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THEY WENT TO AMERICA

The Statue Of Liberty - A Gift From France, But The Copper Came From Norway!
Ellis Island, Passenger Lists & the Ships of Our Ancestors 
Maps Of The U.S.
Some Other Genealogy Pages In The U.S.:
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This page was last updated on
October 24, 1999
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

A. THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, but the copper came from Rogaland, Norway!

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B. ELLIS ISLAND, PASSENGER LISTS & THE SHIPS OF OUR ANCESTORS

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. Today more than 40 percent, or over 100 million, of all living Americans can trace their roots to an ancestor who came through Ellis Island.  The University of California, Riverside, also has a great collection of old photographs from Ellis Island, and you can also find more links from Yahoo's collection of Ellis Island links.

The Tide of Emigration to The United States And to The British Colonies. Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday, July 6th, 1850.

For the people who are not in a hurry: The Danish Thingvalla Line is a great article by Professor Odd S. Lovoll on one of the passenger lines that transported emigrants from Scandinavia to the U.S.A.

Tracing Scandinavian Latter-day Saints is one of several web pages at Bert Nelson's very nice web site about Tracing Mormon Pioneers.  Even if your ancestors were not Mormons you should still visit this web site to read up on some of the historical background of emigration from Scandinavia.
 

Emigration from Norway - The Solem and Swiggum ship index is a great web site with information about the ships that brought Norwegian emigrants to the US. It also includes an excellent explanation of the Norwegian emigration protocols (click on "Hunting Passenger Lists". On this web site you can also obtain information about how to subscribe to TheShipsList-L-request@rootsweb.com - a mailing list for people interested in emigration ships.

Researching Ships & Passenger Lists is a web page maintained by Christine Gaunt. It contains a wealth of information on this topic.

Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals is a selection of National Archives Microfilm Publications maintained by the National Archives Trust Fund Board in Washington, D.C.

The American Maritime Education and Research Center has a large collection of architectural and technical drawings of watercraft and related maritime industry.

Ships, Passenger Lists & Immigration is a collection of links on this topic maintained by Cyndi Howell.

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C. MAPS OF THE U.S.

Here are some web pages where you can find maps of the U.S.:

The map collection at University of Texas, Austin is a fantastic resource. It includes not only current maps, but also Historical Maps of the United States.

Xerox.Parc Map viewer is a must visit for maps. The U.S. map & geographic name server is incredible!

MapQuest is an interactive map. Type in the name of the city that you are searching for, and MapQuest will locate it for you!

The TIGER Map Service is a project sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It provides high-quality, detailed maps of anywhere in the United States. You can also use the U.S. Census Bureau's searchable U.S. Gazetteer. Type in the name of the city or place that you are searching for, and the Gazetteer will locate it for you!

The Geographic Names Information System from the U.S. Geological Survey is another great resource. Like the U.S. Gazetteer, it is a searchable database.

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E. SOME GENEALOGY PAGES IN THE U.S.

There are several good web pages that can help you in your search for the descendants of Norwegian immigrants in the U.S. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. CENSUS RECORDS

In my humble opinion, the most important sources for Norwegian - American genealogy research in the United States are: 1) Census records, 2) Naturalization records, 3) the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and 4) various Vital Records. Census records, for example, can tell you the year that your ancestor became a naturalized citizen. This will allow you to obtain your ancestor's Naturalization Records which can tell you where in Norway your ancestor came from (depending on when the Naturalization process occurred). It is therefore important to spend some time on the subject of Census records and Naturalization records. Here are some of my favorite web pages:

U.S. Census Bureau home page

Finding Treasures in the U.S. Federal Census by Judy Hanna Green discusses the background of the U.S. Federal Census, and some of the glitches found in the Census records.

Come to Your Census is a summary of what kind of information you can find in each census.

The Reading Room from LineagesNet.com has several nice articles on the U.S. census and other historical documents.

