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 Tracing Immigrant Origins

Family Finder
First Name:

Genealogists with immigrant ancestors (which is most of us) often find a break in their information when they reach the immigrant's arrival in the U.S. You may know when your great-grandfather arrived, or where he lived after emigrating, but have little information about where he came from in the "old country."

Finding out more about his life before coming to the U.S. has generally involved poring over passenger lists and collections of European records available in this country. The International and Passenger Records subscription allows you to search these same resources over the Internet from your home computer.

Before purchasing the subscription, you may want to do a preliminary search for the ancestors you're hoping to find. To get to the main search page, simply click the My button in the navigation bar at the top of the page, then go to the My Online Data Library section (you can get there via a link in the left sidebar of the My page, or a link in the center section of the My page). The My Online Data Library page allows you to search the entire collection at once to see if there's a match for your ancestor.

Welcome screen with search box

Only a last name is required for a search, although you may want to include a first name, especially if your ancestor's surname is common. In the example above, "Michael Conboy" has been entered in the search box and the search is set to "International & Passenger Records". Let's see what we get...

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