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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Finding an Ancestor from America in Upper Canada (Ontario) before 1850

Lara asked on Jan 19, 2009

Hi , How do I go about locating the parents of an ancestor that was born abt 1820? All I know so far is her name is Azubah ( spelling varies often) married to John CUMMING sometime bef 1836. According to Census she was born abt 1820, one census lists her as being born in US and of dutch origin and others say born in Upper Canada. With help, was able to find out her maiden name was Palmer (her obit was listed under her maiden name not married name). Have not be able to figure out who her parents were and where and when she was born. Any thoughts on where I should look?

My Answer: Hello Lara, It is good that you are questioning the discrepancies you've found as you research your ancestor. It certainly makes our genealogy lives more challenging doesn't it!

As always I like to look at the same records as the person asking me the question. Four eyes are always better than two! And sometimes clues are missed the first time around. Since you sent AskOliveTree a follow up with the details that the family lived in Brighton Ontario, that was all I needed to have a hunt for them in the online Canadian census records (Canada 1851, 1871 index, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 are all available online)

The 1861 Census gives our first clue

Luckily the 1861 Brighton Census is online on In it we see quite a large family of John born Scotland, farmer, age 52; Azubah listed as born Upper Canada (Ontario), age 43. Next are their children Flora, Alvina, son (name not transcribed), another son (name not transcribed), another son (name transcribed as Duns with a question mark, meaning the transcribing could not read it) and Oscar. All the children are listed in 1861 as being born in Upper Canada. Living with them is Flora Cumming, age 79 born Scotland, a widow. She is quite likely John's mother.

It's important to realize that the 1861 census also has an agricultural section . These Agricultural returns are an overlooked genealogical treasure trove!

If you were to order the microfilm for 1861 census into a Family History Centre you could find out exactly where John and Azubah lived (Lot, Concession) Knowing their land location will allow you to search the Abstract Indexes to Deeds for that piece of property. Important info can be found there!

Back to that 1861 census - since the daughter Flora is listed as age 24, born in Upper Canada, I knew that the family would be in the 1851 census (if their area survived, as many parts of Ontario have not).

The 1851 Census hits a possible bingo!

The 1851 census images (no indexes) are available at Library & Archives Canada (LAC). An index and images are available at A partial transcription, which is then linked to the images on LAC, is available at so you have many choices for searching for ancestors

A search of 1851 census on found the Cumming family in Brighton. John, age 45, a farmer born Scotland, religion Baptist, is found with his wife Azubah, age 37 born Canada and several children: Flora, Jane, Alvina, Cameron, and Joshua. Also with them are Flora, 71 born Scotland (John's mother no doubt) and two Cumming girls who are no doubt John's sisters.

But the terrific find on this 1851 census page is the nearby neighbour who lives just two houses away - Joshua Palmer born USA age 62 and his wife Lucretia also born USA, age 57. Why is it a terrific find? Because very often an individual settled near other family members. My hunch is that your Azubah Cumming, nee Palmer, settled near her parents - none other than Joshua and Lucretia. But of course you can't just accept my hunch as fact, you now have to work to prove or disprove that Joshua and Lucretia are her parents.

A Growing Theory

Let's look at some of the facts and see if they support my theory/hunch:

1. Joshua is born USA and sometimes your Azubah is listed as born USA
2. Joshua and Azubah are both Baptists
3. Joshua is living 2 doors away from Azubah in 1851
4. Azubah names her eldest daughter Flora after her husband's mother. Her eldest son is Cameron (is that John's father's name? More research needed to find out) and her second born son is named Joshua (if she is following traditional naming patterns, Joshua will be her father's name. Bingo!)

Further research on my part found that Lucretia's maiden name was Draper and she was born in New York (from an online Ancestry Family Tree and her death certificate which is found at the Family Search Labs)

Taking the Next Step

The next step, which I leave to you, would be to check earlier tax and assessment records for the family. Does Brighton have an 1842 Census? How about the 1848 census - is there one that has survived for Brighton? You will need to do some research to find out what records exist for Brighton before 1851.

There may be very early tax records, some areas of Upper Canada (Ontario) have them back in the 1820s and earlier.

You can also check local churches for John and Azubah's marriage.

The Importance of Searching Siblings

I would also try to find all the known children of Joshua and Lucretia (Draper) Palmer. Don't overlook researching siblings to see if there is any interaction with a sister Azubah over the years. Perhaps Azubah is mentioned in a sibling's obit. Perhaps she witnessed a baptism or a marriage or was an informant for a death. Perhaps she lived near or next door to a sister or brother in later years.

Land Records - the overlooked genealogy treasure trove

I would also get the land records for Joshua Palmer. The 1851 census says he is a farmer so with any luck he owned land. Find out if there is a will attached to his land records. Check the online Surrogate and Probate Court indexes for Ontario before 1859. If you find his name in the index, you can order the full record. But be cautious because NOT finding his name in the index does not mean he did not file a will. You may have to check microfilm (which is more complete than the online index)

There is also the CLRI (Ontario Land Record Index) and Upper Canada Land Petitions which you should not overlook. These can offer invaluable genealogy treasures!

Good luck and please come back and let us know by using the Comment Form, how your search is progressing.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What is the Dutch name for Anna?

Saja423 asked
QUESTION: In regards to a daughter named Anna, born in 1794: Would the Dutch have called someone named Anna ..."Effa" or "Effie"?

MY ANSWER: Effie is the equivalent of Eva, not Anna. Anna would be Annatje or even Anneken but not Effie or Efje.

See Dutch Names & Nicknames for help with these Dutch-English name equivalents

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is the British Bonus System?

Marina wrote: I have the name of the ship that my great grandparents travelled to Canada on & the date they arrived at St Johns, New Brunswick. I believe they then took a train to their destination of Pickering, Ontario. On the ship's passenger list it stated that William Mann was allowed a British Bonus. I am wondering what records might be available regarding this bonus or their settlement in Pickering.

MY ANSWER: Hi Marina. See "Manifest Markings on Canadian Passenger Lists" for information on the British Bonus System.

Briefly, the British Bonus was a commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom and in European countries for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada.The immigrants themselves did not receive the bonus,although those who settled on western homesteads did receive a separate monetary bonus upon proof of settlement.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ships Passenger Lists Outbound from USA

Nan asked on Jan 10/09
Is there a passenger list going from New York to Scotland 1898 time period? I'm looking for Flora McKechnie Mullen born in Scotland 9/3/1866 married Patrick Mullen. Came to the USA 12/10/1893 from Glasgow Scotland with daughter Anne.Family story is she died in 1898 after a fall. Can't find a death certificate for her. My theory is she may have returned to Scotland.

Hi Nan, I'm afraid that the USA did not keep its outbound ships passenger lists. That means you need to search inbound lists arriving in Scotland or the UK.

