Use for questions relating to ancestors living or visiting the USA, and records originating in the USA. This includes previous political entities within the geographical boundaries of the present-day USA, such as the relevant European colonies.

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Looking for two Greek passengers who probably arrived in New York in 1923

I'm trying to locate the following family (both Greek) on the passenger lists: George (Georgios) Vogiatzis Charalampos Vogiatzis Must have arrived in New York probably in 1923 after the Minor Asia ...
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1answer
62 views

How to Decipher U.S. Passenger Manifest Text?

Would love some help with deciphering the attached Passenger Manifest. I can't make out the text in Line 14, Col 11 of the first image AND Line 14, Col 18 of the second image. The line in question ...
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3answers
242 views

What fields are available from a Social Security Death Index (SSDI) search at different websites?

There are several different websites that offer a search form for the Social Security Death Index, the public-access extract of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File. Since ...
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1answer
54 views

What entitity compiles the “US Public Records Index”?

There are several compiled indices of US Public Records which have been referred to as the "US Public Records Index". In its various forms, it is compiled from an assortment of different records ...
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22 views

What reference materials discuss any “known issues” in the microfilms of 1930 US Federal Census?

I have been unable to locate some of the families I'm researching in the 1930 Census (for one example see my question What are good search techniques for finding people who have moved within the same ...
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1answer
49 views

Which parent generally named the babies in 18th and 19th century USA?

I have found, when researching long-dead ancestors, that sometimes the names that parents chose to give their children are the only glimpse I have into the inner life of those parents. When I look at ...
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2answers
63 views

How to find the address of a building in US censuses

Is there a way to know what address is dwelling #1847 in the St-Lawrence 1870 census ? ref question : How to find death record from late 19th century New York (State)?
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1answer
56 views

How to track late 18th century migrants from France to Pennsylvania, possibly via Louisiana?

The Francois Dusnesmil family eventually arrived at the French Azilum colony in Pennsylvania. Where did Francois Dusnesmil with his wife Eliza Champion and 3 children arrive in America? I would like ...
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1answer
65 views

Locating a deceased family member

My Great-Grandfather was born in Letten, Germany (right outside of Munich) in 1887. I have some information on him: He enlisted into the military (at Port Bremerhaven) in 1907 and I believe he was ...
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1answer
82 views

How did US census takers record household information?

I have run into a number of errors in the census where my ancestors and relatives are involved. Most notably my 2nd great-grandmother was recorded twice as Augustus A.-male (once in 1860 and again in ...
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0answers
88 views

What does “S” mean in the context of possessing a ticket for the next leg of a journey?

In this ticket manifest and other transatlantic passenger manifests that I have seen, it appears that the answers to the question "whether having a ticket to such final destination" (in column 14) are ...
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3answers
156 views

How should I distinguish between the US and UK National Archives?

We have the US National Archives and the UK National Archives. They are both referred to as "the National Archives." What is the most common and well understood way of distinguishing between the two? ...
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3answers
92 views

How can I find information about an Allied WWII Prisoner of War in Germany?

I'm looking for information about an American POW (Prisoner of War) at Stalag Luft 1 in Germany during World War II. What free records of pilots/POWS, etc. are available online?
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2answers
121 views

Is there a national death registry?

I believe at least 2-3 of my family branches ended in deaths that were not handled by family (meaning they died alone or no one bothered telling anyone), so the only record of what happened to them ...
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1answer
60 views

How to find marriage record from just possible year(s) when state archive has no record?

My GG-Grandparents had 8 children, lived in Massachusetts, USA. The Massachusetts Archive has no record of marriage and all I have is that 1st child was born in 1891 (Brockton, MA). My GG ...
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2answers
121 views

What was the “Old War” and how should I interpret this pension index card?

I'm looking at this old military pension file index. Jeptha Tallant is listed under the heading "Old War" -- which war is it referring to? I believe he was born in 1811, so the Revolutionary War ...
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2answers
121 views

What uses are there for the Social Security Number (SSN) of a deceased ancestor?

