had to take care of them. At first the citizens of the city asked the Mayors for funds to support the poor. Eventually they asked the states, and by mid-century some states (PA, NY, MA) set up State agencies to deal with the issue. Eventually, beginning in the 1880's, the Federal Government nationalized the programs.

Dating back to the colonial era, New York City assumed responsibility for its citizens who were destitute, sick, homeless, or otherwise unable to care for themselves. The city maintained an almshouse, various hospitals, and a workhouse on Blackwell's Island (now called Roosevelt Island) for the poor.

While searching for other genealogy records, I stumbled on the Alms House Admission Foreigners & Nativity Records (New York City, NY) Bond Registers 1819-1840. The original records are held in the Municipal Archives, New York, New York. There are 2 pages for each name in this ledger. Due to time restraints, I only copied part of the left hand page. The information I extracted includes

Date of Admission; Foreigner (Surname); Foreigner (First Name); Age; Place of Birth; Vessel (Ship) Name; Where From

There is more information, including Ship Captain's Name, Ship Owner's Name, Date of Bond, Sureties, Date Discharged, Death Date, Remarks, Bonded, Commuted & Total.

For example, under date 1820 March 11 - Elizabeth Kennedy age 34 is listed as having died June 14, 1820; her daughter Mary Ann died Nov. 5, 1820

For individuals recorded in the 1855-1858 Almshouse Records the information includes ship name, date of sailing, ports of departure and arrival

This is a terrific database providing names of ships and immigration years for ancestors. It is freely available online starting in 1819 at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/ny_alms1819.shtml

July 28, 2008

Genealogy Without Sources is Mythology!

How can you tell if the information posted by individuals on Internet genealogy sites is valid? Some sites have sources, others don't. How do you know what, and when, to believe what you read online??

A good rule of thumb is....

Don't trust anything you find on the 'net (or elsewhere) if it doesn't have sources.

Without sources you can't verify it, and you don't know whether the information came from a reliable source or whether it came from Great Aunt Martha who may have some of it right, but may have mixed up a lot too.

Maybe the info came from a book written by someone 100 years ago who didn't have access to sources we have now, or who just plain got it wrong.

Perhaps the information was transcribed for a webpage from a book source. That book source was transcribed from a microfilm record which was itself transcribed from the original. The chance of human error is greatly increased with each succeeding transcription.

Even if the information has a source, you should double-check it personally, either from the original source or from an independent source.

VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY!!!

You also want to think about the source itself. Is the source a good one? After all, if Great Aunt Martha gives me information on the birth or baptism of my 3rd great-grandpa and I put it on the 'net, and source it as "Remembrances of Great Aunt Martha", that's not necessarily a reliable or accurate source. After all, Great Aunt Martha did have that fall from a horse when she was a child and she IS 97 years old......

However if I source the birth or baptismal dates with full details on the church where I saw the original record, or the published transcript of those church records, that's much more reliable.

When in doubt, remember.... .

"Genealogy without sources is mythology"

© Lorine McGinnis Schulze
http://olivetreegenealogy.com/index.shtml

July 26, 2008

A Genealogical Fish Story

It's interesting how we genealogists are eager for stories of our ancestors - the more bizarre or unusual, the better! I'm sure everyone has an interesting tale or two (or more!) which has been handed down in the family.

But what happens when we find a paper record that might prove or disprove that family lore? How disappointing is it to find out that Great grandma Harriet was not the love child of the Duke of Wellington but according to her birth registration, was the child of a farmer and a scullery maid. On the other hand, how many bits of family lore do we find out are true, or have at least a grain of truth to them?

A bit of family lore passed down concerning my 3rd cousin twice removed had always intrigued me.

William Edward Learn (1885-1908) died tragically while fishing in the Niagara River. He had a rope tied around his waist while he was fishing and hooked a sturgeon which pulled him in and under. It was a month before his body was found with the rope and sturgeon still attached.

I wondered how accurate it was. A very kind correspondent sent this to me several years ago, copied directly from the Learn Family Bible. When the Ontario Death Records went online I decided to see what William's death registration gave for his cause of death. I expected to see "Drowning" as the cause of death. I expected I might not ever find out if the fish story was accurate.

