Find My Ancestor Blog
10May/100

NGS Review Part 3

The following are my tweets from the opening session of the National Genealogical Society conference held last week in Salt Lake City. I am re-posting my tweets from the conference just in case you missed them and would like to know about some of the classes I attended.


  • "U.S. Naturalization Records, Colonial Times to Early Twentieth-century" by John Philip Colletta, PhD
  • Three periods of naturalization records
  • 1. Prior to 1970 2. 1790- Sep. 26, 1906 3. Since Sep. 27, 1906
  • Find a likely candidate and then secure and examine the original recede on microfilm or digitization.
  • Basic facts you need: ancestor's name, aprox.date, native country, state and county where living during naturalization.
  • Where can you find naturalization records?
  • Citizenship columns in federal censuses: 1820, 1830, 1870, 1900-1930.
  • Find information in state censuses. He is talking about New York state census.
  • Why Naturalize? Vote, Ability to hold office, transfer land.
  • Check passenger ships records to see if a family member was already a citizen.
  • ALWAYS check state archives!! He emphasized that a lot!
  • Colonial Period - beginning in 1607: stautes of British colonies in North America(except for N.H.)
  • 1740: people could become a citizen of both Great Britain and the colony they were living.
  • White, males, 21yrs. +, land owner. These were people who could get citizenship at the time.
  • 1776: people who were born from this point forward are automatically citizens.
  • Pennsylvania Records of Natiralization 1695 177~ Most are Germans.
  • 1795: Free white females 21>. 5 years in country. 2- Declaration 3- Petition.
  • Sep. 27, 1906 Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization created.
  • 1922: married women must file separately.
  • Courts that naturalized: Federal, State, Municipal. Start with Federal and work your way down.
  • After INS was created forms were made that gave a lot more information than previous hand written declarations.
  • Of course, be sure to check www.archives.gov
  • Great lecture on Naturalization by John Philip Colletta!!


  • "LDS Resources on the Internet - Where Can I Find Them And How Do I Use Them?" by Luana Darby
  • Early Latter-day Saint Database www.earlylds.com
  • Immigrant Ancestors Project - http://immigants.byu.edu - not only for LDS records.


  • "FamilySearch's Tools and Resources for the United Kingdom and Ireland" by Diane Loosle
  • maps.familysearch.org - England Jurisdictions 1851. For now it ony covers England.
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki. Repository for the collective research knowledge of the genealogical community.
  • wiki.familysearch.org
  • Access online classes for free at familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Forums. forums.familysearch.org
  • Trees, Records, and Books. histfam.familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Beta. http://fsbeta.familysearch.org
  • Currently there are 1.3 million records for the British Isles availabe on FamilySearch.


  • Waiting for "Immigrant Clue in Photographs" by Maureen Taylor to start.
  • Our immigrant ancestors took photographs the same way we do today.
  • Women immigrants would save all they could to buy a good dress to takes pictures and send home to family
  • Ancestors left clues in many of their photos.
  • Look for the fine details in the "costume clothes".
  • Red lines around photographs were generally taken in the 1870's.
  • In Europe, more than America, people dressed for their jobs.
  • The hardest costumes to figure out in photographs are military.
  • Wales developed a national costume to be distinct from England. Abt. 1860's.


  • Elizabeth Shown Mills class is packed already and it doesn't start for another 20 min!!
  • "Finding & Using Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Prior to Vital Registration.
  • In the 1100's is when records were started to be recorded a lot more regularly.
  • When records do exist, we still have to prove that the individual of record is the one we seek.
  • Many ancestors didn't have official marriages even when available because licenses &bonds cost money. Many were too poor.
  • Many couples could not legally marry even if they wanted to.
  • Beware of "the only one" of your relatives in a town. It may not be them or true.
  • "Research is NOT looking up the answer. Research is tracking down the answer."

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