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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Using Alternate Genealogy Resources to find what you want

Beverly asked
How does a person go about finding their ancestors when you have no idea where they came from or what ship they came over on.My g g grandfather was born near Philadelphia Pennsylvania in April 22, 1805 and that is all I know about him. In 1826 he married Mary Ann Trissler in Fayette Co. Pennsylvania. I am trying to find his parents names but haven't a clue as to how to go about finding any thing. Need some clues.

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hi Beverly. I know it's frustrating to hit a block in your genealogy research. That is when you have to try to find other ways of getting the information you need. In your case, those early (pre 1820) ships Passenger lists are few and far between. So you would normally try to think of other records that might have parents names or birth locations.

Where do we find parents names recorded? Marriage records! Have you found his marriage record?

What about his death record? Often they contain parents names. An obituary might also have that information.

You can also search for every single one of his children - find their death records and marriage records, because even though they will not hold their grandparents' names they may have the location of birth of their father.

Now, having given you ideas of alternate resources for finding the information you want, here's another tip. Remember when I said the early (pre 1820) ships passenger lists are few and far between?

You're in luck, because Pennsylvania Ships Passenger Lists begin in 1800 instead of after the Federal Legislation requiring ships Passenger lists to be kept after 1819. The arrival port of Philadelphia kept lists of names of arriving passengers whose personal luggage was over the limit set for exemption from taxes. This gives genealogists a nice set of ships passenger lists from 1800-1820 when full ships passenger lists began.

Some Philadelphia Baggage Lists can be found online. They include images of the actual manifest and a transcription of the names of the passengers on board

You might want to see Featuring Pennsylvania Ships Passenger Lists - The pre 1820 Baggage Lists

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