There are some outbound ships passenger lists being transcribed at Ships Passenger Lists from Canada & USA

Genealogists can now search for ancestors on UK Incoming Ships Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 These passenger lists include OUTBOUND lists from Canada and America as well as other countries such as Australia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Using Naturalization Records to find a Ships Passenger List

On Jan 15, 2009 Janet wrote to Ask Olive Tree:
I would be so grateful if you could find my ancestor----on a Passenger List. Carl August Munzner born 3 May 1846 in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany. Upon arrival he changed his name to August Charles Munzner. According to the census, he immigrated in 1870. In 1880 he was living in Baltimore, Maryland

Olive Tree answer: Hi Janet, Your question sounded more like a lookup request, which isn't the purpose of Ask Olive Tree blog. But you gave some census information which allowed me to have a look to see if you perhaps overlooked any immigration or naturalization clues in the census records.

I think I can point you in the right direction to find Carl August.

The 1900, 1910 ,1920 and 1930 census identify citizenship status, with notations showing the individual was an Alien, or had started the Naturalization process or had his final papers. What great clues to help narrow the time frame for
finding the naturalization and ships passenger list records! The 1870 census also provideds a tick mark column to indicate if the individual was a U.S. citizen. There are many valuable clues to naturalization and immigration in the census records

But back to Carl August! A check of the US Census records on showed that in 1910 he stated he was naturalized. I didn't look any further in the census, I'll leave that up to you. But I did check for their Naturalization Records and there he was. You will find him in the Indexes to Naturalization Petitions to the U.S. Circuit and District Courts for Maryland, 1797-1951icon

You have to be a member of but you can also buy just the one record. The online record gives August Munzer's exact date of naturalization, name of the court and folio and page number so you would be able to get his full record.

Don't forget too that just because the 1900 census shows him immigrating in 1870, does not mean that is correct. An immigration year is often mis-remembered so you should always allow a year or two on either side of the year given.

But finding his naturalization papers may help narrow that immigration year and help you to find his name on a ships passenger list.

Good luck! Let us know here on Ask Olive Tree how your search goes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Using Google and Online Family Trees

Bill asked on Jan 15, 2009
I have traced my namesake to Moses Sarg b.1820 Berks Co. PA He married a Sarah Hasler date unknown. His parents were Jacob Sarg and Catherine ?. I do not have any additional info on them. Moses moved to Pickaway Co. OH abt 1850 and then to Wells Co. IN where he is buried. I have searched for years trying to find more on his parents and his grandparents. I would greatly appreciate ANY help you could give me. Where to search and anything else.

Olive Tree answers: Hi Bill, This is a time when using Google and looking for others searching the same family comes in handy. In general I don't think online family trees are the best research tool unless the researcher is willing to write to the submitter of the tree and ask for sources. You may want to have a quick look at I Found My Great Great Grandfather Online -- Now What!!??? (Verifying Records Found On Webpages)

A quick search of Google turned up a note from another researcher on an Message Board for Pennsylvania Dutch:
Catharine Bernhar[d]t born 4 May 1792 married Jacob Sarg. Catharine is buried in Dunkel's Church Cemetery

Another search of Google for Dunkel's Church Cemetery records online brought up Jacob and catharine's cemetery transcription
SARG. Catharine 5-4-1792 9-19-1867
SARG. Jacob 9-7-1795 5-26-1852

This should be enough for you to make contact with some of the other descendants of the SARG family tree.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Looking for an ancestor from Germany to New York to Galveston Texas

On Jan 4, 2009 Yvonne in Kansas asked:
My ancestor Willm Jacobs Tammen b. 17 FEb 1850, Eversmeer Ostfriesland Germany, arrived in America at Galveston, TX in Oct 1890. with his wife Hauke Wina Decker Tammen and six children. They took a train to Wichita Falls and live there the rest of their life. The 'family' story is that they arrived at New York on 'the big boat' and transferred to a 'cattle boat' for the trip to Galveston. I have searched all the records of Castle Garden in New York and have not found them also the Galveston Ships lists do not mention them. I would like to find what ship (s) they traveled on and the dates they arrived in New York and Galveston. Or when and where they left in Germany. I feel that I will have to find a record on the German side. Where do I go from here.

MY ANSWER: Yvonne, it sounds like you have done a lot of research and kept track of the family lore. One thing to make note of is that the Galveston Ships Passenger Lists don't include passengers who transferred en route. So that means if your Tammen family came in to any other port first, then on to Galveston Texas, they will not be on the incoming Galveston Manifest.

You would have to look for them in the main port they arrived at. If your family story is of a New York arrival, you may want to search there first. You can always expand your search to other ports of arrival if you need to. You mention checking Castle Garden records. It's important to note that Castle Garden existed as a processing station for immigrants between 1 August 1855 and 18 April 1890. So after 18th April, it was no longer Castle Garden.

Passenger lists for the Castle Garden time period (and beyond) are available on microfilm and online at

Another point to mention is that there are a few problems with some of the New York passenger lists. In general from about June 15th 1897 until March or April 1903, the lists for first class and second class passengers were not collected at Ellis Island
and do not survive, so therefore will not appear on microfilm, nor in the Ellis Island online database. I know this may be too late for your Tammen family arrival but it's something to keep in mind. Marian Smith has written several articles on the Missing Manifest problem on her blog

Was your ancestor naturalized? The 1900, 1910 ,1920 and 1930 census identify citizenship status, with notations showing the individual was an Alien, or had started the Naturalization process or had his final papers. I see that in the 1900 census he had his first papers (PA in the column for citizenship details) so you can have a hunt for those. If you check 1910 it will tell if he is naturalized by then. You can read more about the value of census records in your search for an immigrant ancestor on the website

Last but not least, you could research all the children. Since they were all born in Germany there is a chance that an obituary might provide more details on their immigration to America.

I'm also curious what your source is for the arrival date you gave of October 1890. Depending on the accuracy of the source, the date may not be correct. For example if you found this date on a census record, you cannot trust it to be correct. Immigration and Naturalization years are often mis-remembered so you should always search a year or two on either side. I saw that in the 1900 census, Willm has a date of immigration of 1890 but you should be searching in a wider range unless you have other evidence showing that year.

If you want to respond to my answer, please post it as a comment here on the blog and I'll try to help further if possible

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why Buy Land and Not Live There?

On Jan. 6/09 Judy asked:
Daniel Brodie lived in Niagara region until his death in 1855.

He had land in Salmonville lot 6 concession 28 where Jannet Brodie (Smith) his sister was living with her family.

Why would Daniel buy the land if he did not intend to live on it.

In 1855 Janet's son Daniel Smith bought the land.

Olive Tree Answers: Hi Judy, Good question!