Norwegians in the midwest in 1880 - The Digital Arkivet in Norway has made available portions of the 1880 U.S. census which lists Norwegians living in Dakota Territory, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Surname to Soundex Code is a great resource. Soundex is a phonetic index of the various census records. (Similar sounding surnames are grouped together in an index called a "Soundex Index"). On this web page you can type in the surname that you are researching, and find out what the Soundex code is. You can also use the Soundex converter at this web page and at this web page

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2. NATURALIZATION RECORDS

Naturalization records relate to citizenship. They represent a change in allegiance from the country of previous residence to the United States. A person's Naturalization Record consists of a Petition to Naturalize, a Declaration of Intentions, and a Final Record of Naturalization. These documents show the person's name, address, age, date of birth, date of entrance into the U.S., names of children, etc. (Naturalization Records dating from before 1906 may not contain all of this information. The records were processed in local court houses, and there was considerable variation in the amount of information required). For more information about this important genealogy tool I suggest that you purchase the book "Locating Your Immigrant Ancestor - A Guide to Naturalization Records" by James C. and Lila Lee Neagles. It is available through Everton's Publishing. Here are some web pages that discuss Naturalization records:

Dennis Piccirillo has written a great article called "Guide to Requesting Your Ancestor's Naturalization Records."

Research Tips - Naturalization Records is another great article on this topic. It was written by Antoinette J. Seagraves.

James St. John has nice little web page with information on census records and naturalization records. He even has pictures of what the documents look like! You can also read about "immigration records" which refers to ship passenger lists, but I disagree with what he says about passenger lists -- these lists do not usually give any information on where in Norway your ancestor came from.

Using Homestead Records to Obtain Naturalization Records is a great idea!

There are many web pages with instructions on how to obtain Naturalization records for a specific state or area. Keep in mind that the Final Record of Naturalization did not have to occur in the same county that the Petition and Declaration of Intentions was filed in! Make sure you check each of the counties that your ancestor lived in as well as the port of entry!

Switchboard.com is a search engine that you can use to find the telephone number and address of a county court house if your ancestor's Naturalization Record was processed before 1906.

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3. SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX (SSDI)

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Online Search contains about 50 million names of certain deceased individuals in the U.S. While the SSDI does not include everyone in the US who has died, it does have a lot of people: namely, people who died after 1937 for whom a lump sum death benefit was claimed by somebody. Social Security numbers for individuals to whom no payment was claimed are not included in this database. You can also access the Social Security Death Index at Ancestry Search. Once you have found a potential relative you should order a copy of that person's Social Security Application form (Form SS-5), which contains more information than the SSDI online search result. The cost is US$ 7.00 per copy. Snail-mail to: The Structure of Social Security Numbers by Chris Hibbert is a nice short article on the various numbers that make up a Social Security Number and what you can tell from a person's Social Security Number.

Social Security Administration & Genealogy FAQ by Yigal Rechtman is a "must visit" web page for information on using Social Security records for genealogy research.

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4. OTHER FEDERAL RECORDS

Census records are only one type of federal records that you can use in your genealogy research. Here are some web pages with information about some other interesting federal records:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a home page on the web. Their Online Exhibit Hall is a great place to visit, and you can get copies of their guidelines on the use of NARA holdings for genealogical research.

The Library of Congress also has a web page with some great information, including a Local History and Genealogy Reading Room. You can also use the Library of Congress Experimental Search Engine .

How to do Genealogical Research using FBI Files by Yigal Rechtman is another "must visit" web page for information on how to order copies of FBI records.

U.S. Military Records Requests FAQ is also by Yigal Rechtman.

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5. VITAL RECORDS

Vital Records include certificates of birth, death, marriage, and divorce. In the United States, the Federal Government does not maintain files or indexes of these records. These records are filed permanently either in a State vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office. This causes headaches for genealogists! Here are two web pages that explain how you can obtain copies of these records:

The National Center for Health Statistics has a web page with the addresses where you can obtain these important records for every state in the U.S.

Vital Records Information State Index is another web page that gives the addresses where you can obtain these important records.

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6. FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS (LDS)

LDS Family History Centers is a tutorial from the Treasure Maps on how to use the enormous genealogy collections of the LDS Church!

Ancestry Search has several searchable databases, including the Social Security Death Index, American Marriage Records, the Geographic Reference Library, and more. I would highly recommend a visit to this web page!