Much to my surprise the cause of death was given as pneumonia which William had for 7days prior to dying. It seems a rather fanciful story for someone to dream up and record in a Family Bible. How did poor William's death from pneumonia end up being passed down in the family as William being killed by a fish?

I don't have the answer, I only have the story and a moral to the story. The moral is "Don't fall for family tales, hook, line and sinker or you could end up all wet"

July 24, 2008

One Step Search Engine for 1891 Canadian Census

Now that ancestry has added the 1891 Canadian census, the One-Step utility for the Canadian census has been extended to include that year. It can be found in the Canada/UK Census section of the One-Step website

Advantages of using the One-Step utility for 1891 Canada rather than going to the ancestry site directly include:

- can search all years from the same form

- can search on middle initial

- can search on birth year being between two values rather than using plus-or-minus

- can search on age

- can search on religion

- can select district from drop-down list instead of having to type it

- can specify more than 50 hits per page

July 23, 2008

1891 Canadian Census ONLINE!

Great News! Ancestry.com has put the 1891 Canadian census online. It's indexed and linked to the images of the actual pages.

If you have a subscription you should check it out, I've already found several ancestors. If you don't have a subscription you may want to subscribe now or take a free trial to find your ancestors.

I've noted some errors that may cause researchers problems, including mixing of families. For example I searched for my PEER ancestor. I found his name. I clicked on the name for more information and could see everyone in his family. However there were 3 different surnames and many many individuals linked into his family, complete with relationships such as "Son" "Daughter" etc. A check of the image revealed that in fact there were 3 distinct family groups living in separate households but the transcribers had combined them all together as one.

Other errors were children, some as young as 2 years old, listed as living alone. In fact a check of the image revealed that each of these children were in fact living in family homes.

I also noted several occurances of one family being split. So a search brought up the husband. Clicking on his name showed him with no wife and one child. His wife came up separately in the search engine and clicking on her name showed her living alone with several other children. A look at the linked image revealed husband, wife and all children living as one family. Why these these separate families have been merged into one or one family split into more than one is a mystery.

What it means is you must check the images to verify the transcribed information.

Have fun! And be creative in your searches...... my McGinnis ancestors were hiding under the MISindexed name of "Linnis"

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Contributes Its 75,000-Volume Collection to The New York Public Library

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Contributes Its 75,000-Volume Collection to The New York Public Library


Step to Create One of the World’s Largest, Most Accessible Genealogical Libraries: A Singular Resource for Researchers of New York Family History


NEW YORK, NY, July 21, 2008 –The New York Public Library (NYPL) and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (the G&B) announced jointly today that the New York Public Library will become the new home of the G&B Society’s library of 75,000 published works, 30,000 manuscripts, 22,000 microforms, 1,300 periodicals and digital computer media. Among the materials are 16th and 17th century land records; transcriptions of New York baptismal and marriage records; personal diaries and letters; and census data from as early as the 18th century. Joining the Library’s rich and heavily used genealogical and manuscript collections, the merged materials of the NYPL and the G&B will create an unparalleled, publicly accessible resource for those conducting genealogical research. The NYPL and the G&B will co-sponsor educational programs, create links to each other’s websites, and collaborate in various ways to make this invaluable resource available to the public.

Continue reading

July 22, 2008

The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676....

The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676 and his Mohawk Wife Ots-Toch, including the story of Jacques Hertel, 1603-1651, Father of Ots-Toch and Interpreter to Samuel de Champlain was published in 1996.

The focus of the book is Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke born in Brueckelen, Netherlands in 1604 and his Mohawk-French wife Ots-Toch born ca 1620 at Canajoharie, New York. Cornelis came to the New World in 1634, settling at Beverwyck and then Schenectady, New York.

Cornelis Van Slyke's story is of a Dutchman who came to the New World as a carpenter at the age of 30.He became an interpreter for the Mohawk nation, was adopted into the tribe, and married a French-Mohawk woman (Ots-Toch) who never left her native village. Their children, all raised at Canajoharie, one of the Mohawk castles or villages, became well-known and respected in the Dutch community. All except one left the village and married Dutch settlers.