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI), or Death Master File (DMF) is an index of the deaths of US persons that have been notified to the US Social Security. It's available online at various places ...
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2answers
58 views

Are there Naturalization records specific to displaced ethnic Jews?

From WW1-WW2, are there a set of records for Jews seperate from other naturalization records in the U.S., if so, where can they be accessed?
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1answer
88 views

Is there a legal standard for Heraldry & Family Coats of Arms in U.S.?

How can I know that a rendering of Heraldry or a Coat of Arms from a website is legit? What is the legal standard in the U.S.?
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1answer
91 views

How can I find out what WPA projects took place in my (or my relatives') hometown?

Several of the city directory listings I've found list people as being employed by the WPA (Work Projects Administration). Most listings merely say the person was employed by the WPA with no ...
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1answer
90 views

What are good search techniques for finding people who have moved within the same geographical area?

In an answer to the question How would you handle a census record that is almost certainly the target family but which has too many discrepancies? I wrote about a family in my research area for which ...
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1answer
138 views

Where were my parents married?

My parents were married 59 years ago today (Christmas day 1954). The problem is that I can not find their marriage license anywhere and to add to the problem my mother was 1/2 black and in Georgia ...
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3answers
109 views

First wife / birth mother left out of history?

Alice Bell Snider (b. 28 Jul 1867, d. 8 Feb 1945 in Henry Co., Iowa) is listed in family records (and indeed in other people's records online) as the daughter of George W. Snider (1839-1905) and ...
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1answer
105 views

How to find parents of Elizabeth Meyers (1820-1880), wife of the Amish Benjamin Miller in 19th Century Pennsylvania?

Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies (Gingerich & Krieder, 1986) gives an Elizabeth Meyers (born 13 Oct 1820 and died 17 Oct 1880) as the wife of Benjamin Miller (1816-1888, of the Christian ...
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3answers
160 views

How would you handle a census record that is almost certainly the target family but which has too many discrepancies?

Anna M. Alischer married Charles John Brockhouse in 1928 and had 3 children (1930, 1934, 1942). In 1930 they were enumerated in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. I think I've identified the ...
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2answers
115 views

Where can I find information on buildings that have been demolished?

I'd appreciate suggestions from anyone who has traced the history of houses, multi-family residences, and commercial buildings, on how to find more information about buildings which no longer exist. ...
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3answers
199 views

What is my relationship to the spouse of my cousin?

If my cousin gets married am I now related to his new wife's immediate family. Would I be related to his new wife's brother or sister?
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1answer
67 views

Where can I find non-resident schedules and absent household schedules for the US Federal Census?

On page 6 of the 1940 Census Enumerator's instructions (page 4 of the printed manual) paragraph 19 reads: Nonresident schedule. -- Members of a household who object to being included in the ...
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2answers
63 views

What is the meaning of “Bound To” in this 18th Century US (Virginia) Will?

A 1771 document from Sussex Co, Virginia states "Robert Sammons, orphan of John Sammons, dec'd, aged about 6, bound to John Hicks". What does "bound to" mean in that context?
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1answer
137 views

Marine Corps Muster Roll abbreviations

my question is similar to What is the meaning of these remarks on 1948 USMC discharge papers? but with different abbreviations that I can't find the answer to. Below is the transcription I have. I ...
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1answer
68 views

How can I find ships records and death information for Richard Turkington?

My gg-grandfather came to New York City sometime prior to my ggrandfather's birth in 1838. His wife was Bessie Louden, and my g-grandfather was orphaned at age 13, around 1851. This information ...
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1answer
90 views

Transients and New Arrivals in the U.S. 1940 census

I've been trying to find the 1940 census entry of Sara Katharina Guenther, born 05 Jul 1908 in Homestead, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. She had just arrived back in the port of New York NY on ...
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2answers
96 views

Looking for info on Patrick Keelin, my elusive Irish ancestor

I am trying to find anything at all about my g-g-g grandfather, Patrick Keelin. The only thing I know for sure about him is that he was born in Ireland, and that his son, John, was born in Virginia in ...
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68 views

Birthplace of Phillip Smith

I can't find Phillip Smith. He was born 8 June 1789 and died 27 January 1869 in Utah. I need to find where he was born. I have tried Family Tree and Tracing Mormon Pioneers. I need to find out who ...
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1answer
40 views

Why wait more than 3 years to file the Petition for Naturalization?

