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Research Notes 2018-9-3

A complete collection of Ellis Island passenger lists is available online and searchable for free at FamilySearch. This collection spans a period from the 1880s to the early 1920s. Here is how FamilySearch describes these records . . .

New York Passenger Lists (Castle Garden) 1820-1891 These passenger lists document over 13 million immigrants and international travelers who arrived in New York City beginning in 1820, when the federal government first required ship captains to submit lists of passengers to customs officials. Among these records are customs passenger lists for those who arrived at Castle Garden, the State of New York’s official immigrant reception facility, during its years of operation (1855–1890). You can search the name index for your ancestors or browse the record images. New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892–1924 This is a searchable index of 25 million names of immigrants and international passengers who arrived at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. Once you find a name of interest, you can click through to view individual record images at FamilySearch. If you’re interested in seeing a photo of the actual ship your ancestor travelled on, or learning more about Ellis Island as a historic port of entry into the US, check out the free Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island website. New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists 1925–1957 Search nearly 29 million indexed names (and over 5 million record images) for these lists of post-Ellis Island-era international arrivals in New York Harbor and at New York airports. Not sure when your immigrant ancestors arrived? Here’s a tip: If they were alive between 1900 and 1930, look them up in the 1900, 1910, 1920 or 1930 U.S. censuses. There should be a column indicating their year of arrival. Still not sure? Search for their names in all three of the passenger list collections—it’s free.

Heirlooms, special photographs, eureka discoveries and research tips now have a place in the Bulletin’s Out of the Closet page. Send us a digitized photo – preferably with caption – of your heirloom or special photograph. A paragraph describing your eureka moment or research tip is always welcome. Submit your “Closet items” by emailing them to

The Member Stories section of the Bulletin is open to any member with a story to share. This could include the story behind a break-thru research discovery, the history of a treasured heirloom or a biography of a fascinating and/or famous ancestor. For more information, visit the Submission Guidelines page at SAGS Support. Submission deadline for the October Bulletin is September 14, 2018.


The Ancestor Hunt has posted the August updates to the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America historic newspaper collection. There are 39 additions from 13 states. The Chronicling America collection currently has 13,916,888 indexed newspaper pages spanning a period from 1789-1963- all of them freely accessible.


RootsWeb is coming back to life – slowly but surely. The Ancestry Wiki is now the RootsWeb Wiki but it has all the same content. The Obituary Daily Times is back and the USGenWeb sites (about 600 of them) are the first priority in bringing back the hosted web sites. Use the USGenWeb site ( to find the state/county site you need.

They are also working to rebuild the Family Trees/WorldConnect platform. It is currently read-only but they are working to make it possible to upload new GEDCOM files. This feature is still several months out.


The Humble Area Genealogical Society is hosting an eConference on September 22, 2018. This online conference offers four topics:

  1. Early New England Resource Overview: Vital, Town, Probate and Deed Records David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Chief Genealogist

  2. Avoid Distractions – Stick to the Research Plan Tammy Tipler-Priolo, BASc, PLCGS, The Ancestor Investigator

  3. Read All About It! Techniques to Find Your Ancestors in the Newspapers Melanie McComb, The Shamrock Genealogist

  4. An Introduction to One Name Studies Tessa Keogh, Guild of One Name Studies  – US Rep

Early bird registration is $19.99. On September 15th the price goes up to $24.99. For more information and registration, visit the eConference page.


This week’s storytelling project is a photo slideshow. The slideshow shown below was created using Keynote on an iPad. The first step was to decide which photos to include and do a bit of editing to help them look their best. In this example, the captions don’t identify the people in the photo. They are used to set up the viewer for the finale. The toughest part was timing the length each photo is displayed so that the slideshow and background music end at the same time.

Music isn’t necessary, but it does add to the “atmosphere” of your slideshow. Unfortunately, finding affordable royalty-free music sources can be a challenge.

Note: If you are viewing the email copy of this newsletter, you may not be able to play the video. No problem . . . follow this link to view the newsletter in your web browser.

Looking for creative ideas to share in October’s Family History Faire? Join the Storytellers Studio group at In addition to ideas, there is a growing library of guides to help bring your ideas to life.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

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