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Genealogy 2018, 2(4), 51;

Project Report
The Immigrant Ancestors Project: Gathering and Indexing 900,000 Names
Center for Family History and Genealogy, Department of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
Department of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 24 November 2018


The Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP) is sponsored by the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, which is located in Provo, Utah, United States. For eighteen years, students have served summer internships in Europe to acquire images of emigration records, focusing on those containing information about the emigrant’s hometown. In a mentored-learning environment, hundreds of students have worked on this index to help people all over the world discover their ancestors’ hometowns. The IAP database currently contains over 900,000 names, and it is available to the public free of charge. This paper discusses the history of IAP, as well as the benefits to those who use this significant online index.
immigrant; ancestors; genealogy; family history; Europe; Britain; name index; emigration; immigration

1. Introduction

In the hundred years from 1824 to 1924, approximately 52 million Europeans left their home continent, the vast majority to travel to the Americas. As large as this number is, it does not include those who migrated to nearby European countries—that is, those who did not cross the Atlantic Ocean. Although historians do not all agree on migration estimates, there is little doubt that nineteenth-century European migrants, moving both on and off the continent, numbered in the tens of millions (Hoerder and Moch 1996, pp. 3, 78–79). Those migrants who crossed the Atlantic most often went to the United States, Argentina, Canada, and Brazil. Most emigrants came from Germany, the British Isles, and Italy, but every country in Europe contributed to the great flow of migrants, forever changing the layout of Europe and the Americas (Nugent 1992, pp. 12–14).
Today, as more and more people are drawn to discover their family’s history and ancestral homes, they find that it can be extremely difficult to continue research beyond the immigrant ancestor. Records in countries of arrival typically contain only the name of the country where the person came from, and rarely include the name of the town. However, because European records are typically kept at the town level, a researcher needs to know the town of origin before they can begin their research.
The strength of the Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP) at Brigham Young University (BYU) is that it was created for the purpose of assisting descendants of immigrants in finding their ancestral hometowns. Emigration records are scattered throughout Europe in many libraries and archives, and the average person has no knowledge of which records can assist them or where those records might be found. At BYU, student interns are trained in locating and acquiring these records, which are then added to the IAP database. The focus of this project is to locate collections that are not currently being digitized and indexed by the larger genealogical websites, which means that IAP has more of the smaller collections (some of them with multi-page files) found in archives across Europe. Because emigration records are the focus of this project, the migrants named in the index were leaving a country and may have been traveling to any other country. IAP does not focus on immigrants arriving only in America.
Over 900,000 indexed entries from many European countries are now available online to be easily searched. Entries include information about the repository where the document is located, as well as a source citation to simplify making a copy request. Data users are then able to learn about potential family hometowns and continue their research to confirm whether the correct family originated from that location.
Benefits from this project are two-fold. When appropriate entries for family members are located, the IAP database saves a researcher all the time and money it would otherwise require to contact and/or travel to numerous libraries and archives to find the record(s) that would reopen the case for continued research. This project also creates internship opportunities and mentored-learning experiences for students who are learning about family history research, the records, and how to read old handwriting styles in various languages. This project benefits those who are creating the indexed entries, as well as the users of the data.

2. BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy

At the Center for Family History and Genealogy (CFHG) at Brigham Young University (BYU), students sit at rows of computers deciphering names, dates, and other information in sometimes washed-out or faded documents. Frequently, students work together, turning to each other for a second or third opinion, so they can be as accurate as possible in their work.
Over the years, the center has employed more than 350 student researchers on many different projects. (See Figure 1 for a photo of recent student employees.) Recognizing that the center was created to support the family history program at BYU, donors have provided funding for over 100 interns, creating opportunities for students to work at various repositories in China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, and Spain, among others. Students have also interned in the United States in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington DC, and others.
In addition to employing students, the center also sponsors student lectures and the attendance of family history majors at regional and national genealogy conferences. Students are mentored in public speaking and have presented at the National Genealogical Society Conference, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium, RootsTech, and the BYU Family History Conference. In addition, student researchers at the center have planned and directed a summer camp, the myFamily History Youth Camp, for high school students to learn family history research skills. The camp has been highly successful, giving these young people a positive first experience with family history.

3. Immigrant Ancestors Project: An Overview

Since IAP’s emphasis is to index mostly European emigration records, student researchers hired for their language skills are trained to read the old handwriting and locate specific information in the acquired documents. Throughout the workday, it is common to hear conversations in Spanish, German, French, Italian, and English. These ever-changing language teams have also included Portuguese and Dutch researchers at times. The students are a combination of foreign-language speakers and family history majors specializing in the research of these countries.
Each student employee works to glean information from the emigration records and enter it into an extensive online index. The information—which may include any combination of names of emigrants and family members, dates of birth and departure, places of origin and destination, and miscellaneous notes—is then entered into the database. This effort helps numerous families with immigrant ancestors to locate records that enable them to reach back and learn about their past.
Extracting information from images gathered in foreign countries by BYU student interns is no easy task. Some of the records are damaged to the point of being almost unreadable. Some records contain multiple pages, all of which must be carefully deciphered in order to gather all the information pertinent to the person’s migration. Sometimes, several pages of difficult handwriting are scrutinized just to glean the most basic information about a person. Yet, providing an index of such records is invaluable to researchers who otherwise would not know where their person of interest may be found, and who, if they were fortunate enough to find their family’s records, may not have the language background to read them.
After the initial indexing, a second researcher is assigned to look at the index and compare it with the record. Additional research must sometimes be conducted in order to ascertain a piece of information that did not become clear during the first round of indexing. This research helps ensure that the online IAP index is as accurate and complete as possible. See Figure 2 for a photo of students working on IAP, and see Appendix A for a complete list of record collections included in this online index.

4. Migration Records in the IAP Database

Identifying a migrant’s previous residence is often difficult because naturalization documents and passenger lists in the countries of arrival typically list no more than a name, perhaps an age, and the country of origin. Since the town of birth must be known in most cases to find ancestors in the home country, additional records are needed. This is where the Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP) becomes a valuable resource.
IAP focuses on indexing records in the country of origin, as these emigration records are much more likely to include the hometown and more specific identifying information than immigration records found in the destination countries. Most of the records that IAP indexes come from the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, though a small number of records from other countries are also included. Collections from these other countries include records of people emigrating from Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Poland, Russia, and Greece.
Types of records include passenger lists and other port of departure records in the country of origin, pre-departure “approval to emigrate” records, passport files (including passport requests), arrival lists, emigration records, naturalizations, immigration records, emigrant letters, convict records, orphan and poor folk records, military service records, and more. Various types of information may be found in each category of records on the IAP website, and interesting stories of immigrant ancestors are uncovered as searches of the information are conducted.

4.1. Passenger Lists

The online IAP database contains French, Dutch, and English passenger lists. Not all of the names listed are of departing emigrants, as some ended up emigrating later than planned or not at all.
The collection titled “Ships’ Lists found in the East India Company Ships’ Journals 1605–1856” contains listings of crew members, passengers, prisoners, and soldiers on board the ships. Only the ships’ lists have been extracted; additional information may be contained in the original ship’s journals.
Beyond the basic information naming everyone on board a ship, passenger lists may also detail tragedies that befell specific passengers on the journey. For example, John Foote, a crew member of “ordinary seaman” rank on the SS Orwell, is listed in the online IAP index as having fallen from the jetty boat. He died from injuries sustained from the fall in August 1818, just four months after the ship’s departure from The Downs.1 Since John died on the passage, this may be the only written mention of his death. This makes the ship’s list a substitute death record, and thus a record of great genealogical worth.