But first I have a question of my own. How sure are you that Daniel bought this land? You didn't tell me when he was born so I don't know if he was old enough to be a Loyalist or a son of a Loyalist. If he was, he may have been granted land, and when Loyalist land grants were given out, there was no choice of where the land would be. So if he was granted land, it could have been anywhere.

A simpler explanation would be that men bought land for various reasons (just as people do today). Perhaps Daniel bought it as an investment, maybe it was going for a bargain price. Perhaps he wanted land to pass on to his children on his death. Perhaps he wanted somewhere for his sister to live.

I suggest that if you haven't done so already, you obtain the Abstract Indexes to Deeds for this specific lot. I don't know where Salmonville is (township, county) so I can't direct you to the specific place to get the Abstracts.

The Abstract Indexes to Deeds are the indexed record of every transaction on a plot of land since it left Crown ownership. Remember, fathers willed land to sons or to wives or daughters. Men parcelled off smaller sections of land and sold it to sons. Brothers settled near each other, or on the same land. Armed with the Abstract Indexes to Deeds you can check for every instance of your name of interest on that parcel of land. By referring to the date and Instrument Number found with each transaction, you can look up the complete record.

Also, just as an aside, did you know that Daniel Brodie is in the online index to Surrogate Court Records 1793-1858 for Ontario? I suspect his will is on file as the date for the entry is 1851. It may mention this land in Salmonville but even if not, if you have not seen the record, you may want to send for it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Would our ancestors go directly to a location to settle?

Betty asked...
QUESTION: I have a general question. If people from Ireland were leaving in the very early 1800's and going to Canada, would they have first settled in one of the Maritime Provinces or in the Prov. of Quebec, and "then" moved to the Prov. of Ontario? Or, in the 1820's or 1830's, for example, would they have continued on and gone directly to Ontario?

MY ANSWER: Hi Betty. That's a very good question. It would depend on several things -
First - did they have family or friends already in Canada? If so, they would mostlikely want to be near them

Second - were there land deals or incentives being offered at the time? And where? If there was a great opportunity to get a free or cheap grant of land, let's say in one area of Ontario, off they'd go to grab that

Third - jobs - for example when the Welland Canal in Ontario was begun (1830s I think) , jobs were plentiful and settlers flocked to the area to get one.

People back then were just like people now - they needed a home, food and a job. And they needed family and friends, not just for social interaction but for help with physical labour, or in times of illness or trouble.

Wherever those things were most plentiful, that is most often where they would settle.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Using County Clerk Records to Find Answers

On Jan 7/09 Kate asked Olive Tree:
Robert Burton, born 1808/09 in NC. That info is all I know about him except for his wife and children.The above info came from the 1850 Federal Census for Drew County, Arkansas

According to the census he and wife Jane E. had their first child 1833/34 in TN. More children were born then in Mississippi. They were in AR in time for the 1850 census.

I don't know his parents, exact place of birth, place or date of marriage. We have been searching for 30 years with no luck. We are not sure of his wife's maiden name so that has not helped.

Robert raised his family here in Arkansas and his children married in Drew County near Monticello. But, no one in family has any information. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

Olive Tree Answer:

Based on census records that I found for your Robert Burton, it is quite likely that he died in Drew Co. Arkansas between 1860 and 1870. I would look for his death or probate record. You will have to contact the Drew County Clerk as they have Marriage Records from 1847 and Probate Records from 1847

The contact info is 210 S. Main Street, Monticello, 71655; (870) 460-6260

You should also search for marriage records of his children in the Drew County Clerk marriages. This will hopefully give you the maiden name of Jane.

Have you looked for a death record for Jane? She was 66 years old in the 1880 Cane Creek Lincoln Arkansas census so you may want to find out what records Lincoln Co. holds.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What is a Half-Orphan?

Nancy wrote: My grandfather, August Alfred Siegmund, was born in New Jersey in 1889. I was surprised to find him listed in the 1900 census at the Society for Relief of Half Orphans and Destitute Children in New York City because I never knew he was orphaned. He remained in the NYC area and married there in 1913. I assume records were kept when a child was placed in an orphanage - where would I find those records?

MY ANSWER: Hi Nancy. Congratulations on your new find! Half orphans were those who had one parent still alive but that parent could not care for them. So it seems likely your grandfather was not a true orphan (meaning both parents dead)

Yes, the orphanages kept records - often good records, so you can have a look in the FHC catalogue to see what is filmed

There are some orphan records online and also a bit of history on New York orphanages which might interest you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Looking for a Death Record in Michigan or Ontario

On Jan. 9/09 Pat asked:
Looking for Gr. Uncle John lackenbauer. He was born 30 Sept 1874, married Emma Boynosky. She died and he Married Ella and moved to Michigan in 1920's. He is in the 1930 census. l later found divorce papers. Ella had become a U.S. citizen but not John. He must of returned to Canada? l want to know when he died and where? He was born in Waterloo county On.

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hi Pat, It helps to fill out your ancestor's life as completely as possible even though you are looking for one specific record - his death. Since you don't know what country John died in (Canada or USA) or a year of death, you should consider gathering other records to narrow down your search.

Since he was born in Ontario and moved to Michigan, a good resource to start with would be the Border Crossing Records. A look at Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 on shows that John crossed to the USA at Detroit Michigan on Oct 1923. There is more information on the actual image. He is with his wife Emma. Their ages, his occupation, his mother's name and address and his final destination in USA is recorded.

John Lackenbauer is also found in the database Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1957 in September 1923

In 1895 Canada and USA established a joint inspection system. These CANADIAN BORDER CROSSING records were microfilmed. They cover 1895-1954 and are indexed. They do NOT
include Canadians before 1906. After September 30, 1906 both Canadians and non-Canadians are included on these lists.

Read more about the St Albans (Canadian Border Crossing) Lists

Steve Morse has added a one Step Search engine for Ancestry's Canada - US Border Crossing Records 1895-1956 called Canadian Passengers (1895-1956): Searching the Canadian Border Crossings Lists in One Step

For an explanation of the US Canada Border Crossing Records and to understand how to find ancestors in these records, see Sue Swiggum's article published on Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Monday, January 19, 2009

Looking for German immigrant to USA 1850s

On Jan. 8/09 Linda sent a query:
Duzel, Gustav Aldolphus born: 1830, Prussia > Germany. died: 1903 Yreka, Siskiyou County, CA. buried unknown. occ: came as a fur trapper 1855-56 w/ Steven/Steve McKAY, who family says, they both hunted for the Hudson Bay Fur Company on the Canadian and Down the West Coast of USA. via Oregon into to CALIFORNIA.

Gustav then became a gold miner in the Hamburger Area of Siskiyou county. He then in 1860, m: "DOC", an American Indian, medicine lady of the KARUK trible of the Klamath River Indians, She is thought to have died in 1921, but I don't know where.

