Stormy Seas or Calm Waters: The Crossing

Wouldn’t you love to know what it was like for your ancestor to sail across the ocean to the United States of America?  So many questions could be answered:  Was the ship powered by steam or by sail?  How long was the trip?  How many passengers were on board?  What...

The Port they Left Behind: Emigration

One summer Bruce and I traveled to England.  After researching for a few days in London, we rented a car and drove up the countryside to a hotel about an hour east of Liverpool.  (We learned long ago that to protect our sanity and our marriage, we wouldn’t drive in...

I Before E or E Before I: Immigration and Emigration

Many of you learned the old rhyme, “I before E except after C…,” but in the case of passenger lists, it’s “E before I.”  Why?  There are two types of lists that involve entering or exiting the country.  It’s really easy to understand. Immigration:  When someone enters...

Crossing the Pond: Finding Immigrant Origins

This subject should be of interest to just about everybody tracing their family tree in the U.S., because frankly, most of us descend from at least one immigrant. Even the Spanish were immigrants.   When you’re trying to find the place of your ancestor’s origin, there...

Buried Treasure: A Tombstone Revelation

Have you ever gone to a cemetery for your immigrant ancestor’s tombstone, didn’t find it, and gave up and left? Gordon Remington, a professional genealogist, tells of the time he was doing some research in upstate New York looking for a place of birth for an immigrant...