4.2. Other Port of Departure Records

A variety of additional departure records also exist in the IAP database. An example of these collections is “Expedientes de Embarque,” which focuses on people emigrating from Spain between 1863 and 1908.
Entering the name “Rosendo Vela Noriega” into the IAP search bar returns many items of information about this teenage boy, including an extensive list of family members and how they are related to him. His exact date and place of birth are provided: 22 May 1862 in Vidiago, located in the parish of Santa María de la Paz de Vidiago, Llanes, Asturias, Spain. In addition, his place of residence is given as Vidiago, and his destination is listed as Puerto Rico. From the index, we also learn that he received permission to emigrate on 7 November 1875 and that his baptismal record is located at the Archivo Histórico Municipal de Llanes.2 A copy of the baptismal record could likely be obtained by contacting the archive. The name of Rosendo’s father, mother, paternal and maternal grandparents, and godparents are all listed, linking an entire family together from information located in this single index.

4.3. Emigration Approvals

Indexes of French and Spanish pre-departure “approval to emigrate” records are also found in the IAP database. These records generally include the names and relationships of family members of the emigrants.
Sometimes only the names of one or two family members will be included in an emigrant’s record. The index record for Pierre Frolin lists his parents as Dominique Frolin and Domeinges Gardax. Although no information beyond their place of residence is found, his mother’s maiden name can provide an essential link to the past and be of great help in further research. No birth date for Pierre is listed, but his age (19) is given, as well as the exact town of his birth: Maubourguet, in Hautes-Pyrénées, Midi-Pyrénées, France. This is the same place he resided until his emigration from Bayonne to Quebec on 12 March 1753.3 Taken together, these puzzle pieces build a sufficient picture for an adept researcher to find Pierre Frolin, perhaps in France and his immigrant destination of Canada.

4.4. Passport Files

Not all passport applications of those wishing to emigrate were accepted, so be aware that not everyone in these collections actually emigrated. Whether or not a passport was granted, the passport files include helpful identifying information about a multitude of would-be emigrants.
An interesting example of a passport request file is the one for Pierre Monchel. At age 45, Pierre was granted a passport on 26 February 1821 in Cherbourg, Manche, Normandie, France, which was also his birthplace. He needed a passport for the purpose of traveling with his wife to Angleterre (England) to sell eggs.4 (See Figure 3).

4.5. Arrival Lists

Various passenger lists created in the port of entry have been indexed and put onto the IAP website to replace information from lost or destroyed port of departure lists.
Searching for “Johann Benedict Apel,” for example, brings up an index of this emigrant from “German Immigrants, List of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1847–1871.” Johann’s index entry states he was a 31-year-old merchant from Eiterfeld, Hessen-Nassau, and that he and his wife, “Elisabetha Cath. Apel,” traveled on the SS India. The ship arrived in New York City on 16 October 1851, and the couple planned to travel to Louisville, Kentucky.5 This provides the town of residence (possibly the birthplace of Johann Benedict Apel), an estimated year of birth, a familial relationship, a specific date of entry into the United States, and a projected destination where the couple was likely to have settled and raised a family.

4.6. Emigration Records

Generally speaking, most people emigrated in order to improve their prospects for a better life and greater freedom. Emigration lists sometimes reveal this reason for departure.
A destitute mother, Grietje Pastoor, and her seven children traveled from their residence in Bierum, Groningen, the Netherlands, to North America in 1867. As stated in the Landverhuizerslijsten, the official emigrant list of the Netherlands, this migration was for the purpose of improving the family’s means of existence.6 In the same year and from the same city, Jan Sietsema, a very well-to-do man, left for Michigan with his wife and four children.7 They also hoped to better their lives. A pastor of the Christian Separated Reformed Church, Roelof Duiker traveled to North America from Grijpskerk with his wife, six children, and a servant. This migration was the result of his appointment as a minister in Michigan8—and perhaps, in effect, to help better the lives of emigrants like Jan Sietsema, who was from his very own province of Groningen.

4.7. Naturalizations

A few indexes pertaining to naturalizations are included in the IAP database. Even though these records include only a scant list of information items, a descendant would be able to create an overview of a person’s life story by researching the details a little further and taking into account the historical context of the ancestor’s life.
For example, an IAP index entry for Samuel Geczynski lists his occupation, his current and former religion, his last place of residence, his homeland, his nationality, his birth date and birthplace, and his death date.9 The list is cut-and-dried. Yet, a narrative takes form when the minded researcher delves into the information items just a little bit more.
An engineer of Polish nationality, Samuel Geczynski was born on 15 August 1868 in Kalisz, Poland. At the time of his birth, Kalisz was under Russian rule. Just a few years prior to the time of his death (14 December 1920), the area was reclaimed by Poland (Engelstein 2009). At some point, Samuel changed his religion from Islam to Protestantism, which was a radical cultural change and possibly a considerable lifestyle change as well. He also traveled to Berlin and became naturalized as a citizen of the Weimar Republic, which is today’s Germany.

4.8. Immigration Records

Various types of immigration records are included in the online searchable IAP database. As with other records that mostly contain a few names and dates, a fuller story can be gathered from digging into the historical events surrounding the known dates.
For example, Agueda Alvarez Diaz, age 74, and her two sisters, Victoria (67) and Maria (59), traveled to Mexico in 1936 to visit their brother who had a business there.10 Lifetime residents of Río Purón in Llanes, Asturias, Spain, the sisters were leaving their native country the same year the Spanish Civil War broke out. This war signaled a quick end to the Second Spanish Republic, which had been a mode of government strongly supported in Asturias, the province where Agueda and her sisters resided. It was a difficult time. Just two years prior, there had been a miners’ strike in Asturias—a time when clergy were persecuted and murdered. The strike was put down with gunfire and bombing raids, and tens of thousands of revolutionaries were taken prisoner. The uprising resulted in the death of some 4,000 Spaniards (Álvarez 2011). It is likely that the three sisters decided to visit their brother overseas to get away from the chaos of war surrounding them.

4.9. Emigrant Letters

Names, dates, and places are extracted from emigrant letters and input into the IAP database. For some of these entries, additional notes are included. Notes about the letter itself may be recorded in the collection description, which is displayed for each individual whose name was extracted.
On 1 October 1840, Elizabeth McCleland wrote a letter to her daughter, Ann McCleland, who had emigrated to New Zealand. The collection description states that Ann married Yohan August in Wellington and that the two had seven children. Their family lived in Liverpool, England; Londonderry, Ireland; New Zealand; and Chile, where two daughters were baptized. Eighteen documents spanning thirty years of the McCleland family’s life are indexed in this collection, providing great insight into the experiences of the several family members.11

4.10. Convict Records

Some people became emigrants against their will. Among these were convicts.
Pickpocketing and other forms of thievery were rampant in England in the early 1800s, and because there was no police force, the simplest way to keep order was to execute criminals or give them a sentence of transportation (Walton 2013). These sentences involved being sent overseas for generally seven or 14 years, or life—by our standards today, often excessively long for minor crimes.
Even young boys such as John Clarke were convicted. At age 11, on 15 July 1824, John committed a felony in London, England, and was sentenced to seven years. The details of his crime are unknown. However, according to a brief note about his behavior, he was listed as “a very good boy.”12 At age 18, he would have been released and allowed to return to normal life.
Another young boy, 13-year-old John Perry, was convicted in London on 11 September 1822 and given seven years for stealing a tortoise shell ink stand. At first, his behavior is listed as being good. But in a later record, it states that he was punished for being concealed in the wash house, and his behavior is listed as being “very bad.”13
John was much more of a handful than the 10-year-old James Bradley, who was sentenced to seven years for stealing handkerchiefs. James was considered “an artful, discerning boy attentive to his trade.”14 For people like James, the prisoner’s sentence had a silver lining and could be considered a blessing in disguise, because while serving his time, he had the opportunity to hone his skills and learn a trade.

