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The past few lessons should have provided a foundation for you as you begin to
search for the origins of your immigrant ancestors. We have discussed how to
properly, and fully, identify the immigrant, how to search the records, and how
to interpret the place names you eventually hope to find. However, all of this
is just preliminary to the core of our course: a discussion of the various
sources you can use to learn the place name of an immigrant's home town.
Although we have identified, and will discuss, at least 20 different sources
for finding that elusive town name, not all sources are created equal. For
that matter, source A may be better than source B under some circumstances,
while B may be better than A at other times. Knowing which sources to
search, and when to use them will be the focus of our discussions in the