The LDS Family History page is helpful to anyone interested in genealogy. Although designed to meet the needs of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), most services on the site are free. Some resources, however, are available only to paying subscribers and to registered users of the LDS Family History Suite CD-ROM.

The International Genealogical Index is an LDS data base with over 240 million names. It is not on-line, but is available on CD-ROM and on microfiche at LDS Family History Centers.

Family History Centers (LDS) is a preliminary listing of LDS Family History Centers around the world, indexed by geographical area.

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7. GENEALOGY MAILING LISTS

Mailing lists are another great source for genealogists. Most of these e-mail lists focus on a particular surname or a particular geographic area, such as the NDSDMN mailing list which covers North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

Listservers and newsgroups is an extensive list of various genealogy related listservers and newsgroups on Vicki's home page.

Mailing Lists is part of the larger web site maintained by John Fuller and Christine Gaunt.

Roots-L is the largest genealogical mailing list on the internet!

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8. STATE BY STATE GENEALOGY WEB PAGES

Below you will find links to web pages that contain numerous links to genealogy resources for the state where your ancestor settled. I will mention only two examples here:

Minnesota research notes are a great help for those who are doing genealogy research that involves Minnesota. It is brought to the web by Park Genealogical Books.

The Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University has a wealth of genealogy information on-line, including The Forum Obituaries Index - an online database that contains over 34,000 names for obituaries published in The Fargo Forum newspaper for the years 1987 through 1994, including about 2,000 obituaries from earlier years. Most obituaries are for persons who lived in or were affiliated with Eastern North Dakota or Northwestern Minnesota. This database includes the name, age, city, date, newspaper edition, and page number, if known, of the deceased, and instructions on how to obtain photocopies of the obituary. You can also request a search for obituaries of persons who died prior to 1987 if you have the date of death. One of the other resources mentioned on this web page is the Andrew A. Rowberg Biographical File - a collection of 1,600 microfiche that contain 125,000 newspaper clippings of Norwegian - American obituaries, wedding and birth announcements, etc. for the time period 1914 - 1978. Unfortunately this collection is not available on the internet, but I wanted to let you know that it exists!

The Census for the Dakota Territory 1885 is a searchable database from North Dakota State University.

The U.S. Gen-Web project has web pages for each state in the United States, as well as web pages for almost every county in the U.S.

Cyndi Howell in Seattle, Washington, maintains an incredible collection of genealogy links. Scroll down her web page until you get to "United States Index" and click on the state that you are researching!

Roots-L also maintains a fantastic collection of genealogy links for the various states in the USA!

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9. SOME OTHER GENEALOGY WEB PAGES TO VISIT

Everton Publishers has a nice web page with information and links to various sources of genealogical information in the U.S.A.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet is another "must visit" web page with some extremely useful links. It is maintained by Paula M. Goblirsch at the University of Minnesota.

The Genealogy Home Page is another fantastic web page with lots of genealogy links. It is very well organized and easy to use, and is maintained by Stephen A. Wood. It includes, among other things, What's New in WWW Genealogy Pages - a listing of new WWW pages related to genealogy. The Help page is very useful, with links to both general genealogy guides and information about research in specific areas.

The RAND Genealogy Club has a great web page with lots of useful information!

The Journal of Online Genealogy is a free e-zine which focuses on the use of online resources and techniques in genealogy and family history.

Sherry Koshney Peterson has a great home page, and her "Genealogy Links Galore!!" is a "must" visit!

Cyndi Howell in Seattle, Washington, has over 27,000 links to genealogical web pages on the Internet, cross-referenced into more than 60 categories! A great place to launch your genealogy search from.

Helm's Genealogy Toolbox consists of many links to genealogical information on the Internet.

Janyce's Root Diggin is another great source for genealogical information on the Internet.

Genealogy resources on the internet is very well organized and contains links to lots of genealogy sources on the internet, including web pages, ftp sites, mailing lists, and more. It is maintained by Chris Gaunt and John Fuller.

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Please notify me of any links that are not working
properly as well as any suggestions for additional links.
Unfortunately my schedule does not permit me to answer
individual requests for assistance with genealogy research
John Follesdal
Copyright 1996 - 1999
This page was created December 12, 1996
Last updated on October 24, 1999