I have most of the 1850 - 1900 census and can piece together the family of sorts..what i most would like is , the boat GUSTAV came on (dates/Locals)? did he naturatlize? and the English name of DOC ?

I have looked high, low, asked, begged and just about had a heart attack trying to find these folks since 1998, but haven't been awful sucessful

Hi Linda - What a challenging family you have been hunting! I like to look at the records researchers have already found, in case I can spot something that might be an overlooked clue. In doing so I can see why you are having trouble. There are many discrepancies that need clarification.

But to get to one of your questions - did Gustav naturalize - the answer lies in the 1900 census. In that census Gustav's data shows that he is a widower who immigrated in 1850 and he is naturalized (NA in the column)

The 1870, 1900, 1910 ,1920 and 1930 USA census identify citizenship status. Some years have notations showing the individual was an Alien, or had started the Naturalization process or had his final papers. These are great clues to help narrow the time frame for finding naturalization records! For an explanation of the terms used in the 1900 census (AL, PA, NA) see The Importance of Census Records

So you will want to search for Gustav's naturalization papers. has Naturalization Recordsicon from NARA, and also has some. The best website for free naturalizaton records and links to other sites' naturalization records is my own (I may be slightly biased....) at

Gustav may be the man who sailed from Bremen Germany to New York 16 June 1851. He is indexed as John Dusel but a look at the image of the manifest (passenger list) indicates to me that the first name is not John. Please see my explanation of this (and graphics to illustrate my conclusions) at To Believe or Not To Believe, That is the Question

To view the passenger list image you will need to either order the microfilm into your closest Family History Center, or use the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

Please be cautious in accepting the indexed names as I believe that the indexed ship name is incorrect as well. A good look at the image for the passenger list will help you to figure out what the name really is. I suggest the ship may be the Johan and not the Jalary as indexed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where can I find the ship Samuel Badger?

Sandy wrote: I am looking for passenger list for the ship Samuel Badger - from port of Havre to port of New York. Arrived in New York port on Dec 1853. I've looked high and low and for some reason this ship isn't on any of the typical ship websites.

MY ANSWER: Hi Sandy. I went to and searched their New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 database for "Samuel Badger" in 1853. It didn't come up so... knowing that names are often MISindexed... I tried other variations of the spelling.

The ship you want is misindexed, and listed under "Samuel Radger" arriving Dec. 5, 1853. There may be other arrivals, I didn't check to see if there were. When searching for something like this missing ship, you can always browse's list of ships by year. Just click on the arrival port, then the year of arrival, then the month and have a peek to see if there is a ship with a similar name. Items are often mis-transcribed or mis-indexed or mis-spelled.

You might also find this site helpful for New York ships passenger lists

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How do I find a ship from France to Canada in 1630s?

Diane wrote:
I'm looking for a ship's passenger list for Le Soleil 1638 which sailed from France to Quebec, Canada in 1638.

My Answer: Ships Passenger Lists to New France (early Quebec) in the 1600s can be found at Ships Passenger Lists to Quebec The list of passengers on Le Soleil can be seen there

Friday, January 16, 2009

How do I find a website that disappeared?

cbrees wrote: A few years ago I found a website of Carl Boyer's Ship Passeneger Lists New York and New Jersey 1600-1825. It contained ships coming into New York from Belfast in 1802, listing the ship name, complete list of passengers, date of departure and arrival. I located my ancestral grandfather on one of these, George CUMING (or variation in spelling) from Newry, Down County, however he actually boarded the ship at Hamburg. I am unable to locate the NAME of that ship and now wish to locate the entire ship list, which is quite short, but have been unable to locate it anywhere online.

MY ANSWER: cbrees - Don't you hate when that happens? I'm not aware of any website ever putting Boyer's entire book online. So I did a search for you and found what you saw previously on Google Books.

The graphic of the page in the book shows that this is NOT a passenger list but a list of individuals who were naturalized in New York. It is titled "ALIENS NATURALIZED IN NEW YORK 1802-1814"

The record states "George Cummings; Newry; 34; Ireland; GB; Hamburgh; 29 Oct. 1802. ..." (GB = Great Britain)

If you read the first of the page online, there is an explanation of the record you are looking at. It's always a good idea to learn what it is you are reading - so that you don't confuse a naturalization date with an immigration date for example.

The date 1802 is the date the report was filed, not the date the person sailed. So we see that George came from Newry via Hamburg, was 34 years of age and filed for his naturalization papers in October 1802

At the time George was naturalized, it was not necessary to check to see if his memory was accurate, and no one verified his arrival on a ships list.

See the website Naturalization Records for more info and links to online naturalization records.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking for Robert McMorland on Ships Passenger List Scotland to New York

Diana wrote:
QUESTION: Just wondering if you would please do a lookup for Robert MCMORLAND on a ship's passenger list? He emigrated from Scotland with his wife, Margaret and their two or three children to the United States about 1859 and settled in New York State.

MY ANSWER: Hi Diana. I don't generally do lookups but in this case, it's a great chance for me to get on my soapbox again about not limiting your searches when looking for an ancestor.

Robert is in Ships Passenger Lists. He's been badly MISindexed although to be fair the original manifest DOES look like the name the transcriber came up with --

He is mis-indexed as ROBERT M. MORELAND, sailing 13 Jun 1859 from Liverpool, England to New York on the ship White Star. Oddly enough his wife is not with him but three children are:

Janet, 5
Maggy, 3
John, infant

Robert is listed as age 24, a laborer. He and kiddies came in steerage.

Here is a tutorial called Using Search Engines to Find Ancestors which you may find helpful. If you are having trouble finding someone, it's always a good idea to use wildcards if allowed (check each Search Engine's HELP section) and even leave out last names. Try searching just under first names, or years of birth. In short, be creative and don't get too hung up on what you know (or think!) the spelling of your ancestor's name is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Searching in Canada for Englishman

Bill & Helen wrote:
QUESTION: Looking for information on a place called Fort Good Hope in the NW Terrortories. I had a great uncle John Ernest Brown who said he lived there on his marriage cert to my Grans sister when they wed in England in about 1946. He had been in the Canadian Exp Force and also in the Veterans Guard.

MY ANSWER: Helen - You didn't give us an idea of John's date of birth so it's difficult to check for you but there is a John Ernest Brown on the online Canadian Expeditionary Force database. See the front of his Attestation Papers. He was born 16 Jan 1881 in Twickenham London Eng. to Thomas Rhoads Brown

He says he was a naval seaman (other info there too) and is not married. The date of his enlistment is 1 May 1915. The back of his Attestation papers can also be seen.

Also see the Canadian Military Heritage Project for help with Canadian Military records and to order his full records if this is your ancestor.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Help with Hudson Bay Company Fur Trappers in California

On Jan. 6/09 Hazel asked:
I have been collecting information about Fur Trappers that arrived in Northern California prior to the Gold Rush. I have found some information, but names of those trappers are few.