4.11. Orphan and Poor Folk Records

Those who were poor but wished to emigrate from England sometimes received financial backing to do so. The expenditure of funds had to be authorized by a poor law union or a parish before the individuals or families received the funds to begin their travels.
On 29 June 1923, John Henry Tanner, along with his wife and three children, was given permission to emigrate from the parish of St. Giles in Camberwell, Surrey, England, and travel to Canada.15 From the description of “Consent to Expenditure Letters,” the collection in which the family is listed, researchers learned that the family was receiving assistance to emigrate from England and that their parish of St. Giles authorized the expenditure of the necessary funds.

4.12. Military Service Records

Military records are somewhat unique in that they often include physical descriptions of the soldiers. Patrick Scanlon, a 40-year-old private in the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment of the British Army, served in Gibraltar, the West Indies, and North America. He was discharged because he suffered from rheumatism. A resident of Toronto, Canada, and a native of Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, Patrick was a painter by trade. His brown hair and gray eyes were not unusual, but his height of 5′ 11″ most certainly was. As evidenced by the other men listed in the same military service collection, most men at the time were closer to 5′ 7″.16
For the soldiers being sent overseas from the province of La Coruña, more general, less-detailed lists were published in the Boletín Oficial de la Provincia. One such soldier was Antonio Breijo Teijeiro, son of Gregorio Breijo and Rosa Teijeiro. A resident of the parish of Santiago de Abad in Trieiro, Moeche, Coruña, Spain, Antonio was sent to La Habana, Cuba. Since he traveled in 1875 or 1876, he was most likely being sent to fight in the Ten Year’s War.17 At the time, Cuba was fighting for independence from Spain, Antonio’s native country.

4.13. Other Records

Other records indexed in the IAP database include information about expatriates, ship passengers and crew members, foreigners, school children, and citizens deceased abroad.
An index of baptismal and marriage records for British subjects abroad states that Caroline Justine Henrietta de Linden of Berne, Switzerland, and Philip Charles Gosset of the Bailiwick of Jersey were married by E.W. Dillon on 24 May 1864. Dillon was a British chaplain who married them in Berne, Switzerland. Both bride and groom had not been married previously, and both were past the full age of 21.18
From index entries for other records, researchers learn about people like Antonio Gomez Oliver, a native of Spain. Antonio’s wife, Sofia Garcia Cortes, was left a widow when he died abroad in Toulouse, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.19

5. The Process for Indexing IAP Records

To create the Immigrant Ancestors Project database, the following steps are taken:
  • Identify emigration records in Europe.
  • Acquire copies of the records.
  • Extract data on individuals in the records.
  • Make the extracted index available to the public.
Students planning to serve IAP internships take many weeks to prepare during the semester prior to their actual travel. The interns look for European repositories ranging in size from small local libraries to large national archives, and online catalogs are searched for emigration records that could potentially contain the desired hometown information. These archives are contacted before the internship begins. Students confirm record availability and obtain permission to acquire images. When the interns arrive at the various repositories, they begin their work by looking at samples of the collections that were previously identified. If the records meet the criteria to be included in the project, the interns take photos and upload the images to online folders for use by the project team at BYU. Student researchers then extract and verify the contents of the indexed entries (see Figure 4). Once verified, information is added to the online IAP database, making the data immediately searchable by the public.
Each entry is listed on its own page on the IAP website. All indexed entries contain full citations, allowing users to contact the repositories directly to obtain copies of the complete record.

6. Statistics

6.1. Growth in the Number of Names in the IAP Database

The IAP database has had multiple growth spurts over the course of its existence. In 2008, the number of indexed names jumped from about 50,000 to over 200,000—more than a quadrupling of names and information, an unprecedented leap in IAP history. Since then, the rate at which names are added to the database has been steadily increasing (see Figure 5). This has become possible as more records are located and as donated funds support the work of IAP researchers in extracting ever-increasing amounts of information. Since 2015, IAP has averaged 117,000 new entries per year.

6.2. Growth in Usage of the IAP Website

For the past five years, the number of annual visitors to the IAP website has also increased. In 2013, the number of unique visitors to the site totaled 9,772. The following year, that number jumped by over 2,000—and in 2015, it jumped by over 7,000 from the previous year’s total visitors (see Figure 6).
Currently, thousands of people are visiting the IAP website each month. Over the course of the year 2017, the website received over 44,000 total hits, with an average of 3,677 visits per month. Of those, an average of 2,807 visitors were unique, representing up to 72 different countries. In the month of June 2018, 33.58% of IAP users visited the site from the United States, followed closely by Argentina, from which 22.76% viewed the online database. Spain, Brazil, and France came next, followed by Canada, Chile, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Even more visitors came from an additional 44 countries. As of July 2018, the average number of unique visitors per month has increased by 200 people since the year 2017. For the first half of 2018, an average of just over 3,000 unique users from 70 different countries visited the IAP website each month.
Today, the number of names in the online IAP database exceeds 900,000, with the project well on its way to reaching a million names. Record collections indexed in this project have come from 70 different archives and are in eight different languages. Over the years, IAP has been under the direction of four center directors, Raymond S. Wright, George R. Ryskamp, Kathryn M. Daynes, and Jill N. Crandell, and the work has been conducted by hundreds of student employees.

7. IAP Stories

7.1. IAP Website Users’ Experiences

One person found the index of his third great-grandfather’s 1847 passport application from France to Chile on the IAP website.20 Another found a pre-emigration record of someone planning to travel from Spain to Cuba.21 One user found an index to a passport application for her third and fourth great-grandfathers, one from France to the West Indies (i.e., Cuba) and the other within the West Indies. From the index provided, she was able to locate the original record of her third great-grandfather’s passport application.22

7.2. Migrants’ Stories, as Ascertained From the IAP Database

Frequently, family historians are limited to learning only a few of the significant events in their ancestors’ lives. However, the opportunity to learn additional details can shape our understanding of family dynamics and the challenges our family members faced in life.

7.2.1. Cathinka Brandt

Young children who emigrated with their parents or were born on the passage and died before arriving at their family’s destination are noted in IAP. The passenger list where they are named may be the only record of their lives, which makes the indexes to these lists invaluable to researchers seeking all family members. An example of this type of entry is one for Cathinka Brandt. She was named in the records of the Elise, which arrived in New York, United States, on 11 January 1850. Cathinka was listed with those who died on the journey, indicating a death date of 27 November 1849. She was less than a year old, and her parents were not named.23 However, analysis of the passenger list would indicate that she was the child of Meta Brandt or William and Katherine Brand. Additional research into these two families would likely reveal who her parents were.

