18 July 2006

Did Grandpa and Grandma Immigrate Too?

Tips from the Pros: Did Grandpa and Grandma Immigrate Too?

from Michael John Neill (from the 24-7 Family History Blog at Ancestry.com)

Don’t overlook Grandpa and Grandpa in your search for immigrant ancestors. When it is determined that an ancestor emigrated as an adult, the thought many times is that the parents remained in the old country, never to see their child again. This is not necessarily so. There were no age limits on immigration and ship manifests are scattered with names of individuals in their sixties and seventies leaving their homeland.

Widows or widowers whose children had all left were more likely to emigrate, perhaps when the last child left. It may explain why an elderly couple has disappeared in the old country.

In my research, when one set of my ancestors disappeared from the church records of their local parish, I assumed it was because they moved to a nearby parish and I had just failed to locate them. A comprehensive search of census and cemetery records for the children in the United States located them on the opposite side of the Atlantic. They were enumerated with a married daughter in the 1870 census and are buried in the same cemetery as that daughter. So if Grandpa and Grandma are lost, don’t neglect the possibility that they might have crossed the pond as well.

The post can be viewed on the Ancestry.com blog here along with other posts