Family History Research

Sorting Saturday – The Immigrant and the Manifest

I was going through a notebook on the train Thursday jotting down blog ideas so I would have a slightly easier time writing posts this next week when I came across a page of “To Explore” notes. This page has ideas on topics to look at when writing my family history like gathering more information on the ships on which my ancestors traveled; pulling as many Sanborn Maps as I can; looking at Census records to see if they owned or rented their homes; and investigating places they worked.

Another topic that I plan to start work on now is on the immigrant and their passenger manifest. I want to create an Excel Sheet listing all of my immigrants and all the personal information about them I can find on a manifest. I want to document date of arrival; ship; height; eye color; how much money they were carrying; did they have luggage; were they steerage or cabin passengers; where they were headed; and who was their contact in the old country and the United States.

I think exploring this topic in spreadsheet form will give me a wonderful picture of exactly who came, when they came, what they looked like, and more. Once finished I can sort by year, by name, by ship name, anything to change the picture at which I am looking.

Looking at my data in a new way will also allow me to add more depth to each of my ancestors’ stories.

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