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Ask a Genealogist: Searching for immigration records.

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Can you offer some suggestions for locating the immigration records for my immigrant ancestors?  They arrived in the late 19th century in Massachusetts.


A good source for immigration information are naturalization records. The naturalization petition records the applicant's birth date and birthplace, as well as the date and port of entry into the U.S. Until 1920 women rarely applied for naturalization so you will be locating naturalizations for the male immigrants of the family; naturalization for women was based on their father's or husband's citizenship status. For naturalizations in Massachusetts, you may wish to search FamilySearch's "New England Naturalization Index, 1791-1906" and "Massachusetts Naturalization Index, 1906-1966"
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