Understanding Your ...

Understanding Your Immigrant Ancestors:
Useful Source and Links

Here I’ve included two different types of information. The books section serves as a kind of bibliography for the information included in the Immigrant Ancestors section of this website. It can also be a great list to find further reading if you would like to learn more about your ancestors’ lives. As of now, I haven’t included how-to books in this section.

The website section provides links and information about websites that can both tell you about your ancestors’ immigration experience and help you trace their journey better. Also, for websites with actual passenger lists and information about individual people, check the Immigration Records in the Ancestors in the Records section of this website.

This section is still growing, so please check back later for more information.


Brettell, Caroline. “Migration” in Family Life in the Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1913, ed. David Kertzer and Marzio Barbagli. The History of the European Family Volume Two (New Haven: Yale University Press. 2002), 254.

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991. pages 145-159.
This excellent book divides immigrants into different groups and then describes their experiences, including what groups of the population left, reasons why they left, where they settled, how they made their living, and how they were treated in the U.S.

Walker, Mack. Germany and the Emigration, 1816-1885. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 185.
This book contains information about the German emigration experience, including information about specific German states.

White, Richard. It’s Your Misfortune and None of my Own: A New History of the American West. University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
Among other things, this books talks briefly about the overland trail systems and why people took the journey westward.


Immigration Websites:

http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/~marj/genealogy/thevoyage.html - This website focuses on the experiences of immigrants who came to Canada (whose experiences crossing the ocean were basically the same as those coming to the U.S.) It has excerpts from many original records.

http://www.theshipslist.com/index.html - This website provides all kinds of information about the immigration experiences including numerous first-hand accounts of the voyage. They also have hundreds of passenger lists and other original records.

Overland Trail Websites:

http://www.trailsandgrasslands.org/otrail.html - This is the main site I used for information when I made my journey across the Oregon Trail.

http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html - This site has a huge variety of information in an easily accessible format. You can follow the trail state by state – reading a brief description of all the major stops along the way.

http://www.historyglobe.com/ot/otmap1.htm - Another map of the trail with a short description of major landmarks.


Specific to Mormon Trail:


http://www.lds.org/gospellibrary/pioneer/pioneerstory.htm Sponsored by the LDS Church – very user friendly with quotes and maps

http://mormontrails.org/index.html homepage of the Mormon Trail Association