By Shannon Combs-Bennett, Student
If you live in the United States it is a good chance that you or your family came here from somewhere else. People from all over the world have immigrated to the United States in its 239 year existence making us truly a nation of immigrants. However, for genealogists, learning about those brave souls who traveled here, many times under desperate circumstances, can be the bane of our existence. Why, oh why, couldn’t they just once put down the town they came from!
The course I am taking now is United States: Immigration and Naturalization Records, which hopefully will help me locate my elusive immigrant ancestry along the way. Or at least I can hope, right?
Looking through the syllabus there appears to be a lot of great information covered. A weakness for me is immigration after 1870. The reason? Well, that is when the last of my and my husband’s ancestors came to the US. Due to that fact I have not invested a lot of time in learning about 20th and 21st century immigration and naturalization. It will take all I have to pay extra attention in those instances but the knowledge will help me I am sure.
While the course seems to be centered on those of European descent I am hopefull that the section which covers the US laws will still be of interest to others. I mean, everyone who wants to immigrate goes through the same process no matter if they are from Europe or Asia.
The section on naturalization records will be interesting. I don’t know about you, but there are times I struggle to remember which law went into effect when for this topic. It seems for the first hundred years of our country there was a new way to do things every decade. I wonder how the people immigrating here kept up! This could be a great reason to make a timeline or flow chart!
So it is off to another course! See you online!