Hot Chocolate & Genealogy
Hot Chocolate & Genealogy

Immigration, Emigration Journeys

North Americans recognize that their ancestry stems from Europe, especially the United Kingdom and France. Our ancestors' journey to the new land can usually be traced going either way: leaving country 'A' or arriving into country 'B'.

It would be impossible to include every resource available; however, here is a list of things to ask for when doing your research in your area.

Resources at your local library:

  • Microformed passenger lists;
  • The '929' section of the library contains the 'how-to' of genealogy/immigration information;
  • Sections '304' and '305' of the library contain sociology of specific emigration groups;
  • Maps & gazetteers offer dictionaries of place names and the people that immigrated (universities also have good selections of these);
  • Telephone and city directories (current and historical) provide an address history of new immigrants;
  • Online catalog: search by subject (ex: Scots-immigration) or by keyword (ex: Emigration) and you receive a list of related materials.

Resources at your local Family History Center:

  • Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography (usually categorized by years, ex: 1538-1900);
  • Obituaries Index;
  • Microforms of provincial and state archives
  • Department of Citizenship and Immigration records.


This article appeared in the November 1995 issue of Hot Chocolate.

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