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 Tracing Immigrant Origins

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What Does "Know a Lot" Mean?

Image of a FortThis information will be the result of your searches in the records of their new home. It will include the minimum identification we discussed in the first few lessons. It should include some idea of the area or region within a foreign country whence the immigrant came, for instance Yorkshire, rather than England, or Hesse rather than Prussia. It may also include immigration information (dates, ship names, etc.) and other potentially identifying information.

Once you have these minimum identification standards and have organized everything so you will have that information at your fingertips, then proceed to some foreign sources.


Just as with North American records, there is a useful approach to searching these foreign records. The process can be seen as a set of research "tactics" by which the family historian searches the most useful and readily available sources first, followed by other sources, depending on how much one has learned about the immigrant. This lesson outlines those tactics. The following seven lessons will identify the different kinds of sources used in these various tactics.

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