One of their children was my 8th great grandfather, Jacques Cornelissen Van Slyke who was known as Akes Gautsch, and whose Mohawk name was It-sy-cho-sa-quash-ka. Jacques was also an interpreter and one of the first settlers of Schenectady.

In my 189-page book, I trace Ots-Toch's lineage, and Cornelis' and Ots-Toch's descendants to the mid 1800s. The book is 8 1/2 x 11, paperback, coil bound. Laminated covers are available on request (see order form for cost). Pages 1-100 are narrative style chapters detailing the lives of Cornelis and his children, as well as Ots-Toch and her parents, and Cornelis' nephew Willem Pieterse. pages 100-189 are Genealogical Report style plus maps. The book is footnoted and indexed.

New Netherland Settlers: Willem Pieterse Van Slyke aka Willem Neef


New Netherland Settlers: Willem Pieterse Van Slyke aka Willem Neef

A genealogy to five generations of the descendants of Willem Pieterse Van Slyke who settled in New Netherland (New York) in 1660

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Cornelise's nephew Willem Pieterse Van Slyke and his descendants were briefly discussed in my first book on the Van Slyke family "The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelis Anotnissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676 and his Mohawk wife Ots-Toch, including the story of Jacques Hertel, 1603-1651, Father of Ots-Toch and Interpreter to Samuel de Champlain". In the years that followed, I realized it was time to give Willem a book of his own.

Sometimes one event leads to another serendiptious finding. Such was the case with this book. During my four year research period on this book, I was researching other families for a planned series on New Netherland settlers and compiling notes. In-depth research on the Straetsman family led me to an unexpected revelation of a family connection - one which affects Van Slyke and Barheit descendants. You will read about this in the chapter on Pieter Willemse Van Slyke and his wife Johanna Barheit. Other mysteries were solved along the way, and I hope that Van Slyke descendants are pleased with my findings.

The book is 8 1/2 x 11, paperback, coil bound, 200 pages, footnoted and indexed. Laminated covers are available on request (see order form for cost).

Part I is a history of the Dutch in New Netherland including chapters on the Origins of New Netherland, Rensselaerswyck Beginnings, Fort Orange & Albany Beginnings, Early Settlers & Immigration, Religon, Money & Money Substitutes in the New World, Patronymics, The Settlement of Kinderhook.

Part II is on the origins of the Van Slyke family in the Netherlands (inlcudes new information from commissioned research).

Part III is about the Immigrant Van Slyke Ancestors in the New World with chapters on Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke and his nephew Willem Pieterse Van Slyke.

Part IV discussses the second generation with individual chapters on each of Willem Pieterse's six children and their spouses.

Part V is the Genealogy Report to 5 generations. Included are charts, maps, a bibliography, glossary and timeline.

July 21, 2008

Ex-serviceman risks eviction by flying Canadian flag on balcony - AOL News Canada

Ex-serviceman risks eviction by flying Canadian flag on balcony - AOL News Canada

An ex-serviceman refuses to take down the Canadian flag on his balcony in a subsidized housing unit in Cardinal, Ont., even though the local housing authority is threatening to evict him.

Mark Murray, 53, served with the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Canadian Airborne Regiment in the 1970s and 1980s.

The director of community and social services, Dorothy Theobald, told CBC News Monday that her department is trying to work with Murray, but, she said, the flag can't stay.

Mark Murray flies this flag in support of troops and their families.

(Lorine's comment: My son is in the Canadian Military and knowing that there is support for our soldiers and families means a great deal to me. I hope that Mr. Murray will continue to fly our flag and that the housing unit will reverse its order to remove it)

What you may not have known about 1871 Census of Ontario

Census records for 1871 are available to the public. They give information on all household members - name, age,gender, country of birth, religion, ethnic origin,
occupation, marital status and education.

There are 9 returns for the 1871 census but there are 3 that are of the most help genealogically:

* Schedule 1: Return of the Living
* Schedule 2: Return of the Dead
* Schedule 4: Agricultural Return

Census records are available on microfilm from the Archives of Ontario, National Archives of Canada, on ILL (InterLibraryLoan) through a local library, or from your
local FHC (Family History Center).

