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Old 05-09-2018, 12:34 PM
 
767 posts, read 578,558 times
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I'm trying to trace my husband's great great grandparents. Their country of origin is listed as simply "Russia" on every census and draft card I've found. They came over in 1887 or so to New York. There's no information on Castle Garden's website. Their naturalization application (found on Ancestry) in 1892 does not ask for a specific city of birth, and again, just mentions "Russia" as their former country. They were Jewish, and JewishGen has not been helpful. I've scoured Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, hunted for their children's marriage records, and generally drove myself insane. Still nothing. The Russian borders pre WWI included the Baltic states, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, and parts of Poland, so it's a large area to tackle without specific information.

Where else can I look?
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Dalton Gardens
2,812 posts, read 5,716,789 times
Reputation: 1634
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I'm trying to trace my husband's great great grandparents. Their country of origin is listed as simply "Russia" on every census and draft card I've found. They came over in 1887 or so to New York. There's no information on Castle Garden's website. Their naturalization application (found on Ancestry) in 1892 does not ask for a specific city of birth, and again, just mentions "Russia" as their former country. They were Jewish, and JewishGen has not been helpful. I've scoured Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, hunted for their children's marriage records, and generally drove myself insane. Still nothing. The Russian borders pre WWI included the Baltic states, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, and parts of Poland, so it's a large area to tackle without specific information.

Where else can I look?
If you send me some information in private message, like their names, I would be happy to see what resources I can find.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:21 PM
 
767 posts, read 578,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyanna View Post
If you send me some information in private message, like their names, I would be happy to see what resources I can find.
Thanks! Sent.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:08 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
3,881 posts, read 1,915,914 times
Reputation: 9238
Ellis Island opened January 1, 1892. You probably looked there already. But you might try Steve Morse's web site. He has a different search engine for the Ellis Island and other records. https://stevemorse.org/ If you can find a ship record... some give the name and address of a relative in the "old country" and some give a name and address for the person they are going to in the US.

I learned recently that people who came first class didn't have to go through immigration.

I know JewishGen is a PITA (I have spent hours and hours), but it really is the best resource for records from eastern Europe. I recently found my great great grandmother's married name and her husband's name. That solved a small mystery in my tree -- who was Bubba Golda? Now I know.

Just keep trying different variations on the spelling of the name. Even tho they do a soundex search, the name could still be spelled differently. Don't try to search for the first name -- those vary all over the place. Don't forget to search the countries/regions that surrounded Russia at the time. Borders kept moving and may not match the "official" maps of the time.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:08 PM
 
5,215 posts, read 4,516,507 times
Reputation: 11323
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I'm trying to trace my husband's great great grandparents. Their country of origin is listed as simply "Russia" on every census and draft card I've found. They came over in 1887 or so to New York. There's no information on Castle Garden's website. Their naturalization application (found on Ancestry) in 1892 does not ask for a specific city of birth, and again, just mentions "Russia" as their former country. They were Jewish, and JewishGen has not been helpful. I've scoured Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, hunted for their children's marriage records, and generally drove myself insane. Still nothing. The Russian borders pre WWI included the Baltic states, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, and parts of Poland, so it's a large area to tackle without specific information.

Where else can I look?
https://www.archives.gov/research/naturalization

There may be more information in their naturalization file. This website tells how to order. Sometimes there are letters & photos in the file. It is always worth a chance.

Also look for passport files on ancestry in case anyone went back to visit.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:13 PM
 
8,840 posts, read 9,214,106 times
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Have you visited the Center for Jewish History/Roots to Roots Foundation on 16th Street in Manhattan?
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:58 AM
 
767 posts, read 578,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
Have you visited the Center for Jewish History/Roots to Roots Foundation on 16th Street in Manhattan?
No! But that sounds like a good place to look.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:03 PM
 
2,933 posts, read 4,602,919 times
Reputation: 2815
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiveMeCoffee View Post
I'm trying to trace my husband's great great grandparents. Their country of origin is listed as simply "Russia" on every census and draft card I've found. They came over in 1887 or so to New York. There's no information on Castle Garden's website. Their naturalization application (found on Ancestry) in 1892 does not ask for a specific city of birth, and again, just mentions "Russia" as their former country. They were Jewish, and JewishGen has not been helpful. I've scoured Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, hunted for their children's marriage records, and generally drove myself insane. Still nothing. The Russian borders pre WWI included the Baltic states, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, and parts of Poland, so it's a large area to tackle without specific information.

Where else can I look?
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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:35 PM
 
3,030 posts, read 1,840,285 times
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All of the above are good ideas, but recognize that record keeping among jews was not great. In general, "Russia" in that time frame meant the pale of settlement, so it could mean any number of modern countries.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
82,531 posts, read 75,544,681 times
Reputation: 82564
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Ellis Island opened January 1, 1892. You probably looked there already. But you might try Steve Morse's web site. He has a different search engine for the Ellis Island and other records. https://stevemorse.org/ If you can find a ship record... some give the name and address of a relative in the "old country" and some give a name and address for the person they are going to in the US.

I learned recently that people who came first class didn't have to go through immigration.

I know JewishGen is a PITA (I have spent hours and hours), but it really is the best resource for records from eastern Europe. I recently found my great great grandmother's married name and her husband's name. That solved a small mystery in my tree -- who was Bubba Golda? Now I know.

Just keep trying different variations on the spelling of the name. Even tho they do a soundex search, the name could still be spelled differently. Don't try to search for the first name -- those vary all over the place. Don't forget to search the countries/regions that surrounded Russia at the time. Borders kept moving and may not match the "official" maps of the time.

Good luck.
The OP said they arrived in the 1880's, though. So they wouldn't be on any Ellis Is. records, right?

There are certain areas of "Russia" back then, that were heavily populated by the Jewish sector of the population. Vyborg, Belarus, for one. hmm.... I'm wondering if Googling the name in Russian + emigration date would turn anything up. You never know; some odd historical document, a newspaper article, ship's manifests, anything could come up. I've encountered surprises when taking a sort of scattershot approach, like that: googling surname + year, surname + city names, surname + region, etc. In both Latin alphabet and Cyrillic. And yes, this can take hours.

Also, Romania was not a part of Russia during the time period in question, except for Bessarabia (now Moldova). It had become an independent country, except for Transylvania, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at the time.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 05-15-2018 at 02:17 PM..
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