Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.com Through Oct. 23

Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.com Through Oct. 23

Ancestry.com is offering free access to its immigration records collection from now through Oct. 23 at midnight ET. The promotion highlights this week's episode of "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr." which Ancestry.com sponsors. Watch chefs Aarón Sánchez, Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai learn...

Ancestry.com is offering free access to its immigration records collection from now through Oct. 23 at midnight ET.

The promotion highlights this week’s episode of “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” which Ancestry.com sponsors. Watch chefs Aarón Sánchez, Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai learn about their immigrant ancestors Tuesday night at 8 ET/7 CT.

Click here to start searching Ancestry.com immigration records.

You’ll need to register for a free account with Ancestry.com (or log in to your existing account) to see full search results.

I gave the offer a try, and I’m relatively certain that this is the passenger record for my third-great-grandfather Franz Edward Thoss, showing his arrival at the port of New York, Feb. 10, 1837, on the Tiber, which left from Bremen.

This is for my great-granduncle, Ralph E. Thoss, coming back from World War II on the Vulcania, which arrived Nov. 10, 1945, from Le Havre, France. (Here’s a neat website about the “cigarette camps” through which WWII troops moved when arriving and departing the port of Le Havre. Ralph was at Camp Phillip Morris.)

For more help using Ancestry.com in your genealogy search, check out our Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com book.

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  1. Hi! When I started genealogy, I began with my Syrian Haddads, who immigrated in 1900, and the finds have been few and far between. My Germans have been much easier.

    Our guide at http://www.shopfamilytree.com/middle-eastern-genealogy-guide might be helpful to you.

    LIke many Syrian immigrants, the family moved around a lot, so I haven’t found official birth records for my grandfather and his siblings. I did find delayed birth records, which they had to get to apply for the Social Security program. I also have a baptismal record for my grandfather. Many Syrians were Maronite Catholics, but they may have had their children baptized at a Roman Catholic church if no Maronite churches were nearby.

    I didn’t find my Haddads on a passenger list until I learned my great-grandfather’s birth name, Fadlallah (Fadlo for short) from his 1940s naturalization records. The name was also in his alien registration forms (nonnaturalized immigrants had to register when a law was passed after the start of WWII). Newspapers also have been helpful records for me, as my great-grandfather was tried for bootlegging, and my grandfather managed to excel at the orphanage where he grew up.

    Wherever the family moved, there usually was already a Syrian community. Many tips would be the same as for any line you’re stuck on: read social histories of the ethnic group, the places the family lived and organizations they belonged to; make timelines of their lives; and research their relatives, associates, in-laws and friends.

    I haven’t tried researching in records of their homeland. The aforementioned guide has some information on this, while recognizing the challenges.

    I hope this has been helpful! If you have follow-up questions, you can email us at ftmedit@fwmedia.com .