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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Immigration Years on Documents Can Be Wrong!

Gina's question is a challenging one:
I am an Australian with a grandfather who came here in 1922 from USA. I have been searching for over 15 years (before computers)for his birth certificate. The only details I have are his alien registration in 1939, his marriage certificate in 1929 - and that's it.

Through these documents I have searched, and searched and found nothing. It seems what he stated may not have been fact.
His name was "Russell McDonald Cartwright" ? born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1906. He stated his fathers name was Russell Cartwright & mothers name was Anita McDonald. I haven't found these 2 names together anywhere. Russell does not appear to be in the Texas archives. The 2nd name McDonald, doesn't appear anywhere with his 1st and last name. He came on a ship called the "Canadian Highland" in 1922. I don't find a trace of that ship docking in Australia at all? I have no clue where it originated as I was hoping backtracking could help.

I am floundering - I don't know where to turn - Can you help??
 ASK OLIVE TREE response: Dear Gina, Have you seen this record for your ancestor which is on the Australian National Archives website?

Russell Cartwright (Includes Photograph of Subject) - Nationality:American - Arrived Brisbane per Canadian Highlander, 14 May 1922 Born 14 june 1906 Ft Worth TX

The scanned document is online if you have not seen it.

However, the date of immigration is often mis-remembered, and it may not be accurately given by Russell. I would search a year or two on either side of 1922. The same is true of the ship name. Russell may have mis-remembered it.

You should search the 1910 and 1920 census records for USA. I like for census records but you may be able to find them elsewhere.

I think you need to widen your search, keeping in mind the point you made that Russell may not have told the truth OR that he may not have known! It is also possible that he was an illegitimate birth or that he did not grow up with his parents.

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