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Ask a Genealogist: Origins of parents in the U.S. Federal Census.

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Question:

I am trying to determine what country my European immigrant came from, and where his parents are born.  He arrived in Massachusetts ca. 1875 and died in 1897.

Answer:

Reply from David Allen Lambert,NEHGS Chief Genealogist.

Your ancestor arrived just in timeto be included on the 1880 United States Census.  This censuscan be searched for free online from FamilySearch.org -https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1417683

This census will give you the place or country of birth of yourancestor, and it will also supply that same detail for where hismother and father are born.  There are no surviving portionsof the population schedules of the U.S. Census of 1890 forMassachusetts.  You may also wish to obtain his death record,and search for a U.S. Naturalization for your ancestor.  Thesesources will also help you identify the place of birth.  NEHGShas online the Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1915 online formembers at our website.  This particular website link willbring you to the 1841-1910 Massachusetts records after you login asa member -http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx

If you have any other questions wewould be delighted to help you further.

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