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Old 06-30-2013, 12:30 AM
 
16,487 posts, read 20,337,485 times
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I do not know a lot about genealogy, but have done some on both sides of my family. I am kind of stuck on my father's side. I found a census showing my grandfather and his parents (from Italy). That is as far as I have gotten. I was told my grandfather had a sister, but I don't know her name and have found nothing on her. I would like to know his sisters name and find out more about her, but I would really like to find out exactly when and how his parents arrived from Italy. Is there any way to trace them to Italy and find out about their parents and siblings there?
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,221 posts, read 12,809,728 times
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Your best bet is to find their immigration records/passenger lists.

If they came through New York, use these resources:
Ellis Island - FREE Port of New York Passenger Records Search
Castle Garden

But they may have also come in through another port. www.familysearch.org is a great free resource but Ancestry.com has a lot of immigration records for alternate ports of entry.

Also consider finding their death records since this might tell you where in Italy they were born. Since you don't say where they lived/died, I can't point you in the right direction but typically you'll find death certificates issued from the state at the department of health. But FamilySearch.org has a lot of death records too.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:03 AM
 
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During the very early census records they lived in PA I think. I have no idea what became of them from that time on. My grandfather had a sister that I heard about, but I don't know her name. My grandfather died in his 90's about 23 yrs. ago.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,675 posts, read 2,484,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencrayola View Post
My grandfather had a sister that I heard about, but I don't know her name. My grandfather died in his 90's about 23 yrs. ago.
I understand that your great-grandparents were born in Italy but was your grandfather born in the U.S. or Italy? If he was born in the U.S., then he and his parents and any siblings were living in the U.S. at the time of 1900 census and also the 1910 census. Check those censuses to see if your grandfather is listed along with a sister. If so, you have the sister's first name, her maiden name and the names of her parents. The next step is to use that information to find her marriage record, assuming she did get married.

Also, a descendant of the sister may have information about the Italian origins of your great-grandparents.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:41 AM
 
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You won't find much on Ellis Islands. Immigrants changed their last name, increased or reduced their age and lied about their birth place, many were fleeing from forced conscription (my grandfather), fleeing from his wife (my great uncle) or fleeing because of politics or, as the case of another relative, he was a con artist and needed a new world.

So, with the information you have available, look for them in Italy. Find out if their last name is not common, if they are from a little town, look in Internet and Facebook..try to find relatives.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,221 posts, read 12,809,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedorreropop View Post
You won't find much on Ellis Islands. Immigrants changed their last name, increased or reduced their age and lied about their birth place, many were fleeing from forced conscription (my grandfather), fleeing from his wife (my great uncle) or fleeing because of politics or, as the case of another relative, he was a con artist and needed a new world.

So, with the information you have available, look for them in Italy. Find out if their last name is not common, if they are from a little town, look in Internet and Facebook..try to find relatives.
In fairness, most people probably weren't fleeing anything (except maybe poverty), it sounds like those situations are pretty unique. People did change their names but typically post-immigration. All the passenger lists I have of my ancestors are pretty accurate. The OP doesn't seem to know where in the Italy they were from and he/she really can't start looking for Italian records until he/she does. Death records and immigration records are the most likely to supply a more specific location of origin.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
4,750 posts, read 7,499,898 times
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Default Searching immigration records

When searching for immigration records (Ellis Island, etc) I have found more good info by using a specialized search website at One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse . You can search by many variables such as a partial name, first names only, etc. I have found all my Italian immigrants (mother, grandparents, great-uncles and aunts) and my wife's Polish grandparents.

In my experience, an all too common problem with some of these records are the "transcription" errors because of the handwriting of the originals. So sometimes you need to be creative about searching possible misspellings, etc. (same with a lot of census records)

Good Luck with your search.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:00 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,658,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Death records and immigration records are the most likely to supply a more specific location of origin.
I agree - though info on death certificates are many times giving by surviving relatives and not always accurate - they can be close enough. My grandfather gave the info himself when he checked himself into the hospital where he died a few weeks later and was an excellent source. I was able to get this from the state with details provided by the cemetery where he was buried [which had incorrect info from my grandmother :+)]. Naturalization records, draft records, baptismal records of children born here are all very helpful on pinpointing origin. Church records might be more helpful here as they often ask more details- god parents etc, than civil records do.

I know some prefer to carry out the hunt themselves, which I totally appreciate 'cause for me it's half the fun, but if the OP wants to post their ancestor's name, I'm sure a few here would join in the search. Since your grandfather was born in the late 18 /early 1900's, there should be draft cards, more census records etc out there.
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