I have the names of Steven Meek, Thomas McKay, and Gustav Adolph Dusel (maybe spelled Duzel) of Prussia. I have some census files in Siskiyou County where he started a family with a Native American woman.

Any information or direction on McKay or Dusel would be appreciated, they seemed to have come to the area at the same time and said to be with Hudson Bay Trappers or were independant trappers selling to HB company.

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hazel, what an interesting database you are gathering! I can't help specifically with the men you have asked about but are you familiar with the Hudson Bay Company Archives? It is part of the Archives of Manitoba.

You may want to visit the site, and start searching the online catalogue. You can also view some online biographies of some of their employees but I think for you the treasure trove will be in writing or visiting the Archives and requesting help with your search.

Please come back and let us know how it turned out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Looking for Annetje Bradt's Death Date

Linda wrote: Is there any source for Annteje Barents Bradt's death? I've seen 1661 listed with mention made of a pall purchased on Feb. 13th year, but not who the purchaser was.

MY ANSWER: Linda - I'm glad you asked this question! So many researchers just accept unsourced records they find online or in a book, so it's really great to see you checking your facts. Have you looked at the online Bradt Family Descendants of Albert Andriessen de Noorman aka Bradt?

One reference to Annetje's pall is in Deacons Account, 1652-1674: 1st Dutch Reformed Church of Beverwyck-Albany New York (Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America) (available from translated and edited by Janny Venema
"Receipts of the deaconry in February [1661] 13 received 9 boards for the pall from/of Annetgen in the Molenkil (f9)" The Footnote states "Annejte Barents; she was the wife of Albert Andreisz Bratt. See ERA III:161 for the agreement regarding the settlement of her estate"

See New York Genealogical & Biographical Record standard source abbreviations if you are not familiar with the abbreviation ERA.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How to find parents of English Ancestors who came to America

Mike asked on Jan. 6/09:
My great-great-great grandparents are:
James (no middle name) Gumm
b. 15 Jan 1829 Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England
d. 20 Apr 1910 Durant, Bryan, Oklahoma

Rosa (no middle name) Busby
b. 21 Apr 1824 Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England
d. 07 Mar 1911 1910 Durant, Bryan, Oklahoma

I know that they arrived in New York 4 Jun 1853 on the Excelsior out of Liverpool, England

I have found England censuses that I think are for them, but without middle names, it's a guess. :-) How do I find out for sure whether this is actually them or not? If the census I found is actually for James, evidently his father is named James too. Any help clarifying this is appreciated.

OLIVE TREE ANSWERS: Hi Mike, Thanks for submitting your query in such an organized way. It really helps me to help you.

The first thing that came to my mind after reading your query is to think about where we might find the names of James and Rosa's parents. There are three main events in life where this information is recorded - birth or baptism records, marriage records and death records. There are a series of articles online called Ancestor Birth Record Finder, Ancestor Marriage Record Finder and Ancestor Death Record Finder which might help researchers figure out where to find these records, from the rather obvious places to the more obscure.

Since your ancestors were born in England before Civil Registration was required, you would have to search local church (Parish) records, or Bishops' Transcripts to find their baptisms. That usually has to be done offline, through a Family History Center.

Their death records may or may not include their parents' names, depending on Oklahoma's regulations in 1910. So marriage records is the easiest and fastest item to search in this case. has the free indexes online for Marriages in the UK after 1839 but I prefer to use Free BMD. FreeBMD is an ongoing project to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. As they complete their transcriptions they turn them over to There is no charge for using the indexes at either site but I like the Free BMD Search Engine better.

I found James and Rosa, but before I give you the information and tell you how and where to order the full marriage certificate, let me briefly touch on the problems one can encounter when searching for an ancestor. First, if you search for JAMES GUMM and ROSA BUSBY in the Marriages at FreeBMD you will not find them. If you search for JAMES GUMM and ROSE BUSBY they do not appear. I tried several searches without success and then used ROSE BUSBY (not Rosa) and no groom's name. Bingo!

James has been indexed as GOMM and Rosa as Rose. They were married in the second quarter (Apr-June) of 1853, so just before they sailed to America. The District was Chipping Norton and they are found in Volume:3a on Page: 815

Here is the entry as transcribed:

Busby Rose Chipping Norton 3a 815
Gomm James Chipping N 3a 815

Now you can order their marriage certificate and when it arrives you will find the name of the fathers of both bride and groom as well as their occupations. A place of residence will be noted, plus names of witnesses. Often these are other family members which will help you to locate the right families in the census.

You can order the certificates online at General Register Office for England and Wales online ordering service. I have used this service frequently as both my maternal grandparents were born in England (and their ancestors before them). It is fast, reliable and a reasonable cost. You need the information from the Free BMD or Ancestry search of the indexes in order to request a certificate. The turnaround time is quite speedy and within a few weeks of ordering you will see the certificate arrive. Have fun and please let us know here on AskOliveTree what you found!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Where can I find Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839

Don wrote on Jan. 6/09:
I have been trying to find William and Elizabeth Graham and their son William who immigrated to Canada from Ireland in the early browsing through the Ship Lists before 1865 which you suggested in your email of 11 December 2008 and came across - Irish Immigrants 1833 to 1839 which was not in your list of items to search. This information was found in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. In the book it listed Irish Immigrants. This was extracted from the Ordnance Memoirs for County Londonderry and Antrim by Brian Mitchell. I thought I copied down the list of Grahams which included Surname, First Name and Page No. but when I struck "control V" the list was not there. I have tried several times to get back to this site and have not been successful. Would you please help me find the URL?

MY ANSWER: Hi Don, I'm glad you asked this question! I sometimes forget what records I have transcribed and put on my various websites, and your question reminded me that this set of records is a good one that is sometimes missed by researchers.

The purpose of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland was to map the whole country. Each map was to have been accompanied by memoirs for every civil parish, but this was impractical and the idea was abandoned. Data was gathered for nineteen of Ireland's thirty-two counties, with the memoirs of Antrim and Londonderry the only ones with lists of emigrants.These lists were extracted and they identify the emigrant's destination and his place of origin in Ireland. The age, town and address, year of emigration, and religious denomination are given for each emigrant

On one of my smaller sites, I have placed the index of names from this book. You can consult the index at Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839, Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim.

This index was done as a finding aid for researchers. The book is available in many libraries (In Salt Lake City Library it is 941.6 W2m and is available in FHL US/CAN Book and FHL BRITISH Book). Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839: Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim can also be purchased through Only by consulting the book will you see full details on an immigrant found in the index.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Need help with GG-Grandfather Benjamin Cole in MIchigan

On Jan 5/09 Nancy asked me... Neila Arabelle Cole was born the 14th of April 1897 in Michigan - she is one of two children born to Edward John Cole and Samantha J Hart. Her Siblings name was Frederick John Cole.

