Friday, April 23, 2010

Migration to the Northwest: The Early Years

While much is said of Westward migration and travel along the Oregon Trail, there's also an interesting story at the "end of the line," settlement of the Pacific Northwest. In his article, "Migration to the Northwest: The Early Years," Alan Smith examines the slow settlement and diverse forces behind the eventual, mass migration. The story of the Pacific Northwest, its dash and daring is played out vividly in my own family, with a Swedish immigrant making his way across the land to settle, first in Seattle, then after heartbreak and hardship, following the gold rush and starting a new life along the upper Yukon River. Its the stuff of Jack London and Robert Service, in real life. As with all pioneer history, the stories are colorful nigh unto unbelievable, but true. And that is one of the driving forces behind our passion for genealogy.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Researching Emigrant Aid Societies

Non-traditional sources, those other than the traditional vital records, church records, census, and court records, are valuable resources for pinpointing people in time and place. Fortunately, many of these sources have been made available through historical publications or, more recently, on the Internet. All it takes is for us to become aware that these sources exist. In her mose article, Melissa Slate explores "Emigrant Aid Societies," an often overlooked resource.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ancestry launches new Swedish-language web site

The Generations Network, Inc., this week unveiled -- a new family history Web site focused on Sweden, as noted in a press release. At launch, the Swedish-language site offers access to more than 37 million names of historical Swedish parish and emigration records, all of which are available for U.S. subscribers on

In 2007 alone, The Generations Network has introduced four international sites, bringing the tally of Ancestry sites to eight. The Ancestry suite of sites now includes in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France and in Sweden. As with other sister-sites, offers Swedish-language tree building tools and lets users tap into the world-wide Ancestry community -- the largest global community of individuals searching for their family roots -- as well as an ever-expanding collection of local historical records. . . . Included in these records are more than 1.7 million names in Swedish emigration records, online for the first time. These various emigration records were created in Sweden and cover the major exodus between 1846 and 1930, when about 20 percent of the Swedish population immigrated to North America.

Users will also find more than 36 million names in Swedish parish records on The records, covering more than four centuries of historical data from 81 parishes in the county of Varmland, provide interesting details such as names, dates and places of birth, and marriage and death information.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 8, 2007

New online passenger lists reflect some 30 million passengers

As noted in the New Zealand Herald, "Boon for family tree buffs as shipping logs put online," the records of all long-haul ships leaving Britain and Ireland for Australia are now available online at

In cooperation with the UK National Archives, the site provides passenger lists for all vessels leaving the UK and Ireland between 1890 and 1909, with full lists reaching up to 1960 to be uploaded in the coming six months. "The site will be a resource not only for those of British and Irish ancestry but also those from continental Europe -- particularly post-war -- as many went through UK ports en route to Australia." The collection represents over 1.5 million pages and 30 million passengers, covering emigration to "long-haul destinations" such as North and South America, Africa, Asia Australia and New Zealand. According the site, "passengers include not only immigrants and emigrants, but also businessmen, diplomats and tourists."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Civil War, the rest of the story

If you thought there was nothing new to learn about the American Civil War, think again. In her article, Confederates in Brazil, Gena Philibert-Ortega provides insights into a group of Southerners who fled to Brazil at the end of the Civil War in search of a new life and cheap land.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Project focuses on Cuban genealogy

“One of the consequences of any emigration is the loss to new generations of their families' roots, history and heritage.” An article in, UM Project helps Cuban-Americans trace ancestry to preserve heritage, provides information on project to preserve the history of the Cuban-American community and the various ethnic groups that called Cuba home. Because civil records are much more difficult to obtain in Cuba than in other countries, the goal is to get a family's research there done as soon as possible, according project leader, Jorge Piñón.

Labels: ,

Ancestry adds new German records and launches new German web site

Good news for those researching German ancestry. has announced the addition of six million names from German port and census records to its collection. The records include passenger lists, census and vital records, and other information. At the same time, Ancestry has launched a new German-language web site, "With more than 42 million Americans claiming German heritage, the launch of German historical records and creates an unprecedented networking opportunity for Germans and German-Americans to collaborate."

Labels: ,

British ports of call passenger lists now online

For those of us -- which is pretty much all of us -- with long-standing brick walls, take heart. It may be a little patience is all that's needed today, as more and more important records collections come online. This week we have something to shout about. British emigration passenger lists are now online! The new web site,, details some 30 million passengers who sailed out of Britain between 1890 and 1960. As noted on the web site, these are not British emigrants only — many "European trans-migrants," people migrating from all parts of Europe passed through British ports to catch cheaper sailing to their destinations.

In the past these records were available only at the National Archives in Kew, southwest London. Passenger lists provide a rich source of family history information, including the name of each passenger along with departure date, destination, and in many cases address, marital status and occupation. You can view, download, save and print passenger list transcripts and images. While you can search for free, access to the full information is available at a nominal pay-per-view rate or you can opt for a subscription.

Labels: ,

GenWeekly -- Delivering a Fresh Perspective for Genealogists