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Old 04-06-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,254 posts, read 14,288,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
I am in the same situation. I have Eastern European relatives who came to Ellis Island but the country of origin varies from Croatia, Yugoslavia, and a couple others. Even one record stated Italy as the origin but I haven't found any evidence of Italian ancestry.
What where the others you didn't name?

Croatia was once a part of Yugoslavia and the Kingdom of Italy at different times. It sounds like your relatives were from Croatia, but because some documents required the country name as it was called at the time the document was recorded, it was alternately recorded as Yugoslavia and Italy, and others. It looks like Croatia was a part of Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1941, when it became a part of the Kingdom of Italy during WWII. After WWII, it returned to Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1991 when it gained independence. Prior to 1918, it was a part of Austria-Hungary. Is that fairly consistent with when the documents were recorded?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Italy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatia
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:45 AM
 
5,214 posts, read 4,512,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickman07738 View Post
I would recommend that you try to locate their ship manifest or naturalization certificates. The stephenmorse site mentioned above is a good start for ship manifests.

For NY naturalization certificate, I would start with the following:

Naturalizations - Records Search
This. If you locate the naturalization, you should be able to purchase from NARA a copy of entire file. On rare occasion these contain extras like photos & correspondence.

The closer you are to first-hand info the more accurate it should be. Just be certain to always look up the country borders for the date the info was given. For some countries it can vary from year to year.

If your relative ever traveled back to home country, passport files will have birthplace.

Military draft records had birthplace info presumably given first-hand.

Another source can be any marriage records of both the subject and his/her children...especially if parent witnessed the marriage of child.

Some state & local censuses had a column for birthplace, so always look for those. I have found some that included specific county or city of birthplace. Even local school censuses occasionally had parent birthplace.

In some states death certificates of children had a space for parent birthplace, but these are only as accurate as informant.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:45 PM
 
2,131 posts, read 1,008,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I know, it's kind of morbid, but has anyone ordered a death certificate for an ancestor? What's on it?

I am trying to trace my great-greats back to Eastern Europe. (So DOBs in the mid-to-late 1800s to early 1900s). They all spent their lives in or near NYC. I can't find their city of birth anywhere, and even the country of origin changes in the different censuses to reflect the changing European borders. I contacted the cemeteries where they're buried, and was told that the death certificate may have the city of birth. It's expensive to order old records. Does anyone know if the death cert will definitely include the city of birth?
Definitely, no? The death certificate will include what is known by the informant and by the doctor. If neither knows, it won't be on there, if they did, it might. I have found death certificates for my Irish relatives where it did list it and others where it just said Ireland. If they lived and worked from the late 1930's onward you might find their social security application by contacting the social security office. There are restrictions to doing so, but generally if the person would be more than 120 years old you can get it https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-F...ernet/main.jsp. This document should have the place of birth and lots of other information like parents names. I found my grandfather's place of birth on it as well as his mothers maiden name. NY is a genealogical nightmare. It is extremely hard to get them to give you birth marriage and death certificates. Massachusetts is one of the easiest states.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:50 PM
Q44
 
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 809,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I know, it's kind of morbid, but has anyone ordered a death certificate for an ancestor? What's on it?

I am trying to trace my great-greats back to Eastern Europe. (So DOBs in the mid-to-late 1800s to early 1900s). They all spent their lives in or near NYC. I can't find their city of birth anywhere, and even the country of origin changes in the different censuses to reflect the changing European borders. I contacted the cemeteries where they're buried, and was told that the death certificate may have the city of birth. It's expensive to order old records. Does anyone know if the death cert will definitely include the city of birth?
I have ordered death certificates for ancestors that lived in NYC. Specifically for the siblings of my ancestors who died as children. I'm looking at them right now (I have 3) and they're all the same. All lived in NYC and the death certificates have a header that says City of New York in the upper corner and State of New York at the top center. Turn them sideways and here is the information that gets filled out in order:

Date of Death
Full Name
Color
Single, Married
or Widowed
Occupation
Birthplace
How long in US
if foreign born
How long Resident of
City of New York
Father's Name
Father's Birthplace
Mother's Name
Mother's Birthplace
Place of Death
Last Place of
Residence
Class of Dwelling
Direct Cause of Death
Indirect Cause of Death
- There's one more line regarding the date I can't make out on any of them, but it's the day after the actual death.

These were all from the early 1900's. Most of my ancestors had been in NYC since circa 1850. This particular line had immigrated and under parent's birthplaces it says: Nova Scotia for the father and Ireland for the mother. So no towns were given.

So if you order, this is what you'll receive. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:09 AM
 
33,547 posts, read 34,446,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
I am in the same situation. I have Eastern European relatives who came to Ellis Island but the country of origin varies from Croatia, Yugoslavia, and a couple others. Even one record stated Italy as the origin but I haven't found any evidence of Italian ancestry.
The Ellis Island gives passenger records and therefore lists the port of origin where the ship came from rather than the origin/nationality of the passenger/s.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:21 AM
 
767 posts, read 578,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickman07738 View Post
I really do not give much credence to country on these documents as this region has gone through significant changes over the years as illustrated in this video (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGt1EUrwwpc).

The best information is the village name as the borders have moved extensively.
I know! I have great great grandparents that were born in Lithuania and died in Russia... but they didn't move. Another great-grandfather listed three different countries of origin on different Census (censuses?) in his lifetime. His hometown was in current-day Poland. Genealogy is interesting and vaguely frustrating at the same time...
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:22 AM
 
767 posts, read 578,279 times
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Thank you everyone for your help!
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:24 AM
 
767 posts, read 578,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
The Ellis Island gives passenger records and therefore lists the port of origin where the ship came from rather than the origin/nationality of the passenger/s.
On the Ellis Island passenger records, both the origin/nationality of the passenger and the port of origin are listed.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,930 posts, read 2,826,438 times
Reputation: 4300
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I know! I have great great grandparents that were born in Lithuania and died in Russia... but they didn't move. Another great-grandfather listed three different countries of origin on different Census (censuses?) in his lifetime. His hometown was in current-day Poland. Genealogy is interesting and vaguely frustrating at the same time...
My grandfather was born in Poland but his birth certificate is Russian because they occupying the are at the time. He always considered himself Polish and would never have considered himself Russian.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:45 AM
 
767 posts, read 578,279 times
Reputation: 782
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
My grandfather was born in Poland but his birth certificate is Russian because they occupying the are at the time. He always considered himself Polish and would never have considered himself Russian.
I don't know what he considered himself to be, but the census does not take that into account.
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