Edward John Cole was born the 18th of May 1858 in Richfield Michigan, he is one of four children born to Benjamin Cole and Janet Dibble, his siblings were Walter, Ben and Sarah.

Benjamin Cole was born in New York around 1823. I cannot find anything on Benjamin Cole or his wife Jane(t) Dibble. The 1880 US Federal Census shows them living in Richifield Michigan.

Hi Nancy. You have done some good research on your lines and have given me facts which help me to help you. The one thing I wasn't clear on was exactly what you were looking for.

You say that you know Benjamin and his wife were in the 1880 census. So when you add that you "cannot find anything on Benjamin Cole or his wife Jane(t) Dibble..." it isn't clear if you want to trace them backwards before 1880 or forwards after 1880. Are you looking for them in census records? Are you looking for death records? I really wasn't sure so I hope that what I found will help you in your research.

Benjamin Cole is in the following census records online:

1850 Census Genesee Michigan with wife Jane A. and children Mary J and Walter S. You can view this on

From this census you know that Benjamin was in Michigan by 1848 or earlier.

1860 Census Genesee Michigan with
Jane 35
Mary 12 (note that all children are said to be born Michigan)
Walter 10
Benjamin 5
Edgar 2
You can view the image on (where he is MISindexed as CALE) or Footnote.comicon (where he is indexed correctly as COLE)

1870 Census Genesee, Michigan
Benjamin 47
Jane A 45
Edgar 12 (This is no doubt your Edward John, but he is noted as Edgar in all these census recods)
Sarah 1

I also found Benjamin's death record on

Name: Benjamin Cole
Death date: 20 Feb 1895
Death place: Flint, Genesee, Michigan
Gender: Male
Age at death: 70 years
Estimated birth year: 1825
Birth place: New York
Marital status: Widowed
Occupation: Farmer
Collection: Michigan Deaths 1867-1897

I noticed while searching on that there was a woman in Genesee Michigan whose father was Asahel Dibble. I wondered if Asahal could be your Jane A. Dibble's father. I believe in following hunches to try to prove or disprove a theory. So I looked for Asahel in the 1840 census and found him in Cortland New York. Two doors away was the family of George Cole. The coincidence of these two surnames (Cole-Dibble) is enough that if it were my family, I would research both these men in hopes of finding out if they could have been the fathers of your Benjamin COle and Jane Dibble.

This is how I tackle a challenging research problem if I cannot find what I need by following accepted methods of searching backwards from an individual. You just have to remember that you are forming a theory based on flimsy circumstantial clues and you have to PROVE or DISPROVE that theory.

Happy researching!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Trying to find city or village of grandfather's birth

Joe S. asked me on Jan 4/09 .... I am trying to locate a city or village where my grandfather (John Szudarek- now spelled Shudarek) came from. According to the 1900 Federal census he arrived in the US in 1880. On his marriage certificate he came from Posen, Europe. Born on 2 Nov., 1863 and baptized a catholic. His parents were Ignatius Szudarek and Apolonia Kaczmarek. My dad said he did not know of any brothers or sisters. So far I have not been able to locate any passenger records.

I wrote to Joe privately and asked for the location of his grandfather in 1900 and the name of his grandfather's wife. There were too many "hits" when I went to look for John on the census so I needed more details to find the right man.
Joe responded with: The reason I left out some details was because it happened after my grandfather arrived here and I thought it would not help.
My grandfather was married to Julia Gebel on Nov. 26, 1888. They were married in Portage County, Stevens Point, Wis. On the marriage certificate she came from Slesia. Europe. They lived in Wis. all their lives. My grandfather died on March 13, 1933 and my grandmother died Dec.25, 1952.
I ANSWERED: Hi Joe, You've obviously done a lot of research on your family and have gathered some good details. I needed your grandfather's location and wife's name so that I could look in census records for more clues. I checked the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census for your grandfather as I wanted to verify his immigration year. I also wanted to see whether or not he ever naturalized. Naturalization records are a great way to find details such as place of birth or an exact immigration date and ship name.

I noted that, as is often the case, his immigration year varied from census to census. In 1900it was 1880, in 1910 1880, in 1920 it was difficult to read but it looks like 188[?] and in 1930 it was 1882. So you have a range from 1880-1882 and I would allow a couple of more years on either side of that. So search ships passenger lists from 1878-1884 for starters.

As for your grandfather's citizenship details, he states that he has his first papers (PA) in the 1910 census. In 1920 he is listed as an Alien so that means he hadn't yet naturalized. 1930 census once again shows him as having his first papers (PA) so there is a chance he had to re-apply. But in any case there should be first papers if not actual naturalization documents on file for him. You can find out more about Wisconsin naturalizations but there are very few Wisconsin Naturalization records online. Your search may have to extend to offline records.

Portage County naturalization records from 1844-1956 are held at Stevens Point Area Research Center. The address is

James H. Albertson Library
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Phone: 715/346-2586

I would phone or visit and have a search for your grandfather's first papers (and his naturalization papers in case he naturalized)

As for your question about his village or town of origin, you may find that on his naturalization papers. Meantime you might want to join the Posen mailing list and post a query. Posen is a province of Poland, formerly of Germany, so talking to others who are knowledgeable about Polish or German research should be helpful.

This was a very interesting puzzle and I hope I've been able to steer you in a good direction to carry on your search.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cannot Find Ancestor Arriving USA from Germany

On 12 Dec 2008 Tony wrote: I am searching the ship on which my ancestors arrived in the New World. I believe my GGG grandfather ADALBERT KARL, spouse KATHARINA MULTRUS and their four children ROSA, JOHN, JOSEPH, and ALBERT from HRADZEN, BOHEMIA, AUSTRIA near PILSEN departed BREMEN in 1859. They do not show up in any incoming passenger lists in America. To no avail I have searched the Steve Morse site using the following wildcards: ada* ade* cat* kat* ros* joh* jos* alb* and surname kar* car* har* and ear*. This leads me to believe they did not enter through the U.S.

Here is a summary of the records I have searched to date:

a) Every U.S. arrival site - including the Steve Morse site - for every combination I can think of.
b) All of the websites of pre-1865 passsenger lists for Canadian Arrivals on the Olive Tree Genealogy site.
c) The "Germans To America" Series.
d) "German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1855-1862"
e) The Leo Baca Book "Czech Immigration Passenger Lists, Volumes 1-9 "
f) I have requested citizenship records of Adalbert Karl in the hope that they would reveal the date and place of entry into the U.S. but Immigration wrote me that there is no record. He was naturalized in 1866 according to the local county records, but these shed no light on his date or mode of entry to the U.S..
g) I have written to the Ship List and other genealogy listservs in the hope of finding a morsel of information that I could follow up on. I posted on the message boards and received a response from a gentleman apparently writing from the Czech Republic who informed me,

"Accordings to the proceeding protocoll of Regional Office of Plzen asked on 1859 Adalbert Karl from Hradzen (Hradec u Stoda) for issuing of emigrant passport to USA .."