You can search the 1871 census index to heads of household for Ontario. If you find a name of interest, you can order a copy of the census page from the National Archives. Requests for copies must include complete references

For help and a link to the order census form, see

http://allcensusrecords.com/canada/1871census.shtml

July 20, 2008

Bergeron dit D'Amboise reunion Fredericton New Brunswick Canada

July 18/19 2009

This story begins in the last decade of the 17th century. When in 1692 Governor Villebon granted Point Saint Anne (all of the lower part of today’s Fredericton) to Gabriel Godin. (The census of 1693 confirms this fact for us) Gabriel Godin and his wife, Andree-Angelique JEANNES settled the village of Point Saint Anne. During the following years the village prospered and grew. Then in February 1759 a small force of British Troupes (16 men) led by a Lt Moses Hazen raided and destroyed the Acadian village of Pointe Sainte Anne, as a consequence of this raid some innocent civilians were killed. These civilians were hastily buried in the village cemetery. This cemetery has since been mistakenly identified as an Native American Cemetery when in reality it is an Acadian Cemetery.

Now, we fast forward to 1933 when the cemetery was once again disturbed! This time by a Dr. Wintemberg who came to Point Saint Anne with the expectations of finding pre-historic (First Nation) remains and was surprised to find, buried closely together, and in one case two in one grave, not Indians, but Europeans. In all, seven skeletons were examined. (Two of these remains were those of Anastasie Godin and Madeleine Guilbaut) In no case was there any evidence of Indian (First Nation) at the site. The remains of the two women were removed to Ottawa where they remain today. As Acadian’s and descendants of Anstasie’s family our desire is to have her (their) remains returned to her (their) rightful resting place, Pointe Saint Anne. And the cemetery there properly identified and declared as a National Historical Site.

The Bergeron-Damboise families are planning, in conjunction with The Society of History of the River Saint Jean (SHRSJ) a commemoration of the 250 year anniversary of the destruction of the village. We are calling for all Acadians to rally with us in Fredericton on the weekend of the 18th/19th of July (Saturday and Sunday) 2009. This calling includes all Acadians who are descended from the Godin, Saindon, Pare, Bergeron, St Aubin,Roy,Bellefontaine,DAmboise Families as well as any other family group. Please contact Aline Cormier (alicor@nb.sympatico.ca) or Lawrence Bergeron (larrybergeron@earthlink.net) for further details.

July 19, 2008

Shades of the Departed Guest Author

I was very honoured to be asked by Footnote Maven to be a guest author on her Shades of the Departed Blog. My guest article was about my collection of Civil War era CDVs (Cartes de Visite) and Photo Albums ... and I was thrilled at the chance to talk about one of my favourite things! As an avid collector of many different items, it's always a treat to tell folks about one of my collections

http://www.shadesofthedeparted.com/2008/07/july-18-friday-from-collectors.html

July 15, 2008

2008 Family History & Genealogy Conference Midwestern Roots

Midwestern Roots

2008 Family History & Genealogy Conference

August 15-16, 2008

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indiana Historical Society will host the conference at the Indianapolis Marriott East, Aug. 15 and 16, 2008, with pre-conference activities on Aug. 14.

Midwestern Roots 2008 will feature more than 30 presentations by national and regional experts and cover a range of topics, from sources, methodology and technology to DNA, storytelling, photo preservation, Internet linking and much more.

Speakers include Richard Eastman, Roberta J. Estes, Alan January, Susan Kaufman, Charles F. Kerchner, David Lifferth, James Madison, Nancy Massey, Stephen Morse, Christine Rose, Bob Sander, Beau Sharbough, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Betty Warren and Curt Witcher.

July 14, 2008

Oprhan Home Records in USA & Canada

Some New York early orphanages were

* Half Orphan Asylum for Destitute and Abandoned Children
* Leake and Watts Orphan House
* Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum (I have been transcribing these records)
* Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Brooklyn
* Old Schuler Mansion, Albany
* Westchester-Temporary Home for Destitute Children in White Plains opened in 1885

Many of these institutions were founded in New York City to care for destitute children of immigrants from Ireland and Russia, Germany and other eastern European countries. Many immigrants found themselves unable to work and thus were unable feed their children. Women died during childbirth leaving a number of uncared for children. Many women also had illegitimate children that they could not provide for. Husbands died, living behind widows with large families. Some parents were addicted to alcohol or committed crimes and wound up in prison.

