Dante Alighieri Society of Denver - Genealogy Presentation - Syllabus
by Joe Beine
Death Indexes and Records Online - USA
- Recent Obituaries Database - "America's Obituaries & Death Notices" - Available at the Denver Public Library
- At the DPL's website: click on the "Research" tab, then "Databases A-Z," then "A," then scroll down to "America's Obituaries & Death Notices." (requires a DPL library card)
Finding Ship Passenger Lists, 1820-1960s
Before You Search - it may be helpful to do a little homework
Search the Major Ports and Many Smaller Ports at Once
- Clues in the Census
- The 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses give year of arrival for immigrants
- The 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 censuses tell whether an immigrant was naturalized
- The 1920 census gives year of naturalization
- Census records may contain errors: some people might have misremembered their arrival details as time went by, or may not know their spouse's arrival year; you might see slightly different years of arrival for a person in different census years.
- Census Records Online at FamilySearch and Ancestry
- Naturalization Records
- Naturalization records created 27 Sept. 1906 and later usually give the name of the ship, date and port of arrival for the person. Naturalization records before then usually do not (although some might). Some pre-27 Sept. 1906 naturalization records may have year of arrival.
- Places to Find U.S. Naturalization Records and Indexes Online
- It's also helpful to know the date or year of birth
- Census records give the person's age
- Death certificates usually have date of birth
- WWI and WWII draft cards have date of birth
- Cemetery headstones (and burial records) sometimes have year or date of birth
(The major ports are New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans)
- Ancestry's Ship Passenger Lists Collection (subscription required or use Ancestry Library edition which is free at the DPL and other libraries -- see "Notes about Ancestry Library Edition" below)
- Ancestry's Immigration Collection (subscription required or Ancestry Library edition free at the DPL) includes passenger lists, naturalization records, passport applications, and Canadian border crossing records,
- Note that the passengers lists were created in the port of departure and brought to the U.S. where they were given to the customs house (1820-1890s) or immigration officials (1890s and later).
Port by Port Search
Italians to America
- If you have trouble finding your immigrant ancestor in the above databases, you might want to try searching individual ports or using alternate resources like Italians to America...
- Italians to America (books at DPL; online database at FamilySearch and the U.S. National Archives website)
(What do all those scribbles and numbers added later to a passenger list mean?)
Ellis Island Information and Timeline
A slightly more detailed version of this section can be found here:
- Ellis Island? Castle Garden? Which One? And When?
- This article gives the dates when New York's three immigrant processing centers were used, along with information about Ellis Island.
- Note that the ships did not land at Ellis Island. They landed at Manhattan and the immigrants were taken to Ellis Island on ferries.
Ship Passenger Lists Guide, 1820-1960s
Italy Civil Registration Records Online
Which Village or City?
If you don't know your ancestor's place of birth (village or city) in Italy, this guide may be helpful...
Italy Civil Registration Records Online
Joint project between FamilySearch and the Italy State Archives
Note: Indexing for this project is not yet complete.
- Italy Civil Registration Records at FamilySearch listed by province (some indexed); scroll down to the "Online Records" section for a list of links to each province; also has information about the records. To view the images of the records you must be at a Family History Center or a FamilySearch affiliate library. Or use the website listed next to access the images.
Do You Want to Help Index These Records?
- Napoleonic Civil Registration (Stato Civile Napoleonico) 1806-1815 (start year varies by province; some start earlier, some as late as 1866)
- Civil Registration During the Restoration (Stato Civile d'ella Restaurazione) 1815-1865
- Italian Civil Registration (Stato Civile Italiano) 1866-present (availability of online records varies by province, most end c.1918-1940s)
Additional Resources from FamilySearch for Italy Genealogy
Notes about Ancestry Library Edition:
- Ancestry Library Edition is available at the Denver Public Library and its branches, Douglas County Libraries, Jefferson County Libraries and Arapahoe County Libraries. You must be in a library to access it. You might check your local library or branch to see if it's available there. When using Ancestry Library Edition, the links to Ancestry on this page won't work. You can find their immigration database under the "Search" tab, then "Immigration and Travel."
Compiled by Joe Beine, 2019. May be printed for personal use.
URL for this webpage: https://www.genesearch.com/dante/