7.2.2. Anna Maria Kurz

Through his work with the Immigrant Ancestors Project, a former German section supervisor learned about the life of Anna Maria Kurz, a little girl who was born in Bavaria in 1805 (see Figure 7). She had severe physical deformities and was “adopted” by a Swiss man, who made her part of a circus sideshow performing in various parts of France. Several years after the adoption, Anna Maria was finally reunited with her mother, who had been frantically searching for her daughter for years.24

7.2.3. William Birkinshaw

Although the stories behind the records may not always be available, the information that is provided on various people whose names are found in the IAP database may tease the imagination and raise many questions. William Birkinshaw, a convict on the ship Dolphin, is one such case. Severely pitted with smallpox, he was the survivor of a dreaded and deadly disease. The long scar on the left side of his mouth and his several missing teeth, as well as his bad left leg, his missing left thumb, and marks of punishment on the back tell of a hard life (see Figure 8). Though no details are given as to exactly what happened—or how or when or why—we still learn something of this man from a simple search of the online index.25

8. Funding

IAP has been an ongoing project for eighteen years and has been the means of creating almost a million index entries from ancestral emigration records. This would not have been possible were it not for generous donors dedicated to the vision of IAP. Since the beginning of the project, the Center for Family History and Genealogy has received many small, one-time contributions, as well as a large, multi-year donation. These monies have been received in addition to the general endowed accounts given for the support of the center. Cumulatively, the combination of funding has kept IAP moving forward.
The bulk of the funding donated to the project pays for the acquisition and indexing of records, both by financing student internship grants and by providing wages to student researchers and student programmers. A much smaller portion of these funds has provided the means to acquire microfilm, digital images, and photocopies of immigrant records that ultimately are extracted and indexed. They also support the programming, design, and maintenance of the website, which makes this index available to genealogists and family historians everywhere.

9. Other Projects in the Center

In addition to the Immigrant Ancestors Project, the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy sponsors a variety of additional projects. Each database and website is designed and maintained by student programmers, and all research and data are produced by student researchers. Following are the current projects sponsored by the center:

9.1. Bertram Merrell’s Index of English Marriages, 1750–1836

This website features a unique index matching two sets of marriage records of the Chester Diocese from 1750 to 1836. Bertram Merrell, a British genealogist, donated his research to the center, which was then digitized by the student employees. Records of marriage licenses, allegations, or bonds have been linked with their corresponding Bishops’ transcripts or parish registers. As a result, genealogists using this index receive more detailed information about each bride and groom, which can be used to further their research. The site includes 78,996 English marriages. (

9.2. Script Tutorial: Making Sense of Old Handwriting

The Script Tutorial is an online guide instructing users in how to decipher western European handwriting styles, particularly those in use from the 1500s to the 1800s. These materials are helpful to students as well as historians and any researchers who read old documents in English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Latin. (

9.3. Discovering English Ancestors

A tutorial on English genealogical research, the material at this site was originally written and designed by Dr. David H. Pratt, emeritus professor of history. The site continues to be updated and maintained today by students specializing in English research. This tutorial includes information about online sources, key books, and filmed materials, and it outlines the methodology for conducting quality research in England. (

9.4. DPAA Military Repatriation Project

Students working on the repatriation project are assisting the Defense POW/MIA (prisoners of war and missing in action) Accounting Agency (DPAA) ( with their mission to account for all missing, deceased U.S. military personnel who were involved in wars as far back as World War II. This effort involves identifying living next of kin and potential DNA donors for the missing. When family members are identified, they are contacted and asked if they would be willing to provide a DNA sample. As remains are recovered, DNA is used to match them with the correct family, which allows the remains to be returned home.

9.5. Nauvoo Community Project

This project is an ongoing effort to identify the residents of Nauvoo, Illinois, from 1839 to 1846 and document their lives from birth until death. The Nauvoo project began in 2011, and the data has continued to increase with an average of 25 student researchers each semester. In addition to the genealogical work being done, this is also a study involving historical data relevant to a nineteenth-century Midwest U.S. frontier town. (

9.6. Welsh Mormon History

In the nineteenth century, thousands of Welsh people joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and migrated to the United States. This project focuses on researching the genealogies of these people. Students also gather journals, biographies, and photographs donated by descendants. Dr. Ronald D. Dennis, a leading scholar and translator of Welsh Mormon writings, assists with the mentoring on this project. There are currently over 5,000 individuals named in the database. (

10. Initiatives Similar to IAP

10.1. FamilySearch Indexing

Begun by FamilySearch International in 2006, FamilySearch Indexing focuses on creating a community of volunteer indexers who index pertinent information from vital records worldwide, though some collections focus on migration. Because FamilySearch Indexing is such a large, volunteer-based operation, it typically focuses on single-page records, whereas IAP contains many multi-page records that require specialized training to index. Collections created by FamilySearch Indexing are put online free of charge, sometimes with and sometimes without the associated images, depending on privacy agreements and copyrights. The data incorporated into FamilySearch Indexing comes from all over the world. (

10.2. German Immigrants in American Church Records

Founded in September 2003 and led by Dr. Roger P. Minert, German Immigrants in American Church Records (GIACR) employs student researchers at BYU to extract vital information regarding all German-born immigrants in American church records. The information is combined into books, each of which contains an alphabetical index of names listing all the page numbers on which each person is found. Volume 25 is currently being sent to print, and several of the GIACR volumes, divided by U.S. states (or parts of states), can be found in genealogical libraries nationwide.

10.3. Armenian Immigration Project

Started by Mark B. Arslan in 2011, the Armenian Immigration Project focuses on Armenians who immigrated from current-day Turkey to North America from the late 1800s to the 1920s. This project utilizes sources in North America, since the majority of identifying records in the places of origin were destroyed during wartime. As of this writing, about 60,000 (70% or so) of the names of Armenian immigrants in North American passenger lists have been transcribed and are searchable online. In addition, indexes of some passport and naturalization papers; censuses; and birth, marriage, death, and military records of Armenian immigrants are also searchable on this website. (

10.4. Liberty Ellis Foundation

The Liberty Ellis Foundation provides a searchable database of almost 65 million passenger records of those migrants who arrived between 1820 and 1957 at Ellis Island or the port of New York. Images of over 900 migrant ships are also on the website. For each passenger, visitors to the website can view a passenger record (including the arrival date and port of departure), ship image, and ship manifest. (

11. Conclusions

In the words of John P. Colletta, professional genealogist, IAP “expands tremendously the body of sources available for us to learn about our nineteenth- and twentieth-century ancestors from overseas. The faculty and staff of the Center for Family History and Genealogy . . . are uncovering departure records . . . that we ‘experts’ never knew existed because they were locked away and forgotten for decades deep within governmental archives” (Colletta 2012). As every genealogist knows, a plethora of records are not yet online and cannot simply be viewed with the click of a mouse. IAP delves into records such as these, extracting important identifying information, so that researchers may know which sources contain information about the people they seek.
In the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, student researchers on the Immigrant Ancestors Project continue to type away, deciphering old handwritings, creative spellings, and foreign languages in order to make this ever-growing index of immigrants available to all those who would like to benefit from its use.

Author Contributions

Both authors made significant contributions to the writing and editing of this article. C.N.C. contributed more heavily to the writing, and J.N.C. contributed more heavily to the editing.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Appendix A. IAP Collections

The following is an annotated bibliography of the current record collections contained in the Immigrant Ancestors Project. These collection descriptions come directly from those included on the website,

