Germans to America Index, 1850-1897; Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851; Italians to America Index, 1855-1900; Russians To America Index, 1834-1897; Available Within Databases At FamilySearch; Links To Databases Included

Hi Everyone!

FamilySearch.org LogoYesterday I provided information that was like a stab in the heart when I indicated that the images of Birth, Marriage and Death data from Cook County, IL were no longer available to see from FamilySearch.

Well, maybe today I can alleviate some of that pain you may be experiencing by letting you know that there are some key pieces of genealogical material that are available from within FamilySearch that you may not be aware of.

Years ago when we were searching for ancestors in passenger records we often had a choice of two routes.  One, look at microfilm records of passenger records with the hope of making a discovery.  Or two, take a look at some printed editions of transcribed passenger records that were contained in multi-volume sets that often only resided in libraries specializing in genealogical materials.

These multi-volume passenger record editions were often for a certain ethnic area of research such as Germans, Italians, Russian or Famine Irish.

I am happy to let you know that these “print” multi-volume sets are now residing as searchable indexed databases within FamilySearch.

Ann M. made me aware of these and I am happy to share some “good” news after having reported the “bad” news yesterday of images no longer being available.

The following sets of passenger records data are now available within FamilySearch:

Germans to America Index, 1850-1897

Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851

Italians to America Index,  1855-1900

Russians to America Index,  1834-1897

To access them, go to the home page of FamilySearch at FamilySearch, select “United States” from all of the world choices, and type in your choice in the search box of one of the above if you just want to limit your search exclusively to any one database.  If you just do a global search across all of the data, you will still make discoveries but you will have to screen through the hits to find those specifically for the above databases.

I personally used Germans to America at the Wheaton Public Library about 10 years ago.  The set had 54 volumes at that time.  The entire set was one big index broken out into various years.  If you did not a specific year, you just browsed the index book by book looking for a surname of interest.  If the person’s surname was spelled as you thought and it was transcribed that way, lo and behold, you would have found them.  With that information you could have taken the ship information, the port information and the date and actually try to see the microfilm image from wherever you could view that associated microfilm.

I have to remind those that started their research in the day of the “internet” that researching using print materials mentioned above was often done in the manner described!!  There was no “search box” on a screen.  There was a printed index and the books were all scattered about as we went through them one by one looking for the name of that elusive immigrant!

Here we are today when the giant sets of volumes are now available at your fingertips via FamilySearch.

So as they say “The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away”.

Today, I am happy we score one for “Giveth” to make up for yesterday’s “Taketh”.

If you want to go directly to any of the 4 databases follow the following links that will get you there:

Germans to America Index, 1850-1897 At FamilySearch

Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851 At FamilySearch

Italians to America Index, 1855-1900 At FamilySearch

Russians to America Index,  1834-1897 At FamilySearch

These were great and unique resources pre-internet databases.  Now, they are within the reach of your fingers.

Enjoy searching through the material.  There is some great information you can obtain if you find who you are looking forward.  Read the descriptions of the data contained in the databases.  Take it all in!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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