Search for ancestors in Orphan Home Records in USA and Canada

July 13, 2008

Orphanages in New Amsterdam (New York City)

As early as 1653, New York City (formerly called New Amsterdam) recognized that it needed to care for the city's minor children, widows, and orphans. In February of that year, the Deacons of the Reformed Dutch Church were appointed to act as Orphan Masters. Their duties were to "keep their eyes open and look as Orphanmasters after widows and orphans..." They were to report to city officials who would appoint cuators if necessary to take care of the estates and effects of these widows and orphaned children.

On February 10, 1653, two men were appointed to act, not as Orphanmasters as originally intended, but as Overseers of Orphans. City officials continued to rule in the Orphan's Court, which had been created by Stuyvesant to "attend to orphans and minor children within the jurisdiction of this city [New York City]"

The Records of this Orphans' Court have been published as "Minutes of the Orphan Masters of New Amsterdam 1655-1663" by Berthold Fernow and "The Minutes of the Orphan Masters of New Amsterdam 1663-1668" translated by Edmund B. O'Callaghan. Genealogists can also consult The Records of New Amsterdam : From 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini by Berthold Fernow

Searchable Orphan Records can be found at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/orphans/

July 12, 2008

Manifest Markings & Verification of Naturalizations

In 1926 verification clerks began to record the verification (record check) and naturalization certification activity on each passenger list record. The
annotations may be found on any passenger list, before or after 1926, but they all relate to naturalization activity occurring in 1926 or later.

You can read about Manifest Markings and their meanings (plus refer to a District Number decoder) at
http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Manifests/occ/

For a Resource Guide and links to online Naturalization records, what you can expect to find, where to find them, and alternate sources of finding those important years (immigration and naturalization) at
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/

July 11, 2008

Challenges in Searching Boston Ship Passenger Lists

The problem with the Boston arrivals is there is an 8 1/2 year gap on M277 (which is titled Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston MA 1820-1891) The gap is from a April 1874 to 31 Dec 1882.

That is because there are no Federal records of any kind prior to 1883 (due to fire) and State Department copies were used in their place. BUT State Departments copies and abstracts only covered up to end of March 1874.

However the good news is that there ARE records for the missing years. They are not available at NARA, only at the Massachusetts State Archives

There is an index on M625 which *does* cover those "missing" years. Finding an ancestor on that index in those missing years means you have to then write to the Mass. State Archives for a copy of the passenger list page with your ancestor on it.

Search for ancestors on Ships Passenger Lists to USA

July 10, 2008

I Love My Labeller!

Okay I confess. I'm a compulsive labeller. A few years ago, against my husband's wishes, I bought a Brother P-Touch and I love it. If I thought I could get away with it I would probably label everything in the house.

My friends and family shake their heads when they see all the storage shelves in my basement labelled "Paper Towels" "Kleenex" "Water" "Dog Food". Clear plastic tubs labelled "Light Bulbs" "Party Stuff" "Tape" sit on storage shelves.

My electrician loves me. All my fuse panel switches are neatly labelled "Mud Room" "Kitchen" "Bedroom lites". We recently had our electric panel redone and another one added, and the electrician called me to the basement to start printing labels so she could put them on the new switches.

I should explain that I don't label things because I am organized. On the contrary I am DISorganized! I label them because if I don't I can't remember what is IN tubs or boxes. My husband tends to put items wherever there is an empty space on a shelf or in a cupboard, then I can't find them. With shelves labelled "Paper Towels" he knows that even if that spot is empty, I'd rather he didn't store his work tools there.

This year I discovered the joys of Genealogy labelling. Let me first explain that I have two large lateral filing cabinets about 6 feet wide with a total of 6 drawers, all for my genealogy papers and documents. They are full. Crammed full. I also have several large plastic tubs of unfiled genealogy papers and documents. Combine that with 3 hanging file folder racks with my ongoing work and research and you have a mess. I tend to grab whatever is handy and scribble a file name on a folder, then pop it in to a hanging folder, one of those that is supposed to have a plastic tab identifying the contents. But I rarely get around to that, or if I do it's in an assortment of coloured pens, pencils, markers....