Appendix A.1. Passenger Lists

•  “Embarquements”
A French record of immigrants leaving from Bordeaux between 1713 and 1787, this collection contains attestations of religion which were required of all travel applicants before being allowed to board the vessel. At each departure, a list containing information about passengers’ identity and destination was created. Documents included in this collection are identity and Catholic certificates, as well as passport submissions concerning the departed passengers from Bordeaux.
•  “Patrick Henderson & Co. Passenger Lists 1871–1880”
This collection includes information about passengers on voyage from Scotland to New Zealand between September 1871 and October 1880. The transcriptions were extracted from photographs of the original manuscripts housed at the Glasgow City Archives.
•  “Passenger lists from British Isles to New Zealand, 1871–1888”
These passenger lists cover much of the period from November 1871 to September 1888, though gaps in the information exist. The original documents are on microfilm in the Family History Library collection in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.
•  “Agincourt to Australia”
The entries in this source originated from the passenger list for the Agincourt, which arrived in Sydney 6 October 1848. This collection is accompanied by an insert documenting passengers of vessels that sailed to South Africa in 1820.
•  “Batavia: Ship’s Lists 1810–1820”
These lists include prisoners of war, officers, and ship logs. Most of these records include the first and last name of the passenger, the person’s station, remarks (often including death dates), and sometimes the person’s departure and arrival dates.
•  “Ships’ Lists found in the East India Company Ships’ Journals 1605–1856”
This collection contains transcriptions extracted from original manuscripts housed at the British Library. After each East India Company voyage, a ship’s commander would deliver a copy of his ship’s journal to the East India House. In the 3,822 journals that are held at the British Library, ships’ lists of the crew, passengers, prisoners, soldiers, and other travelers are often included. The original manuscripts include the ship’s name, date and place of departure and arrival, first and last name, relationships, occupations, purpose aboard, and possibly additional remarks such as birth, death, and age. The ships’ lists are the only part of a ship’s journal extracted. The actual journal may contain more genealogical information.
•  “New Zealand Co Cabin Passengers 1839–1850”
This register of cabin passengers includes information about the ship, the captain, the date sailed, and the names and descriptions of passengers, including gender, a residence, and where they sailed to. Some entries include where the individuals originated.
•  Miscellaneous passenger lists
Other collections containing passenger lists include “Dutch Immigrants in United States Ship Passenger Manifests, 1820–1880”; “Vessels to South Africa”; and “Passenger Lists of Steam Packets to the Mediterranean Area, 1831–1834.”

Appendix A.2. Emigration Approvals

•  “Permisos de Emigración por Municipios”
This is a collection of emigration permits provided at a municipal level. The permits include information about the emigrant and his or her family. For a person to be permitted to emigrate, a relative had to appear before a government representative and formally give permission.
•  “Expedientes de emigración”
These records include the residence of the potential emigrant, including his or her parish. Birth dates are sometimes included.
•  Miscellaneous emigration approvals
Other emigration approvals include the Spanish collection “Permisos de Embarque,” as well as the French collections “Bayonne Immigrant Records” and “Haut-Rhin Passeports d’Immigration 1817–1866.”

Appendix A.3. Passport Files

•  “Passeports de l’Intérieur”
A collection of passports from 1844 to 1845 that allowed people to travel throughout France. Most, if not all, come from Dunkerque, a commune in the Nord department (in the far north of France).
•  “Passeports” (from Bordeaux, France)
Contains passports delivered in Gironde, France, between 1800 and 1890. These records contain a physical description of the emigrant as well as the intended, international destination.
•  “Governo Civil” (from Coimbra, Portugal)
This collection includes passport requests from 1835 to 1929. The index is created from entries of varied lengths, some of which are a single page and others of which contain 10 or even 30 pages. Most of the entries provide personal information about the individual applying to emigrate, as well as information about any accompanying individuals.
•  “Torre de Tombo”
A collection of passport requests from 1752 to 1848. Each request is typically 3–5 pages long and contains information about the applying emigrant as well as accompanying individuals. The potential emigrant’s record number is also included.
•  “Torino Passport Request 1903–1905”
This is a collection of documentation required to obtain a passport. Due to the great number of emigrants and the different locations in which the documents were issued, their format and content may vary. This collection covers the years 1903–1905.
•  “Gobierno Civil, Registros de Pasaportes”
An index of emigration passport requests from 1824 to 1856 (with some missing years). The majority of the entries are short, as at least four entries are listed on each page of the original documents. In each entry is found information about the applicant and any accompanying individuals.
•  Miscellaneous passport files
Other passport files for which indexes exist on the IAP website are the French collections “Registres d’inscriptions des passeports délivrés en Charente-Maritime,” “Haute-Marne: Passeports à l’Étranger,” “Loire-Atlantique Passeports,” “Passeports à l’Étranger,” “Demandes de passeports,” and “Passeports d’étranger de la Sarthe”; the Spanish collections “Gobierno Civil, Expedientes de Solicitudes de Pasaporte,” “Solicitudes de Pasaportes,” “Vegadeo Solicitudes de Pasaportes,” “España, Provincia de Cádiz, pasaportes, 1810–1866,” and “Solicitudes de Pasaporte”; the Italian collections “Napoli Passport Requests 1888–1901” and “Prefecture of Genoa 1858–1872”; the English collection “Passport Applications 1815–1922”; and the Portuguese collection “Coimbra Governo Civil.”

Appendix A.4. Arrival Lists

•  “Arrival Records”
An index of images from the Consulado Geral de Portugal in Hawaii. These represent the passport registers that contain data regarding those who arrived in Hawaii from 1878 through 1913. The books are rather consistent in form and layout; most of them contain about 35 persons per page. Most entries provide personal information about the individual arriving to Honolulu, Hawaii, and some information about any accompanying individuals.
•  “German Immigrants, List of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1847–1871”
This information is derived from passenger lists of immigrants who traveled from Bremen to New York City between the years 1847 to 1871. The data comes directly from the publication German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1985–1993). The authors, Gary Zimmerman and Marion Wolfert, extracted the facts contained in the IAP database from microfilms of original or U.S. State Department copies available at the National Archives and its branches. Wolfert and Zimmerman included only those passenger lists in which a place of residence was given. As a result, this compilation includes about 25% of passenger lists available for the years 1847–1871. Copies of the passenger lists can be browsed on and searched on Sometimes additional information not found here may be found on the original passenger list.
•  Miscellaneous arrival lists
Other arrival lists included in the IAP database are in “Collection des Personnes Arrivées à Jersey” and “Einwanderung aus Polen, Einzelne Einbürgerungsanträge.”

