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Genealogical Committee Seminar | Getting to Know Your Immigrant Ancestors

April 9, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

WRHS Genealogical Committee SeminarGetting to Know Your Immigrant Ancestors
Presented by John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
Author of They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans

Date:   Saturday, April 9, 2016
Time:   9:00am – 4:15 pm
Place:   Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio
Cost:    $45  Seminar Order Form

9:00 –9:30 Registration
9:30-10:45 Passenger Arrival Records, Colonial Times to Mid-20th CenturyThis lecture begins with a discussion of sources for discovering the arrival time and place—and perhaps the ship—of an immigrant to colonial America. It then explores U.S. passenger arrival records, especially 1820-1957, available on microfilm and the Internet. It suggests what facts you need to begin your search and explains step-by-step how to conduct that search. Specific examples illustrate how to use Web sites, National Archives microfilmed indexes, book indexes, and other research tools.
11:00-12:15 Naturalization Records, Colonial Times to Mid-20th CenturyThis lecture addresses the legal means by which nonBritish settlers in colonial America could become naturalized citizens of Great Britain. It then explains U.S. naturalization laws and processes, which began in 1790, and describes the records that resulted from them. It considers the naturalization of both alien classes and individuals, and provides guidance on how to find an ancestor’s records, whether the naturalization occurred in a municipal, state or federal court. Pertinent research tools such as Internet sites, manuals and indexes are all demonstrated.
12:15-1:30 Lunch (boxed lunches will be  available  for purchase the day of the seminar)
1:30-2:45 Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the MidwestTriumph of American ingenuity and wonder of the world, the Erie Canal affected the lives of millions of our ancestors from Maine to Minnesota. This lecture chronicles the building of the canal, 1817- 25, and describes the many ways our ancestors may have worked for, on, or along the “Big Ditch.” It also explores numerous ways they may have used “Clinton’s Folly” or benefited from it.
3:00-4:15 Discovering the REAL Stories of Your Immigrant AncestorsThe immigrant experience was not the same for every one of the millions of English, Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, and others who came to America. Each immigrant’s story is unique. Using three 19thcentury case studies, this lecture describes the original records and published materials available to discover the particular facts of your own ancestor’s story. It discusses how to evaluate those facts and assemble them into a story that conveys both the drama and individuality of your ancestor’s emigration/immigration experience.



April 9, 2016
9:00 am - 4:15 pm


Cleveland History Center
10825 East Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44106 United States
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Genealogical Committee