Genealogy Puzzle: What Do These 3 Obituaries Have in Common?

What do the obituaries of Daniel Coit Gilman (1831-1908) of Norwich, Connecticut; Richard Y. Cook (1845-1917) of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania; and James J. Lovitt (1838-1892) have in common? Answer: they all described their immigrant ancestors. It is common for an obituary to name the spouse, children, parents and siblings of the deceased – but to... (Read More)

Your Immigrant Ancestor: Genealogy Research Tips

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog post, Gena shows how historical newspapers can help you learn more about your immigrant ancestors and what their immigration experience was like. What is your ethnic background? Who was your first immigrant ancestor? Newspapers are a... (Read More)

Trace Your Immigrant Ancestors with Newspaper Passenger Lists

Be sure to check passenger lists that were routinely printed in newspapers—they have critical genealogical information about your immigrant ancestors that you need for your family history research. Look at this typical example, published in the Irish Nation newspaper in New York City. This passenger list reports on the Irish passengers who arrived in New York... (Read More)

Where to Find Passenger Lists to Trace Your Immigrant Ancestors

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary explains how ships’ passenger lists can help you trace your ancestors’ journeys to and arrivals in America—and she provides dozens of links to passenger list websites. Tracing the ship journeys of your immigrant ancestors... (Read More)

Ancestral Name Searches: 4 Tips for Tracing Surname Spellings

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary explains that ancestral surnames may have been spelled differently in the past—or been completely different altogether—and provides tips for searching for these ancestral name variations. Earlier this year, I asked some Facebook friends to... (Read More)

Jewish American Newspapers for Genealogy at GenealogyBank

Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this guest blog post, Scott writes about the ten Jewish American newspapers available in GenealogyBank’s online newspapers collection, and showcases some of the types of articles and information that can be found in these newspapers. I spent... (Read More)

American Immigrant Story: 1837 Shipwreck Ruins the Trip

Our ancestors have made the long trip to America starting with the days of the Pilgrims. These were not easy journeys and some ended in disaster. Here is a riveting newspaper account from an article written in 1837 showing just how brutal the trip to America could be. The barque Mexico left Liverpool, England,... (Read More)