How To Locate Ancestors Immigration Records

By June 25, 2017Historical Records
ancestors immigration line

Searching for family records could be a difficult task in itself, and that too of the ancestors whose location you are partly unsure of. Genealogical research could be both, time-consuming and costly in some cases, especially if you are going to search in the records which have ambiguous information or the location is difficult to trace in the first place.  This can get more difficult if you are faced with ancestors immigration records. Luckily learning how to locate ancestors immigration records need not be a brick wall in genealogy.

To being to locate ancestors immigration records some smart thinking is required. The starting point is to locate the ancestors in the country from where they have moved and the country where they have settled so any missing information void could be filled from either side. There are certain parts of information that must be known by the one conducting the genealogical research such as the name of the ancestors, their address, names of family members, dates of marriage, birth and death and also that of the emigration needs to be known as a preamble to the research that would follow.

It is a good idea to start with maximum information that you could gather on your own about your ancestors. The documents needed to be collected for further information on ancestors that migrated, include:

  • Property documents
  • Vital records (Birth, marriage and death records)
  • Obituaries
  • Biographies
  • Wills
  • Nationalization records


It is also important to dig deeper into the history available so that the research in the location where they migrated could be done with ease.


Search For The Family Members

Searching for the family members of the ancestors you’re trying to find out information about, helps in creating a lot of backup data so if the direct information related to a particular ancestor is difficult to find, the other option could be their close family members who would have migrated with them as well. This helps to trace the relatives on the passenger lists as well when you don’t find the ancestor you’ve been looking for.


Search For Their Acquaintances

It is a good idea to start with the search of the acquaintances of the ancestors you’re looking for with the help of their professional information and that of their community work etc. People living close by such as neighbors or friends had information about each other and their migration details as to which country or city did they move to, and in the approximate year when they moved.


How To Search and Locate Ancestors Immigration Records 

Finding ancestors immigration records might be difficult to locate without any of the basic information, but once it is acquired, you could start with looking for the records for the information pertaining to your genealogical research. Some of the tips need to be kept in consideration when starting with information search in the immigration records.  We have added some sample resources to help you along the way, that said there are lots more resources available, we have just provided you with a taster. Perhaps in the future, we will provide articles on each section separately which will help you further in your quest to locate ancestors immigration records.


1 –  Start With The Arrival Date

Instead of looking for the departure dates, it is a good idea to look for the dates of arrival in a country where the ancestors have migrated. A large number of records are available for immigrants in the United States and with the knowledge of the year when they migrated, the narrowed down search results could help in finding the right people with ease. Census records help greatly in this regard.  The links below will get you started on finding your ancestor’s immigration records.

Locate Ancestors Immigration Records

Antonio Lucca’s immigration papers. Came to the United States from Ellis Island from Italy and worked in the iron mines on the range.


2  – Do Not Stick To One Point of Entry

You may have heard of a single point of entry from where your ancestors came, but it would be a mistake to stick to one single point of entry. Try looking for various stops where they may have come from in order to look for the information needed. Some ancestors might have had different routes even if they came from the same location as that of others, and that might create ambiguity of information and records if you are not looking for any other options.

3 – The Naturalization Records

When the ancestors would have arrived in the United States, the naturalization records would be containing information about them and it is better to start looking for them as well, whether or not there is some void in the information available. Some of the people from different geographical locations also changed their names upon their arrival in the States and it is always a good idea to search for their names’ equivalents but that could be a very difficult task without the help of any basis on that type of information.

4 – The Bibliographies

In earlier times when passengers travelled through ships from one country to another, their information was recorded and later published in the bibliographies and passenger lists of the ships that went on the journey from one country to another, looking for them helps in the search for the ancestors and their locations. This can be a very rewarding avenue of investigation when you are striving to locate ancestors immigration records.

5 – Property Documents

If you get hold of any of the property documents in the family records, they could reveal the possession of states in countries the ancestors have lived including the one they migrated to and the one they migrated from. This could lead to an in-depth study of their lives



Paid Ancestor Immigration Records

There are several websites offering the ability to search for records and then pay per record or a yearly subscription. Those biggest being familysearch,, and For those with a budget, this can be a quick way to locate ancestors immigration records


Whats Next?

Once you have attained your ancestor’s immigration records, you should consider how to share and pass on those records for other family members. It’s important to remember that not everyone in a family will invest the time to find records, so why not help preserve and tie your family history together. Applications like OneFam web and mobile enable families to build a free share family history. Simply add current memories, events and stories as they happen as well as attaching old records to profiles. It’s an exciting way to share and build a family history.

Good luck with your ancestor’s immigration records research.



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