Find Your Immigrant Ancestors - October 2022

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Join Lisa A. Alzo as she leads you through the steps to identify and trace your immigrant ancestors from the US to their homeland.

Find Your Immigrant Ancestors

Many people become interested in genealogy because they want to learn more about where their family came from—specifically, to discover the identify of their immigrant ancestors. This course will teach you how to identify the immigrant ancestors in your family tree using US records, identify their hometown, and how to pinpoint when and where he or she left (especially those who arrived after 1850). Master each of these research steps and you’ll be able to locate your immigrant ancestors and their homeland, no matter their origin. The course also provides guidance for the types of records to search for in your ancestor’s homeland that will help you continue your research. Finally, you will learn techniques for overcoming research hurdles. Each lessons includes an assignment designed to help you progress in your research of an immigrant ancestor.

DATE: October 31,2022 - November 27, 2022

What You’ll Learn:

  • Brief review of immigration to the United States and how this may impact your research
  • Learn how historical geography, border changes, political considerations, and administrative jurisdictions influenced place name changes and where to find records
  • How ethnicity and religion can help you track your ancestor
  • Key US records and other sources that can help identify and locate your ancestral town/village
  • How social history and migration patterns can help you track your ancestor
  • What records in your ancestor’s homeland will help you further your research
  • How to access online and in US and foreign repositories
  • Tips for reaching and interpreting foreign records

Course Outline

Lesson 1: US Immigration History

  1. Colonial Era
  2. Early America
  3. A Century of Immigration

Lesson 2: Getting Started

  1. Before You Begin: Key Research Principles
  2. Home and Family Sources
  3. Oral History Interviews

Lesson 3: Finding Clues in US Records

  1. Where to Find the Records You Need
  2. Civil Registration Records
  3. Church Records
  4. Social Security Records
  5. Military Records
  6. Census Records
  7. Other Key Records

Lesson 4: Tracking Down Immigration Records

  1. Naturalization Records
  2. Alien Registrations
  3. Passenger Lists

Lesson 5: Pinpointing Your Ancestral Town

  1. Place-based Terminology
  2. Language and Spelling Stumbling Blocks
  3. Boundary Changes
  4. Gazetteers
  5. Mapping Resources

Lesson 6: Research in Foreign Records

  1. Identifying Available Records
  2. Developing a research strategy
  3. Accessing records online
  4. Finding and Contacting to Archives in Other Countries
  5. Translation tools
  6. Reading and Interpreting Foreign Records

Lesson 7: Searching for Elusive Immigrants

  1. The importance of social history
    1. Push and pull factors
    2. Chain migration
  2. Finding an immigrant through his relatives and countrymen


About the Instructor

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A. is a professional writer, instructor, and internationally-recognized lecturer. She is the author of nine books and hundreds of magazine articles. She is the author of 11 books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and hundreds of magazine articles.

How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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