Appendix A.5. Emigration Records

•  “Landverhuizerslijsten—Groningen” and “Landverhuizerslijsten—Groningen Digital”
Indexes created from official lists of emigrants in the Netherlands for the years 1848–1877. Provinces listed the number of emigrants per municipality in yearly reports and sent these to the Hague. It was not until 1879 that the province of Groningen recorded this data in separate Landverhuizerslijsten instead of in the provincial census. These lists include place of residence, given name, last name, gender, age, occupation, religion, class according to income, reason for departure, and destination.
•  “Germany, Bavaria, Fürth, Emigration and City Directories, 1805–1913”
An index of emigration records that were created in Fürth, Germany. Images can be viewed online at FamilySearch. In the collection on FamilySearch, click on “Auswanderungsakten” and then find the image based on the image source code.
•  “Auswanderung nach Nordamerika Namens-Kartei”
A handwritten, alphabetical name-card index of emigrations to North America.
•  “Namenskartei aus den Bremer Schiffslisten 1904–1914”
A name index from the Bremen, Germany, ships’ passenger lists for 1907–1908 and 1913–1914. This is a collection of index cards for German emigrants listed on Bremen passenger lists and arranged alphabetically by province, then by surname. The index includes passenger name, gender, age, marital status, occupation, place of last residence, departure date, ship name, shipping company (i.e., ticketing agency), destination, and nationality. This project was done in cooperation with FamilySearch Indexing and Die Maus, a genealogical society in Bremen, Germany.
•  “Boletín Oficial de la Provincia de Oviedo”
The original documents of this collection are copies of the official bulletins of the province of Oviedo (now called Asturias). It is divided into annual volumes. Between 1858 and 1862, the government of the province of Oviedo published the names of all persons who intended to emigrate, allowing any pending issues to be resolved before departure. The name lists were sent to the provincial government by the mayors of each population. Depending on the years, these lists contain given names, surnames, place of birth, place of residence, place of destination, age, and names of the parents. The number of individuals per list varies from 1 to about 80 individuals.
•  “Westminster Child Migrants 1874–1928”
This collection contains emigration information (name, age, date, home parish—union or branch—and where placed) of poor Catholic children who emigrated from the Westminster Diocese to Canada between 1874 and 1928. The Canadian Catholic Emigration Committee was formed in 1874 to make provision for poor Catholic children of this diocese to travel to Canada. In 1902, the committee’s name was changed to the Catholic Emigration Society, and in 1903, the name was changed to the Catholic Emigration Association.
•  “Blean Union Poor Law Children”
Records describing the emigration of orphan, deserted, or destitute children in the Blean Union of Kent County, England. The information regarding these children was found in emigration agreements of the Guardians of the Poor Union. These agreements were a standard procedure, which meant that they followed a specific form. Typically, they included a schedule containing names, ages, and occupations of the emigrants, as well as details of the voyage, such as food rations each individual would receive.
•  “Castlecomer Poor Law Union Assisted Emigrants 1847–1853”
These registers were recorded by year and township. Names were recorded, and information about how much money each parish gave to the families to emigrate was listed. The destination of most of the individuals was Upper Canada.
•  “Vestry Book Glemsford emigration 1833–1839”
This collection concerns the 1833 issue of raising money to assist and support the families of expatriates in their journey to join their husbands and fathers. It was unanimously agreed to borrow £70 to pay for the maintenance and conveyance of Thomas Pettit’s wife and eight children to their father in New York. At a vestry meeting, it was also considered whether to send James Parman’s family to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania, in Australia) at the expense of the parish.
•  “Suffolk Parish Assisted Emigration”
The records extracted for this collection come from various files found in the Assisted Emigration files in the Ipswich Suffolk Record office. Guardians of the poor in the parish of Suffolk raised money to help individuals emigrate from the 1830s to the 1850s. Entries include the name and location of the potential migrant as well as the date of the petition and other genealogical data.
•  “Emigrants from Scotland to America, 1774–1775”
These transcriptions were taken from Emigrants from Scotland to America 1774–1775 and copied from a loose bundle of treasury papers in the Public Record Office in London, England.
•  “St. Helena to England and Other Locations”
An index of passengers traveling from St. Helena to England between 1807 and 1812. The list includes passengers passing through St. Helena from India and China on their way to England.
•  “Cyclopedia of New Zealand”
Extractions from the Cyclopedia of New Zealand. The index includes name, birth date and place, date of emigration, occupation, port of arrival, ship, year of arrival, and volume number.
•  “Convict’s Families 1848–1873”
This is a register of applications for passages to the colonies for convicts’ families. These particular documents are registers of families from the British Isles who applied to immigrate to Australian colonies in order to join a family member who was exiled as a convict. Although only personal and emigration information was extracted, some documents also contain additional information, such as notes about letters of referral and specific residential addresses.
•  “Australia Forms 1831–1833”
The original document from which this information was extracted is a collection called “Colonial Office Records: Australia. Registers of forms and circulars sent to intending emigrants 1831–1833.” The collection is comprised of books from The National Archives of England, Wales, and the United Kingdom. The books list names of intending emigrants to Australia involved in the transaction of emigration forms. The collection does not specify whether the individual actually emigrated.
•  “Suffolk Poor Law Collection: Hoxne 437. 1836”
This index gives a list of poor individuals and families in Wingfield, Stradbroke, Fressingfield, and Horham who received parish assistance to emigrate. Name, age, gender, marital status, occupation, amount of parish relief received during the last year, place of residence, place of immigration, and remarks are included.
•  “Weekly Emigration Returns 1773–1776”
The original document this information was extracted from is a collection of treasury papers containing information about individuals who requested emigration between 1773 and 1776. For each head of household, the documents list the name, date, age, children’s age (or age range), former residence (i.e., estate), destination (port and/or place), occupation, parish, county, purpose for emigrating, and port of departure. For some individuals, there are multiple pages of information. Background information is included for groups traveling together.
•  “Irish to Canada 1824–1825”
This index is based on information about Cowrie immigrants, Irish immigrants, and Canadian immigrants as found in the book collection. The focus is on emigrants from Ireland who are traveling to Colonel Bay, Canada. The record contains the signature of the head of household immigrating to Canada. It gives the county, parish, and town (or village) of the family’s origin. The record indicates how many males and females and total members of the family are emigrating along with the head of household. Following each family’s information are descriptions about the family, which may include who they were meeting in Canada.
•  “Halifax Orphans to Canada”
On 7 May 1896, the guardians of the Halifax Poor Union decided to recommend four orphan children to immigrate to Canada through the Liverpool Children Protection Society. The children were set to sail from Liverpool on May 28; however, they needed to be cleared by a medical officer before emigrating. These records include the first and last name of the child, as well as his or her age, departure date, and medical health.
•  Miscellaneous emigration records
Other emigration records in the IAP database are “Landverhuizerslijsten–Gelderland,” “Landverhuizerslijsten–Zeeland,” “Napoli Illegal Emigration,” “Zentralkartei der Deutschen Wanderung, 1750–1943,” “Auswandererkartei mit Familienangehörigen, 1750–1943,” “Expedientes de Prófugos,“ “Expedientes de Embarque,“ “Oñate - Permisos de Embarque,“ “Boletín Oficial de la Provincia de Cantabria,“ “Comendaticias de Embarque,” “Emigración a América,” “Emigración navarra del Valle de Baztán a América en el siglo XIX,” “Patagonia Relatives 1875,“ “Norfolk Overseers’ Accounts 1826–1835,“ and “Wiltshire Emigration Association Register of Emigrants.”

Appendix A.6. Naturalizations

•  Miscellaneous naturalizations
Naturalization records indexed in the IAP database include the German collections “Einbürgerung ehemaliger Deutscher mit jetziger Niederlassung im Inland,” “Einbürgerung von Kriegsgefangenen (Einzelsachen),” “Einzelverzeichnisse der von Preußen beabsichtigen Einbürgerungen von Kriegsfreiwilligen usw,” and “Einzelverzeichnisse über Einbürgerungen in Preußen.”

Appendix A.7. Immigration Records

•  “Speculum Gregisor Croydon 1844”
This index is based on an account of all the inhabitants of the parish of Croydon in the county of Cambridgeshire from 1 January 1843 through 1844. The information is contained in a book written by the parish rector about the inhabitants of his parish.
•  Miscellaneous immigration records
Other immigration records in the IAP database are the collections “Certificación de Residencia,” “Extranjeros Residentes en Málaga, 1863,” and “Mormon Immigrants.”

Appendix A.8. Emigration Letters

•  “Wood Family Letters 1853–1859”
This index is based on two letters from John and Hannah Wood of Sykehouse written to a brother, Wheatley Wood, of Morgan County, Illinois, United States, dated 30 January 1853 and 7 August 1859. The original letters speak of the death of a sister and give information regarding their stock, their crops, produce prices, and the curse of slavery in America. Hannah writes about family squabbles, financial problems, neighbors, etc.
•  “Letters from James Horrocks”
This index is taken from My Dear Parents: An Englishman’s letters home from the American Civil War by James Horrocks (edited by A.S. Lewis; London: Victor Gollancz LTD, 1982). This is a published book of the transcription of James’s letters from America back to his family in England.
•  “McClure Family Letters 1817–1877”
This index is based on 22 letters and documents of the McClure family.
•  “McCleland Family Letters to NZ 1840–1870”
This index is from eighteen documents, including letters from the McCleland family in Londonderry, Ireland, to their daughter, Ann McCleland, an immigrant to New Zealand. Ann later married Yohan August in Wellington. Ann and John August were later in Chile, where two daughters were baptized. The family subsequently sailed from Chile via Ecuador to Liverpool. Seven children of Anne and John A. Heldt were baptized in Londonderry. In 1859, John A. Heldt and his family sailed from Liverpool to Auckland, New Zealand.
•  “Hawgood Family Letters”
Names were extracted from letters of the Hawgood family, who emigrated from Pembroke Dock to the United States between 1856 and 1870. The letters describe the family in America and family and friends in Wales.
•  Miscellaneous emigration letters
Other emigration letter collections are the “Irish Emigrant Letters 1842–1910” and “Convicts & Emigrant Letters 1840–46.”