Because I am trying to work on a series of genealogy books, I realized I have to be more organized and efficient. Also my personal genealogy was rapidly becoming overwhelmingly cluttered and disorganized!

It didn't take me long to realize I could put my labeller to good use. I spent a happy weekend going through ALL my genealogy files, sorting, tossing, and reorganizing. With each folder I reorganized, I immediately created a label - big and easy to read, and neatly printed on my P-Touch instead of in my scribbly handwriting.

After putting everything back in the filing cabinets and hanging folders, I was thrilled because now I can READ the labels and see what files are in each drawer. With my bad eyesight this has been a boon in easily finding items in the bottom drawers in particular.

All the files look so neat and professional that now I am inspired to actually work on my genealogy! No more frantic hunting for that one document I KNOW I found last time I was in Salt Lake City.... but where oh where did I put it!

July 8, 2008

Ships Passenger Lists to New Netherland (New York) - What Exists?

All "passenger lists" for travel from The Netherlands to New Netherland 1654-1664 came from information on the debit side of the West India Company Account Book. They show who owed money when they arrived. This account book is found in New Netherland Colonial Mss, vol. 14, Book KK. The lists of Passengers to New Netherland in the Year Book of the Holland Society of New Netherland 1902:1-37 were taken from this Account Book FN 1, 2

Typical fare was 36 florins; half that for young children; and nothing for nursing infants. FN 1

These accounts were made from the records of the West India Company, by order of the English rulers after the confiscation of the Company's property in New Netherland, and as assets of or debts due the Company, and to be collected by the English. The list seems to stop with the Eendracht which arrived on 19 July 1664. The English took over in Sept 1664 so that may have been the last passenger ship to arrive before that date.

Continue reading and search for ancestors on 81 Ships Passenger Lists to New Netherland (New York) 1624-1664

July 5, 2008

Oregon Statewide Biennial Genealogy Conference

Oregon Statewide Biennial Genealogy Conference

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Lane Community College
Center for Meeting and Learning
4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405

Featuring Cyndi Howells of Cyndi’s List

For info: gco2008conference@yahoo.com

July 4, 2008

Reformed Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark), Orange Co. New York Baptisms online

Olive Tree Genealogy added almost 10 more years of baptisms in the Reformed Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark),Orange County New York for the following years: Feb 1752-
June 1754 | July 1754-Nov 1756 | Nov 1756-Jan 1759 | Jan 1759-Apr 1760

This adds to the current church records online for 1716 - 1750

You can click on links for this set of free church records at the What's New for June page

More years will be added as volunteers complete the transcripts. We will be stopping at 1827.

Search for ancestors at genealogy records for New York and New Netherland

July 3, 2008

USA Military Naturalizations

Aliens serving in the US military did not gain citizenship through service alone. The naturalization of soldiers was performed under certain provisions of nationality law facilitating the naturalization of members of the US armed forces.

These provisions waived the Declaration of Intention requirement and waived or reduced the residency requirement. Thus many soldiers filed petitions and were naturalized the same day.

Search WW1 Soldiers Naturalization Records 1918 index cards with names, dates of naturalization, court numbers, and certificate numbers of soldiers in WWI whose naturalizations were facilitated so they could serve in the US Armed Forces.

July 2, 2008

USA Naturalization Records After 1906

After 1906 the declaration of intent contains preliminary information and may have incorrect dates of arrival and anglicized names. However petitions after 1906 have information that has been verified and matched to an immigration record. An immigrant who arrived after June 29, 1906, could not naturalize until the government located their immigration record (a passenger list).

Since 1906, after an immigrant filed a Declaration of Intention or a Petition for Naturalization in a naturalization court, the Bureau of Naturalization was called upon to provide a certification of the immigrant's arrival record. The certification, called a Certificate of Arrival was sent to the courthouse.

So when researching, think of opposites - AFTER 1906 you want the Petition. Before 1906 you want the Declaration of Intent

Search free Naturalization Records Online

July 1, 2008

USA Naturalization Records Before 1906

Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition.

Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former allegiance, and date of naturalization. The declaration may include the alien's exact date of immigration into the United States.

Search free Naturalization Records online