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Ask a Genealogist: In search of Canadian immigrants to New England.

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Question:

Can you offer some assistance regarding my Canadian ancestors who immigrated to Massachusetts in the 19th century? My ancestor later would work for the Boston & Maine Railroad

Answer:

Reply by Alice Kane, NEHGS Genealogist  

The U.S. population censuses of 1900 to 1930 include information about the arrival year of immigrants as well as the immigrant's citizenship status. If your ancestor is a naturalized citizen, his naturalization petition may provide not only his date and place of birth, but also the date and port of his entry into the United States. Naturalization petitions for Massachusetts as well as those from other New England states are available from the National Archives and Records Center in Waltham, MA (380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA, 02452-6399; phone: 781-663-0144; email: boston.archives@nara.gov  

Indexes to Massachusetts naturalizations can be found at FamilySearch.org at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1840474  for 1791-1906 naturalizations, and at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1834334  for 1906-1966 naturalizations.

Since your ancestor worked for a railroad, information sources available about Boston and Maine Railroad employees include the archives of the Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society which is maintained by the Center for Lowell History at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries (40 French Street, Lowell, MA, 01852; phone: 978-934-4997; http://library.uml.edu/clh/BM.Html , and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL, 60611-2092; phone: 877-772-5772; http://www.rrb.gov/mep/genealogy.asp .

 

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