Appendix A.9. Convict Records

•  “Bath Convict Hulk to New South Wales 1848–1855”
This record contains information about the convicts aboard the hulk, a few of whom were eventually transported to New South Wales. The record lists each convict’s name, age, conviction, family (marital status and number of children), literacy level, occupation, crime committed (including date and location), the sentence, when and where the convict was received, when and to where the convict was transported, and additional notes.
•  “Quarterly Returns of Prisoners in Convict Hulks”
This collection consists of sworn lists of convicts on board the convict hulks (until 1861) and in the convict prisons (from 1848). Criminal lunatic asylums were included starting in 1862. Some returns for hulks at Bermuda were included. The records include the first and last name, age, offense, sentence, bodily state, behaviors, conviction date and place, and other remarks about each convict.
•  “Dolphin/Cumberland Descriptions 1819–1834”
This index contains names of the convicts for the ship Dolphin and includes birth locations and physical characteristics for each convict. Remarks for the convicts often contain descriptions of tattoos, injuries, and other unusual physical characteristics.
•  “Convict Tickets of Leave”
This information was extracted from a register of 19th-century British convict passengers who were transported to New South Wales (in Australia) between 1820 and 1840. The convicts came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and occasionally other British colonies. A prisoner’s sentence was typically for seven years, fourteen years, or life. The register book was created in New South Wales and sent to the governor, Sir George Gipps, in 1843. It included a statement of the prisoners’ original sentences and of the circumstances surrounding them.
•  “Mutiny of convicts under transportation”
This collection covers November 1838 to May 1841. Explanations regarding the convicts on board the Brig Catherine are included. Original manuscripts often include the date the letter was written, the name of the person writing the letter, and the residence of the person writing the letter. Lists of convicts included in these letters consist of all or some of the following: the convict’s name, gender, letter number, age, occupation, committed crime, sentence (including the date of the sentence), marital status, height, complexion, hair color, eye color, particular marks, and country of origin.
•  “Calendars of Prisoners”
This is a collection of Warwickshire quarter sessions’ calendars of prisoners for 1801–1850, held in the Warwickshire County Record Office in England. Individuals guilty of a capital offense or other serious crime were often sentenced to transportation to penal colonies. Sentencing did not automatically lead to transport, however, as the transport ships were often full and unable to take the criminals away as quickly as they were sentenced. During the interim (anywhere from a few weeks to years), the criminals served time either in gaols (jails) or on hulks (ships anchored in a harbor where the inmates were sentenced to hard labor). Due to the conditions of gaols and hulks, many inmates lost their lives before they were transported to the new colony.
•  “Essex Indictment Books”
Entries often give the name, abode, and occupation of the defendant, as well as the offense, plea, verdict, and sentence (such as whipping, branding, a fine, imprisonment, transportation, removal to a higher court, respite to the following session, cessation of the process, or discharge).
•  “Penitentiary Register of Prisoners, 1841–1844”
The original document from which this information was extracted is located at the Gloucester Record Office. The only names that are included are 230 people who were sentenced to be transported. Most of the records include the first and last name of the prisoner as well as the prisoner’s age, trial, sentence, crime, and occupation. Additional remarks may be listed.
•  “Transportation Bonds”
This is a collection of court proceedings that contain data regarding persons who were convicted to be transported to America between 1759 and 1775. Convicts were tried at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace in Bristol, England. The transportation sentences include name of convict, term of transportation, and trial date. Other information such as the felony committed and/or why they were convicted is also recorded in the originals, a copy of which may be ordered from the repository.

Appendix A.10. Orphan and Poor Folk Records

•  “Hoxne Union Poor Law Ministry of Health 1838–1842”
Names of some guardians of the poor are given, though not many other individuals’ names are listed. On occasion, the record includes names of people who were thought to need financial help. For the years 1840 and 1841, additional questions were asked of those applying for financial relief, thus more names and ages were listed. Otherwise, the focus was on correspondence by year, dealing with property sales, poor rates, the workhouse, and other items relating to governing the poor, including the meeting dates of the union.
•  “Consent to Expenditure Letters”
This information was extracted from a collection called “Consent to Expenditure Letters,” which is comprised of books from the National Archives of the United Kingdom, under the call number MH 64. The books contain letters from the local government and the Ministry of Health, authorizing the expenditure of funds for the emigration of poor individuals and families. The records list the names of individuals who were receiving assistance to emigrate from England. Each document contains the name of the poor law union or parish that authorized the expenditure of funds, the amount of money given, the date on which the funds were authorized, and the country to which the individuals were migrating.

Appendix A.11. Military Service Records

•  “Royal Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals Pensioners H1 1834”
This collection includes regiment, name, date of admission, age, statement of service, rate per day, complaint or cause of discharge, description of the pensioner (height, hair, eyes, complexion, and occupation), and intended place of residence. Remarks about the pensioner are given as well. These lists are specifically for people stationed in Great Britain.
•  “Examination of Invalid Soldiers”
This information is from a book listing invalid soldiers (most of whom were born in England) who were given permission to stay in particular colonies. It provides descriptions of the soldier, the amount of pension, and the soldier’s birthplace, regiment, and injuries. The original documents also contain information on years of service at each rank, which in some cases has not been extracted. The records vary depending on the year when they were created; the records cover 1817–1875 but include gaps.
•  “Boletín Oficial de la Provincia de La Coruña”
The documents indexed in this collection contain lists of soldiers being sent out, as published in the Official Bulletin of the Province. “Austent” soldiers were registered in the Americas.
•  Miscellaneous military service records
“Alphabetical List of Noncommissioned Officers, Privates, and Foreigners of the Woolwich Division of the Royal Marines for Limited Service, 1812” and “Bonds and Agreements: Overseas Servants 1801.”

