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 Tracing Immigrant Origins

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Among the major published genealogical sources, the source most overlooked by many researchers is the genealogical periodical. This seems even more true of those seeking immigrant origins, who somehow believe that the answers must lie in original documents, such as court records, deeds, or passenger lists. However, the very interest of others in those immigrants, especially of the Colonial Era, makes records dealing with immigrants a significant target of periodical publishers.

Immigration information in periodicals is found in two major formats. Genealogical accounts, which present the findings of a researcher, are a narrative discussion about a genealogical problem and the solution to that problem. Immigration, of course, is one of the greatest of genealogical problems, so the uncovering of an immigrantís home makes for an excellent genealogical article. Even more than genealogical accounts, periodicals publish copies of records. They may be passenger lists, naturalizations, other court records, lists of early residents or land holders, or any other sort of record which may name an immigrant.

Today there are literally thousands of English-language genealogical periodicals. Many of them include significant information about immigrants. Most typically, the immigrants covered in these periodicals arrived during the colonial period, although later immigrants are also covered.

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