I am willing to accept that the absence of data means that my ancestors must have entered through Canada on some impossible-to-trace ship. My questions are this: what would be the typical route for a family from Austria, departing Bremen for America in 1859? Assuming they departed Bremen, would they have stopped in the British Isles? And would there be a record of this arrival or departure? And then, would they typically have arrived at Quebec if they were bound for Dayton? Once at Quebec, would their voyage to the wrong Dayton be via the U.S. or Canada?

MY ANSWER: Hello Tony

You have done a great job of writing up your research and asking for help. I think the fact that your ancestor applied for a passport to the USA in 1859 is a strong clue indicating that he did not come through Canada but did in fact arrive on a ship which landed in America.

I believe I have found your Adalbert on the ships list "Republic" arriving NY 7 Nov. 1859 from Bremen. His origin is given as Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and he is 51 years old.

I'm familiar with the New York ships passenger lists and they can be very difficult to read. Some passengers have no first name in the index. Some have only an initial.

I found Adalbert by searching without any names at all and only using his date of birth (which was the only thing missing from your excellent query below) and his year of arrival.

He is misindexed on Ancestry as "Balbert Kar" Had you searched with wildcards on surname for "kar*" and no first name, he should have shown up. But sometimes the Ancestry search glitches and a result will not appear one time, but will appear the next!

In any case, with "Balbert" are the following individuals who appear to be your family

Adalbert b ca 1852
Catharine b ca 1818
Johann b ca 1842
Joseph b ca 1849
Rosalia b ca 1840

To view the passenger list yourself you will have to use

Lorine's Note: I sent Tony this information in private email and he very kindly replied with this message:

Dear Lorine,

I am speechless. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In my posting I forgot to include the dates of birth of the family members. They all match exactly, including the age of Adlbert. It must be them! I was resigned to the fact that I would never find them, and I never would have dreamt of searching the site as you did. That was incredibly resourceful. Again, I can't thank you enough. I can't wait to obtain a copy of the passenger list.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Finding Russian Jewish immigration in Naturalization Records

On Jan. 3/09 Irene asked : (Jewish) Grandpa Harry STONE
b. Russia Feb 1887 (WWI draft card, Orchard St)
d. Jan 1945 Manhattan (d cert, W 21st St)
m. Oct 1915 (m cert, civil, he living E 12th St)

4 kids Alice, Lillie, Harry, Wm (1920, 1930 censuses LES) - only censuses found him on. Conflicting arrival dates on censuses (1901, 1905 I think) has 1 (Jewish) Harry STONE, Russian bricklayer, ~ 1905 how to be sure?

MY ANSWER: Hi Irene. You've asked some good questions and given me lots of details so that I can try to help you. You'll notice your query is edited, as I wanted to begin with one question. So let's start with the census. I had a look and in the 1930 census, Harry's immigration year is given as 1895, in 1920 it is 1901. Immigration years are one of the most MIS-remembered years of all, so you can't completely believe what is on the census. Always search a year or two on either side of years given.

In any case, a very important clue in these census records is the information on citizenship and naturalization. In 1920 Harry says he has his first papers (PA) and that he received them in 1915. In 1930 he is naturalized. This means that between 1915 and 1930 there should be naturalization papers for him. has Naturalization Recordsicon from NARA so I had a look on your behalf. Bingo!

Harry's Naturalization Petition of June 1922 is online, as is his Oath of Allegiance. He gives his date of birth (Feb. 12, 1887), place of birth (looks like Grodno, Russia), his wife's name, date and place of birth, his three children's names, dates and locations of birth and his arrival year and name of ship.

He sailed from Liverpool to New York in January 1898 arriving February 1898 on board what looks like Nicholas II. You can see for yourself by either subscribing to Footnote or simply purchasing this specific document. IT's very reasonable to buy one document and you could get both his naturalization paper and his oath of allegiance.

The source information for Harry's Naturalization Petition is Naturalization New York Southern Petitions for Naturalization of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944.icon This link will take you directly to the search engine for these documents and you can type in Harry's name to see his records.

Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former
allegiance, and date of naturalization. This is an interesting example, because in your case, Harry's Petition shows quite a bit of information. You may want to think about a couple of things though -- if Harry is accurate regarding the year he arrived, he was only 9 years old. That means he likely came with family - parents or an aunt or uncle or someone older.

I say "if Harry was accurate..." because before 1906, an immigrant's arrival record did not have to be verified. (after 1906 officials had to locate the actual passenger record before the individual could naturalize). Because Harry's did not need verification, there is the chance he is wrong. But I would use what he says as clues to help you find that ships' passenger list.

I also would think about his name. Harry Stone is not a Russian name. So - try to find out what Russian or Jewish first name might convert to Harry. You mentioned in your email query that family lore states his surname was perhaps originally Sagendorf. I'd hunt under that name too.

JewishGen has resourcess for Grodno which might be helpful to you.

Hopefully my findings have left you some good clues to look in other resources. Good luck! I enjoyed the challenge.

Monday, January 5, 2009

John & Florinda Kennedy from USA in Leeds Grenville County Ontario

Tish asked
Q: Florinda was married to John Kennedy who died about 1846 in Leeds-Grenville County. She had a son James (he married Rosetta) and two daughters. I have never been able to find out the daughters' names. Florinda was born approximately 1798, but I am not sure where.

James was married to Rosetta in 1854, in Leeds Co. I have never been able to find any information regarding his death, probably in Muskoka County. He had been a school teacher and then I believe a book-keeper. His death would be approx 1899. I cannot find a cemetery for his internment either. James is said to have been born in
Mass., USA. this may have been where is father first landed from Scotland. Did Florinda come with him, or did he meet her there?

A: James and his mother are found in the 1851 census for Crosby Tp Leeds County Ontario. It shows that Florinda and her son James were both born in USA. So it appears her husband met her after he arrived from Scotland.

James Kennedy, 33, b USA, farming, Free Church
Florinda Kennedy, 54 b USA

There are others living with them, but not with the surname Kennedy

Eliza Russell b USA, 23 (could she be one of the missing daughters of Florinda?)
Jane Gelpin? 13 b Canada
Guy Clements 14 b Canada

Rosetta, wife of James Kennedy died in Gravenhust Muskoka District 4 Feb 1879. Her death certificate states she was the wife of James Kennedy. She was 44 years old and born "Escott" Leeds

You might want to try land records to see if you can find James Kennedy before 1851. With any luck there could be a petition for land which has genealogy information. Petitions must be obtained from the Ontario Archives or your local Family History Center but it will be well worth it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thomas Fitzsimmons & Harriet Eliza Barnes, USA & Canada

Dan of Pennsylvania asked ...