Naturalization in the US was a two step process from 1790 through at least the mid 1900s (I don't know how it works now). The first step was filing a Declaration of Intention which could be done after ...
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1answer
52 views

Is immigrant sponsor information archived somewhere?

A family I am researching fled Germany in the 1930s and settled in Illinois. In the ship's manifest, they listed one relative as a sponsor, but according to a member of that family, several sponsors ...
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2answers
79 views

How did Doris Sparrell (1892-1985) spend her time as a young lady?

What did young women like Doris Sparrell (b. 11 Dec. 1892; d. 10 Jul. 1985; lived in MA, USA) do for entertainment as teenagers?
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1answer
71 views

Trace my sister?

This is a very interesting issue. My father passed away almost 30 years ago at age 65. Prior to marrying my mother, he married another woman and had a daughter from her, then divorced. He never ...
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2answers
100 views

Letters from US Presidents to persons over 100

When searching newspaper obituaries for an ancestor, I ran across an obituary (unfortunately not an ancestor) of a person who had lived to 100. This reminded me that my father had found a letter from ...
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5answers
175 views

What does it mean for woman to have the title of Mistress in a marriage record?

I found a marriage record* where the woman has the title of "Mistress". What does that title mean in this case? I know that title of "Mistress" has multiple meanings. The woman was previously married ...
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2answers
162 views

Brick Wall: Searching for Grandfather - C&EI Railroad Employee in 1948 - who the heck was he?

I will do my best not to make this a novel. My mother never knew her father. She was the product of a very "brief" relationship that took place when my 16 year old grandmother was visiting her ...
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2answers
172 views

Who are the Ancestors of William Yensull?

William Yensull (also spelled Yensule or Yencule) became a Naturalized Citizen of the United States on April 20th, 1896. Based on his Naturalization Certificate, issued in the Illinois county of ...
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2answers
106 views

Locating a 20th century New York Death record

My Spanish great uncle was born Salvador Mouris Campos and naturalized as Compos. He was born July 1, 1886 and traveled from Havana to New York in 1917. Was subsequently drafted for WW1 that year. In ...
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1answer
135 views

Would an immigrant to the US pre-1800 be hiding beans? (When were food restrictions first placed on immigrants to the US)?

I am looking into "Mitchell Family Beans," purplish beans pinto like with brown spots (see below). These have been passed down a couple generations in a Mitchell family of Idaho (formerly Missouri). ...
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3answers
84 views

What does the occupation “Works in Woods” mean?

In an 1880 US Census entry, the occupation of Daniel Card is listed as "Works in Woods." What does that mean? Where I grew up, the word "woods" was a synonym for forest so I immediately thought ...
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3answers
98 views

Brierton/Brereton Spelling Causing issues

I have been searching, in vain, for my gr.gr.gr. Grandfather, Samuel Brierton. All information I have says that he was born in Pennsylvania abt. 1800, parents were born in Wales and he then doesn't ...
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2answers
85 views

Finding a Ship Record from 1902

Where do I begin? I know my great-grandfather, Josef Boksa, 2/28/77 was born in Warsaw. And recently found his naturalization papers from 1917. It lists the date of his arrival as 8/16/1902 and that's ...
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2answers
489 views

1910 Census - and the last three columns

The last three columns in the 1910 US Census (columns 30, 31 and 32) have four numbers in them. Column 30 is supposedly about survivors of the Union or Confederate army, 31 is if you’re blind and 32 ...
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3answers
98 views

Ellis Island immigration record handwriting help

I've had an Ellis Island record for my great grandfather for several years, but have never been able to read the 'relative or friend's name and address' column for that record. I'm hoping someone ...
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5answers
253 views

Why was my great-grandfather honorably discharged from the US Army so many times?

Just this morning I found the military records of my great-grandfather. The first thing I noticed among them are an unusual number of honorable discharge papers. Dates of Service | Reason ...