When I research, I type in my ancestor’s name and important dates I may have for that individual. If I am searching on Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, or libertyellisfoundation.org, I may get a lot of results that appear that they match my search!
I would like to share an example of a record that I recently discovered after searching for YEARS AND YEARS! Some searches will take you a long time. Be patient and diligent.
Here’s my example:
I searched on the Ellis Island webpage for Giuseppe D’Alimonte who was born between 1857-1862 in Italy. Now, if this was all the information I had to begin with, then this record would appear to match my family.
- Name spelled correctly
- Appears to be born in 1878 (some may dismiss this, but one shouldn’t dismiss it quickly).
- The date of arrival is 1902, which is later than he came originally, but I know other members of his family traveled back and forth so this is not a huge barrier.
- The place of last residence states he last resided in Italy, and if this were my ancestor, he would have been living in the US at this point in time.
Now, I believe this record is not a match also because I know that my Giuseppe was married prior to 1902, his birth year does not match on this document. I have been told that Giuseppe came to the United States with his wife and possibly his in laws, so the fact that I can also view the original document on the Ellis Island site and see there are no other D’Alimonte’s or Vendetti’s traveling with him would provide me with clues that this is again, not a match!
The following document was obtained through my search on Ancestry.com, and is a ship manifest from a ship that arrived to the port of New York on June 15, 1888.
** Just a note- On Ancestry.com and some other sites, they have people who transcribe the records and type what they believe the people’s names to be, ages, and other details from each record. Please look closely at the actual document if you think you have a match because sometimes they can be incorrect and names are difficult to read. In this particular record, I believe the transcriber incorrectly transcribed 6s as 0s.
- The name on the document is “G. Dalemonte” male age 26(which would put him being born in 1861 or 1862, which is in the range we believe is correct for him).
- The ship arrival date is June 15, 1888: This matches the “June 1888” which is listed on his naturalization record.
- There are 5 individuals listed in a row on this document that are all listed as from “Italy”. The people listed in front of and in back of this group are from other countries/nationalities. This record does not state that these Italians are traveling together.- But I did take a look at the names…I have been told by family members that Giuseppe came to the US along with his wife (Maria Vendetti and her parents- father Antonio Vendetti).
There is a “A Ventilo” age 42: Although the name is spelled incorrectly, I believe this to be Antonio Vendetti. I know from other records that he was born in 1847, and this matches that date.
There is a “M “ with the same “Ventilo” as the last name- It is clear that these two are traveling together because of the indication of same last name. She is listed as a female age 16 which would match up with the birthdate I have for Maria Vendetti as 1872.
There are 2 other Italian women listed among them that I have not yet identified.
Even with these two women remaining unidentified, I still believe that this is the correct immigration record for Giuseppe, Antonio and Maria! Now, I just have another mystery to solve J
Look carefully into every record that you can. Some will be obviously a match and some will clearly not be, but often you will have to take a close look into many details of each record. Have what you know handy so you can easily access it and double check your reasoning.
Here’s hoping you find a match in your family tree today!
Thanks for reading! Happy Searching!