Q: I am looking for the birth record and ancestors of: Margaret FITZSIMMONS, believed to have been born in London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada ca 1847. Her father FITZSIMMONS was born ca 1813 in Ireland. (First name unknown) Her mother was Harriet Eliza BARNES was born 1818 on the Isle of Wight, England. She emigrated to the US sometime before 1864, where she married Michael DOUGHERTY in Manhattan, New York, US, 1864.

A: The family arrived in New York on the ship Gideon arriving March 22, 1848 . The family group was Thomas Fitzsimmons 33, Harriet Fitzsimmons 29, Harriet Fitzsimmons 7, and Margaret Fitzsimmons age 2. They are found in Ancestry's
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

I had a look in the census records for USA for 1850, and the family is there in New York specifically New York Ward 1
Western Division.

The family consist of Thomas FITZSIMMONS, 43 born Ireland; Harriet FITZSIMMONS, 31 born England; Harriet FITZSIMMONS 10 born England and Margaret FITZSIMMONS 5 born New York. So your Margaret was not born in Ontario, and although this census says she was born New York, her arrival on the ship Gideon in 1848 indicates otherwise.

You might want to view the image for yourself, and search other census years. See All Census Records for help with census

I also found the family in the 1860 census for New York Ward 1 District 1, New York, New York. Little Harriet is now missing and Thomas FITZSIMMONS age 10 has joined the family.

Peter Jamison Ireland to America

Janet asked...
Q: Peter Jamison came to the US in 1866. What part of Ireland was he born? What port did he leave from and which port did he arrive? He went to Illinois where relatives lived and later to the Gold Fields in Calif.

A: Ships passenger lists to America from 1820 on are available online. You should be able to find your Peter Jamison in Immigration & Emigration Records on Be sure you use the wildcard feature Ancestry offers to search for him as his surname can be spelled in a variety of ways. (Jamieson, Jameson, Jemison etc) Once you find him on a ships list you will see the port of departure and arrival noted. I would be cautious using 1866 as the firm arrival year. Be sure to search a few years on either side, as the year of immigration is very often mis-remembered.
Q: Was he naturalized? Peter was born in 1844 and died in 1907 in Red Oak, Iowa.

A: The USA Census records will give you citizenship status and dates of naturalization if it occured. Since Peter died before the 1910 census, you should look at the 1900 census. One of the questions asked on it was " the citizenship status of foreign-born individuals over age twenty-one" This will answer your question about naturalization.

To find out what other questions were asked on other census years, see If he was naturalized you can hunt for his records. Probably the easiest way to do this is to go to Naturalization Records website and use the records and links there.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Daniel Dodge & Elizabeth Sternberg LIncoln & Oxford Counties Ontario

Adrienne asked:

Q: Still looking for the parents of Daniel Dodge, born probably around 1775 He married Elizabeth Sternberg who was from the Mohawk Valley.The family emigrated to Ontario, Canada around 1800 and settled first in Lincoln county and then Oxford county. Children's names were Sarah, Adam. Jesse (male), Joseph, Lydia, Mary, Jane, Permilia. Adam and probably Sarah were born in the US.

Have you looked at the Caughnawaga Montgomery County New York area? There is a Daniel Dodge found there in the 1790 census

1st No.-Free white males over 16 years
2nd No.-Free white males under 16 years
3rd No.-Free white females
4th No.-All other free persons

Dodge, Daniel--1-3-5-0-
Dodge, Richard--1-0-1-0-
Dodge, Richard--1-1-2-0-

I found your Daniel's wife (Elizabeth Sternberg) in the Church records of Caughnawaga New York. Her baptism is found as Elizabeth born 16 Oct 1772, baptised 2 Nov. 1772 to Adam Sternberger and Maragriet Printup.

Her parents' marriage is also found in 1768 in the Records of the reformed Dutch Church of Stone Arabia as:

Sternberger, Adam (son of Adam) Sternberger married Anna Margreth Brentop [sic] (no date but after 10 April 1768)

There are several DODGE individuals found in Caughnawaga Church records:

Daniel Dodge & Mary Sikkels had the following child baptised there:

Daniel Dodge born 9 May 1782 bpt 19 July 1782. Is there any chance this could be your Daniel, born 10 years later than you thought?

Johnstown is another nearby area where DODGE families lived - in fact a Daniel Dodge died and is buried in Johnstown. He died 25 Feb 1805, age 60.

Many of these New York families ended up as Loyalists in Upper Canada (present day Ontario). Did you check Loyalist land petitions or Loyalist lists for Daniel? For more info on these petitions and how to obtain them on microfilm, see How to Find your Loyalist Ancestor

William McInnes born 1865 Canada Lived Massachusetts

Betty wrote:
Q: Mary Ann KERR, born in the Province of Quebec, married a William McINNES who had been born in Canada / English ~1865. William reportedly came down to US in ~1880 and settled in Somerville, MA. William and Mary married in MA ~1883. They seem to have had one child, a daughter, Mabel. They were still there in the 1920 ensus.

A: I see from the various census records (1900, 1910 and 1920) that William's age changes greatly. I wouldn't discard the earlier years of birth! 1900 shows June 1865. 1910 shows ca 1852 and 1920 shows ca 1853.

His immigration year also varies (not unusual as it is one of the most MISremembered years of all). Perhaps you can find him in 1880 US census or in 1871 census for Ontario (index only). If you are patient, Ancestry is bringing the Canadian 1861 and 1871 full census records online this year. See More Census Records Coming Online in 2009 for the full scoop on these records.
Q: .. he married Mary in MA ~1883, it was his 2nd marriage. And, if he came down ~1880, perhaps he had been married and widowed in Canada before he migrated down.

A: The 1910 census for William shows he has been married twice, and has been married to Mary for 27 years. There are many good clues in the various census years. You will see a list of questions for each census year for both USA and Canada census records on

For example the 1910 census also shows that William naturalized in USA so you may want to have a hunt for his naturalization records.

Have you hunted for an earlier Canadian marriage for William? See ONTARIO VITAL STATS for help with this
Q: Also, in 1900, if someone was reported to have been born in "Canada English," would that be either the Maritime Provinces or Ontario Province? Or, would it just have been Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, etc.?

A: These terms found on Census records may be helpful to you inyour research:

CW or Can W = Canada West = present day Ontario
CE or Can E = Canada East = Quebec
UC = Upper Canada = Ontario
LC= Lower Canada=Quebec
Can - Eng = english speaking Canada- usually means Ontario but can refer to English speaking Maritme Provinces
Can-Fr = French speaking Canada - usually means Quebec but can refer to French speaking Maritime Provinces