Making Connections: Back Issues, Ellis Island and Ethnic Heritage Requests

Making Connections: Back Issues, Ellis Island and Ethnic Heritage Requests

Readers respond to Family Tree Magazine.

Back issue quest

I just received my first copy of your magazine (August 2000) and I am glad I bought a whole year’s subscription. Is it possible to buy back issues? I am specifically looking for your premier issue (January 2000), which one of the letters in the magazine said had information on Irish ancestors.

JENNIFER ACKER New York

Editor’s note: We’re getting many requests for back issues as new readers discover the magazine. Fortunately, most are still available, for $6.25 each including shipping and handling, and easy to order. You can order directly from our secure Web site at <www.familytreemagazine.com/mags> or by calling toll-free, (888) 419-0421.

More Swede talk

I read with great interest the article on Nordic research in your fine magazine (August 2000). However, I have a few comments.

John Hanson, first president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, was not of Swedish descent as has been proved by George Ely Russel in his 1988 article, “John Hanson of Maryland, A Swedish Heritage Disproved,” which was published in The American Genealogist. Instead he proves that John Hanson was of English descent and that his great-grandfather/grandfather had no contacts with New Sweden at all, as he was an indentured servant, probably arriving in Maryland in 1661 from Barbados.

It probably would have been a good thing to emphasize that Finland was an integral part of Sweden from around 1200 to 1809, and that we had thus the same laws about keeping church records.

The address for the Swedish American Genealogist (SAG) is outdated. The new address is c/o Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL 61201; Web site <www.augustana.edu/ administration/swenson/>; e-mail sag@ augustana.edu.

The Swedish Police chamber passenger lists, 1869-1930, are computerized and are available on a CD, which hopefully will be updated in the beginning of this year. They are not online.

The Swedish government did not keep its own secular vital statistics until 1991. Before that the church records are the official bookkeeping. Sweden became a Lutheran country in 1527. The records you call “census records” I suppose are the ones that are called mantalslängder and they start in 1628. We also have some tax records (Ålvsborgs lösen) that are earlier. As our busförhörslängder, usually translated as “clerical surveys,” are much better than any census, they should be used first, and the mantalslängder only when you run out of church records.

Nothing is mentioned about the importance of the Swedish-American church records. Records of more than 1,500 different Swedish-American denominations have been microfilmed, and are available at the Swenson Center in Rock Island. In Sweden the microfilms are available at the Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö and The Kinship Center in Karlstad. In Växjö they are doing a great job by working on indexing all the birth places of the church members. The records are kept along the same lines as in the Church of Sweden churches here. The most detailed ones belong to various Lutheran Augustana churches.

Also, the best list of the Swedish archives is found at <www.ra.se>.

ELISABETH THORSELL Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies Stockholm, Sweden

Into the new millennium

As a 35-year reader of The Genealogical Helper, an hour with your magazine was not only an enlightenment, but a rejuvenation, a genealogical rebirth. Your story selection, layout, graphics and photography are marvelous. The entire package was just what was needed to take professional and amateur genealogy into the new millennium.

You have taken us from the eye-squinting, finely printed, data-laden page to a colorful, eye-pleasing, mind-boggling genealogical experience. The best part: We get to do it all over again every other month. I thank you, my family thanks you and my ancestors thank you, as will my descendants.

BILL BACCUS Temecula, Calif.

Lady Liberty relocated?

On page 20 of the December 2000 edition of Family Tree Magazine, there is a picture of the Statue of Liberty standing proudly on Liberty Island; unfortunately it is labeled as “Ellis Island.” Last time I was there, many people wanted to know how so many people could have been processed by immigration through any facility on such a small island; the tour guide had to explain what happened on each of the two separate islands. Perhaps your writer missed the explanation.

HUGH T. HOSKINS Downey, Calif.

Ethnic-roots requests

My great-grandmother Regina was a rather unique individual. What I found out about her ancestry is pretty interesting. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Lebanon and Syria. For me, this history poses a few challenges. First, there really isn’t a whole lot of information out in the world about immigration from these two countries, and second, I have absolutely no idea how to begin to look up my family history in these countries. My ancestors also pose an additional challenge, because they were Maronite and Orthodox Christians. I would love to see an article in your magazine covering these fascinating people.

MELISSA DENNIS via e-mail

I’ve enjoyed my subscription to your magazine, but I need help tracing my husband’s family: You haven’t done an article on Jewish genealogy, which is difficult to trace because of the Holocaust. My husband’s family came from Raducaneni, Romania.

DIANE SCHNEERER via e-mail

I thoroughly enjoy your magazine. The information on genealogy Web sites that you publish each issue is helpful to me. I also enjoy your monthly articles on ethnic ancestries. I would like to see an article on French ancestry.

PHILLIP BONINE via e-mail

I’d like to request a feature about Hungary. I’ve enjoyed your first year of magazines 100 percent. I love the colorful layout and the short, easy-to-read articles. Your features on Ireland, Germany, Italy and Poland were wonderful for any reader no matter where your ancestors are from. You’ve done a very good job.

I’m a Canadian so my only complaint would be that your research tips are for American genealogy only. I’d like to see more Canadian content in your magazine. Keep up the brilliant job!

JUDY MANN Milton, Ontario

I have every issue! I love every issue! Exciting history; informative Web site info; great ideas; great, great, great! I can’t say enough as I learn a great deal from each issue. Once I start reading, I can’t put it down.

In the December issue, you asked us readers what ethnic ancestries we’d like to see. My vote goes to Carpatho-Rusyn Slovaks and Swiss-Germans. Both ethnicities aren’t easily found for good reading/research hints or area info.

HELEN BATKO Dunedin, Fla.

Editor’s note: We love hearing what ethnic ancestries you want us to feature. And there’s good news for some of the above correspondents: We feature Jewish genealogy in this very issue (page 40), and will spotlight French roots next issue. While we work our way through other popular ancestries, you can find in-depth listings of essential resources — Web sites, books, organizations — for 23 different ethnic heritages in our Family Tree Yearbook 2001 special issue. Copies can be ordered from our Web site <www.familytreemagazine.com/mags> or by calling toll-free, (888) 419-0421.
 
From the April 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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