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Old 05-15-2018, 04:37 PM
 
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Look for non federal censuses. There were all sorts of local city, county, & school censuses that had information which sometimes include birthplaces.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daliowa View Post
If they married in the U.S. than their marriage record may list a town of birth.
Did they live in NYC? If so, check marriage record search for NYC at www.stevemorse.org

If their children were born in the U.S. than their birth certs may list parents town of birth. If born in NYC 1909 or prior than check NYC birth indices at www.stevemorse.org

Pre-1906 nats will not list town of birth.

Death cert may list town of birth.

If living in the mid-1930's (and born 1870 or later) than the SS5 (original Social Security application) may list town of birth.

Did any siblings or cousins come over later than they did? The later someone arrived than the more data will be found on the passenger manifest.

Did they belong to a burial society? Many were shtetl-based, but keep in mind that sometimes people belonged to a society from a town they were not from (for various reasons.)

Check for wills (probate records.) Sometimes people mentioned relatives still living in their hometown.
SSN does not list the town of birth. I don’t know if my husband’s great great grandfather had siblings or cousins that came over. And I can’t connect other immigrants with the same last name to my husband’s ancestors.

I contacted someone at the cemetary where they’re buried, and he had no record of a town of origin. I might order the death certificates anyway and hope a town is there.

How would I find a will that’s 80+ years old?
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Look for non federal censuses. There were all sorts of local city, county, & school censuses that had information which sometimes include birthplaces.
On every census - local or federal - they only list Russia as their place of origin. It’s maddening lol.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
SSN does not list the town of birth. I don’t know if my husband’s great great grandfather had siblings or cousins that came over. And I can’t connect other immigrants with the same last name to my husband’s ancestors.

I contacted someone at the cemetary where they’re buried, and he had no record of a town of origin. I might order the death certificates anyway and hope a town is there.

How would I find a will that’s 80+ years old?

Did you obtain and pay for the original SS5 record from Social Security? This is not the info available for free on line in the SSDI database.
https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-F...ernet/main.jsp
You want Photocopy of Original Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5), not Computer Extract of Social Security Card Application.

Did you ask the cemetery if great grandfather is in a plot owned by a burial society?
If you just asked about town of birth than they would have said they did not know.
Many burial society's (landsmanshaftn) were shtetl based.

Wills are a matter of public record, and are normally held at the county level. Search for where probate records are held in the county great grandfather lived.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
On every census - local or federal - they only list Russia as their place of origin. It’s maddening lol.

Although it is rare, I have seen towns of birth listed on U.S. census. But, it is very rare.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:03 AM
 
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I've been looking at Jewish genealogy for over 30 years, and never found any ancestral towns in any of the sources daliowa mentioned. I doubt daliowa did either.

Even wills/probate can lead to dead ends. One relative died in the early '30s, left a large estate in trust. Beneficiaries included a sister and her family who had stayed behind. Court records showed regular payments until a report of "lost in the war". That was it. These relatives came over in the 1880s, when record keeping was rather haphazard.

My best resources, which have been few, were personnel recollections of the old folks back in the 1980s - long dead now, but who knew the immigrants first hand, a few bits of family memorabilia, like photos with captions, and JewishGen. The last has exploded in value the past two decades, and has been my only, and by far the best, resource the past decade, since the archives have opened up and many volunteer translators have contributed their work.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by daliowa View Post
Did you obtain and pay for the original SS5 record from Social Security? This is not the info available for free on line in the SSDI database.
https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-F...ernet/main.jsp
You want Photocopy of Original Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5), not Computer Extract of Social Security Card Application.

Did you ask the cemetery if great grandfather is in a plot owned by a burial society?
If you just asked about town of birth than they would have said they did not know.
Many burial society's (landsmanshaftn) were shtetl based.

Wills are a matter of public record, and are normally held at the county level. Search for where probate records are held in the county great grandfather lived.
I only saw the free SSDI information; I did not order anything yet.

The plot is not shetl based.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:37 AM
 
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I should add that none of my ancestors from the Pale went through probate, since they died poor. I don't think probate was common until recent years unless a large estate was involved. How many early relatives fit that category? Even then, it would only be by rare luck that probate would link backward. In my case, the probate file for the trust I mentioned confirmed the existence of someone I already knew about, but told me nothing about location beThat information was probably held by the trustee who made the payments, but was not part of the public record.

The trust records on file with the probate court were a gold-mine of information, since it listed all the relatives of the decedent, along with their addresses in the 1930s and 1972, when the trust was dissolved. I was using the records about 15 years later, when many people named were still around. It would be of much less value today, since too much time has passed.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:38 AM
 
5,220 posts, read 4,529,450 times
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Originally Posted by daliowa View Post
Although it is rare, I have seen towns of birth listed on U.S. census. But, it is very rare.

I have found them on county & city censuses, as well as, "where did you live prior to this town?" answers. I have not done much research for New York, so I don't know how common town censuses were. In some areas of country they took a census every 2 or 3 years. There also were polling lists for keeping track of voters. These sometimes are located in state historical society archives or local library archives. School censuses listed a parent, as well as, age of child & can be great resource for finding children between federal censuses.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I only saw the free SSDI information; I did not order anything yet.

The plot is not shetl based.
Order the actual application. I did for my grandfather and it gave the town (which I knew) and his mother's last name (which I didn't know). Good information there even though I think my grandmother filled it out for him.
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