Thursday, July 30

Immigration and Passenger Records

Thanks, Stephen P. Morse, whoever you are.

Morse's family history websites are one of the internet's real treasures. Users can search through the vast immigration and arrival records of all major US ports, including Ellis Island (1892-1924) and Castle Garden (1855-1891) in NY, and ports in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Galveston, San Francisco and elsewhere. There are also records for crossings at the US-Canadian border.

If your ancestors arrived in the US by ship during the 19th or early 20th centuries, chances are good that you can find them on one of Morse's websites. Some flexible and powerful search tools allow you to search on a full or partial name, or even on a 'sounds-like' name, if you're not sure of the spelling. Searches can also focus on particular villages, towns, shtetls, cities or countries of origin, as well as ports of arrival or departure, within specified date ranges.

Search results include summary records, as well as actual images of ship manifests, immigration entry forms, and even pictures of many of the ships that carried passengers to the US.

All in all, an amazing resource that any genealogy researcher should become familiar with.

The Corinthian, steaming into port.

Wednesday, July 29

Google News Archives

Pretty much everyone knows about Google News. For many of us, it's the first stop for finding a news story from earlier in the day or week.

But did you know there is a deep (and I mean deep) Google News Archive here as well? Newspapers and other digitized materials going back to the 1700's. And Google has been adding new archives at a furious pace, so this is a resource tool to return to on a regular basis.

The Google search is free, of course. Most of the material that is archived is also free to access, but there are also links to materials, like articles from, Proquest, Lexis, or, that you have to pay a fee to access.

Use the advanced search feature to fine tune your search by zeroing on a particular date range, geographical area, or even a particular newspaper. You can choose to see all results, or only results that are available at no charge.

From Google News Archives: NY Times, June 1, 1911