Sunday, December 04, 2011

An Immigrant Ancestor Found

All branches of my own family have been in the United States (or the colonies that became the United States) since the 18th century (with some here as early as the late 1620s/early 1630s). I enjoy the adventures that I've had helping others with their more recent immigrants. This week one of my colleagues at the library decided to take advantage of the access to free World War II records on during her lunch break. She searched for her great grandfather, but she did not find him. She decided to see what FamilySearch had to offer. She came across an interesting record there that was in the right location, but the first name did not match what she had always been told. However, when she looked at that World War II draft registration, one thing became very clear. It was probably her ancestor. The birth year on the card did not match, but there was an age recorded which matched what her ancestor would have been (rather than the 10 years later that the birth year would have indicated). The contact person was her great grandmother. It was looking more and more like she had a match, but there was one thing that greatly puzzled her. His place of birth was Austria rather than Poland as everyone in the family believed. She came back to my office quite excited and full of questions. Armed with her new name, I quickly searched the passenger lists and found this person on ships for both 1902 and 1910. I also found a known brother's arrival in 1903 with her great grandfather listed as a contact. We also located photos for most of the ships. The passenger arrival records also cleared up the mystery. Her great grandfather was born in Austria; however, his nationality was listed as Polish, and the town in which he'd been living in Poland was given. (Incidentally, she'd had a family tradition of a town, but the spelling was off slightly and might have led her to a different place.) Now, armed with the correct name of the town, she should be able to locate additional records. She also knows that she'll have to check Austrian records. She now knows his real name. By the way, her great grandmother's name was Victoria, so what do you think he was known by in America? Albert, of course!

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