Appendix A.12. Other Records

•  “Regierung von Niederbayern Repertorium 168, FZ 2321–2335, Aus- und Einwanderungsakten”
This is a collection of emigration and immigration petitions, releases from citizenship, and supporting documentation. Records date primarily from the 19th century and are mostly in essay form (i.e., letters), though some are in table form. The records were created by the provincial administration of lower Bavaria and are kept at the Bavarian State Archives in Landshut. Microfilm images of the originals can be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.
•  “Consulado de España en Trieste (Italia): Matrículas de españoles”
These documents contain the personal information of the Spaniards residing in Trieste, Italy, enrolled in the years 1886 to 1917. Their respective places of origin and other particulars are included.
•  “Expedientes Jurídicos” and “Expedientes de Cargos Municipales”
These collections contain some of the largest sets of documents within the municipalities of the province of Pontevedra, with abundant documentation.
•  “Essex Estate/Fam Records”
This is a collection of estate and family records relating to Maldon and East and South East Essex. These records include an 1878 letter of attorney from Issac George Foster of Kelvedon, deeds from 1820 to 1834, and Stanford and Hughes family letters.
•  “Essex Overseers Accounts”
This collection includes miscellaneous overseer accounts from the Essex County Record Office, including letters and property information records.
•  “East India College Writers Petitions”
Applications of persons seeking admittance to the East India College located at Haileybury, an estate in Hertfordshire. Applicants who were accepted most likely immigrated to India for a period of time, but not all applicants were accepted. Documents include information about the parents, birth, and residence of the applicants.
•  “New Zealand Company Correspondence 1841”
A book of correspondence of the New Zealand Company about why, when, and how emigrants could or did apply. Much of the book concerns logistics of and planning for emigration but does not contain names of individual emigrants.
•  “Register of Vagrants Deported from the Port of Liverpool to Ireland, 1801–1835”
Records from the Royal Chelsea Hospital created by the War Office. They list invalid soldiers (most born in England) who were given permission to stay in specific colonies. Provided are the soldier’s description as well as his birthplace, regiment, injuries, and place of residence. This collection is known as “Admission book: pensions payable in the colonies” at The National Archives.
•  “Fallecidos en el Extranjero”
This index contains information about people who were deceased abroad.
•  “Antwerpen: Vreemdelingendossiers 1840–1930”
Index lists and the corresponding dossiers they are stored under in the city archive of Antwerp, Belgium. These lists were kept by the Antwerp (Belgium) City Police on foreign nationals residing in their city 1840–1930, though the collection may contain documents from a later period as well. Included in the index lists are given name, family name, birth date, residence, and nationality.
•  Miscellaneous records
Other records contained in the IAP database are the following:
The English collections “Irish Emigrant Personal Accounts 1838–1901,” “Europeans residing at Madras,” “Register of Girls’ Friendly Society 1890–1921,” “Quarter Session Calendars, House of Correction, Preston. Change,” “Industrial School Children 1893–1895,” “Free Passage to New Zealand 1839–1842,” “Land and Emigration Commission: Certificates Numbers: 1–3360, 1836–1838: 386/149,” and “Original Certificates of Baptisms and Marriages of British Subjects Abroad” (i.e., expatriates).
The German collections “Spezialien in Bezug auf die Erwerbung und den Verlust des Indigenats,” “Fürsorgeverein für deutsche Rückwanderer in Berlin,” “Gesuche preußischer Untertanen um Erlaubnis zur Auswanderung ins Ausland überhaupt,” “Zentrale Sippenkartei, 1750–1943,” and “Kartei von Deutschen Jugendbund Chiles 1910–1935” (a record of expatriates).
The Spanish collections “Registros de Bajas,”“Listas Pasajeros y Tripulación” (about the passengers and crew), “Partida de nacimiento, certificado de naturalización Norteamericana y pasaporte Norteamericano,”“Rectificación al Padrón de Habitantes,” and “Padrones de Extranjeros” (a list of foreigners).


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East India Company, Ships’ Journals, 1605–1856, unpublished manuscript held at The British Library, IOR/L/MAR A-B; entry for John Foote, Orwell, 21 April 1818.
Ayuntamiento de Llanes, Expedientes de Embarque, held at the Archivo Histórico Municipal de Llanes, file 63, box 236; entry for Rosendo Vela Noriega, 1875.
Bayonne Immigrant Records (1749–1758), held at the Archives Départementales des Pyrénées-Atlantiques; entry for Pierre Frolin, 1753.
Passeports à l’Étranger, held at the Archives Historiques Municipales de Cherbourg-Octeville; entry for Pierre Monchel, 1821.
Gary J. Zimmerman and Marion Wolfert, German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, With Places of Origin (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1985-1993), vol. 1, pp. 3, 17.
Province of Groningen, Landverhuizerslijsten—Groningen, held at the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, ID 1118; entry for Grietje Pastoor, 1867.
Province of Groningen, Landverhuizerslijsten—Groningen Digital, held at the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, ID 1814; entry for Jan Sietsema, 1895.
Province of Groningen, Landverhuizerslijsten—Groningen, held at the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, ID 1180; entry for Roelof Duiker, 1867.
Einwanderung aus Polen, Einzelne Einbürgerungsanträge, vol. 1, pp. 161–166, 209, held at the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz; entry for Samuel Geczynski, born 1868.
Certificación de Residencia, held at the Archivo Histórico Municipal de Llanes; entry for Agueda Alvarez Diaz, 1936.
McCleland family, McCleland Family Letters to NZ 1840–1870, held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, PRONI reference T3034; entry for Elizabeth McCleland, 1841.
Quarterly Returns of Prisoners in Convict Hulks, held at The National Archives (UK), HO 8.1-96, p. 143, no. 443; entry for John Clarke.
Quarterly Returns of Prisoners in Convict Hulks, held at The National Archives (UK), HO 8.1-96, p. 75, no. 168; p. 164, no. 5208; entry for John Perry.
Quarterly Returns of Prisoners in Convict Hulks, held at The National Archives (UK), HO 8.1-96, p. 198, no. 36; entry for James Bradley.
Consent to Expenditure Letters, held at The National Archives (UK), MH 64 1–27; entry for John Henry Tanner, 1923.
National Archives of England War Office, Examination of Invalid Soldiers, held at The National Archives (UK), collection WO 23, reference no. WO 23/150; entry for Patrick Scanlon, 1852.
Boletín Oficial de la Provincia de La Coruña, held at the Archivo de la Diputación Provincial de A Coruña; entry for Antonio Breijo Teijeiro, 1875–1876.
Original Certificates of Baptisms and Marriages of British Subjects Abroad, held at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, vol. 6, p. 380; entry for Caroline Justine Henrietta de Linden, 1864.
Fallecidos en el Extranjero, held at the Archivo Histórico Provincial de Almería; entry for Antonio Gomez Oliver.
Email received 11 April 2014 by the Center for Family History and Genealogy regarding Jacques Savagnac.
Email received 23 May 2018 by the Center for Family History and Genealogy regarding Alejandro Suero Balbin.
Email received 7 Mar 2018 by the Center for Family History and Genealogy regarding Jules and Jean Francois Saint Guily.
See footnote 5.
Jeff Moffat, 2012, Oral presentation given at the Brigham Young University President’s Leadership Council, Provo, Utah, 5 October; citing Staatsarchiv Landshut, Prozessnr, 2387, FZ 2334–2335, Aus- und Einwanderungsakten; entry for Anna Maria Kurz, born 15 March 1805.
Convicts on the ship Dolphin, Description Book, 1819–1834, held at The National Archives (UK), p. 216, record no. 570; entry for William Birkinshaw.
Figure 1. Researchers at the Brigham Young University (BYU) Center for Family History and Genealogy.
Figure 1. Researchers at the Brigham Young University (BYU) Center for Family History and Genealogy.
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Figure 2. Student researchers working on deciphering handwritten records for the Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP).
Figure 2. Student researchers working on deciphering handwritten records for the Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP).
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Figure 3. An index of this 1821 passport for Pierre Monchel exists in the IAP database.
Figure 3. An index of this 1821 passport for Pierre Monchel exists in the IAP database.
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Figure 4. Students working in the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy.
Figure 4. Students working in the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy.
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Figure 5. Chart showing the number of names in the IAP database from 2003 to 2017.
Figure 5. Chart showing the number of names in the IAP database from 2003 to 2017.
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Figure 6. Chart showing the number of visits to the IAP website, 2013–2017
Figure 6. Chart showing the number of visits to the IAP website, 2013–2017
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Figure 7. A record stating that Anna Maria Kurz, born 15 March 1805, was baptized.
Figure 7. A record stating that Anna Maria Kurz, born 15 March 1805, was baptized.
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Figure 8. William Birkinshaw (no. 570).
Figure 8. William Birkinshaw (no. 570).
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