Genealogy Friday: Where Did My Ancestors Come From?





Have you wondered where your ancestors came from?

Maybe you grew up on stories of their trip overseas?  Or maybe you have no idea where they came from?

So, how do you determine their place of origin?

What records should you check if your ancestor was an immigrant?

Several ways include:

Family Bibles contain a lot of great family information
Family Bibles contain a lot of great family information
  1. Check immigration records—Ellis Island was a huge port for immigrants in the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
  2. Check birthplace listed on Census Records
  3. Check ship manifesto
  4. Look in family histories
  5. Inquire of older family member
  6. Check the birth place on a death certificate or obituary
  7. Research the name and history of the ship {if known}
  8. Look at the area where your ancestor settled {is it primarily Irish, German, Italian}
  9. What is the first document in the United States {if that’s the country emigrated to}? This may be a starting place for when they first arrived.
  10. Create a timeline of known facts. Then work backwards to fill in the missing pieces.
  11. Search for other family members that may have emigrated with them {children, spouse, parents, siblings}
  12. Search family records such as the Family Bible, letters to the home country, etc.
  13. Bonus—DNA testing will most likely tell you the area your family is from

What tips have you used to find your ancestral homeland?

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