It's Been Ages...puerto Rican Genealogy

If you would like background information about immigration to the United States, see the topic All about immigration and migration . For tips about researching abroad, see the topic All about international resources .

African-American

The overwhelming majority of Americans of African ancestry are descendants of slaves forcibly brought to the New World during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most of these slaves were from peoples living within 300 miles of the Atlantic coast between the Congo and Gambia rivers in East Africa. In addition, since the end of the Second World War, a significant number of people of African ancestry have emigrated to the U.S. from the Caribbean, where their ancestors were also slaves (primarily at the hands of the British, Dutch, and French).

This has been a slow process as I am probably trying to add too much. Second, I post pictures to the Instagram account and articles to the Facebook page and it is easier to keep it brief than posting my thoughts here. Puerto Rico has undergone so much change since September of 2017, physically, politically, intellectually, and emotionally.

Since most tribal history in Africa was recorded by oral tradition rather than written down, actually tracing one's roots in Africa can be an extremely difficult task, but not impossible. Alex Haley, the author of Roots was able to trace his ancestors all the way back to the African continent. By examining records of slave sales and slave advertisements, many people may be able to trace their family history all the way back to the original arrival of their ancestors in America.

Books and Newspapers

  1. On October 5, the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico is founded. It is the largest bank on the island. The Puerto Rican flag is first used on December 22nd, when a group of Puerto Ricans gathered in New York City to show their support for independence for Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain. It was soon adopted as a national symbol.
  2. Puerto Rico has been included as part of the decennial census since 1910. The Census Bureau conducted the first economic census in Puerto Rico in 1909. For more information about the censuses in Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories, visit the Island Areas Web page.

A list of approximately 5,500 African American newspapers that have been identified in all major bibliographic sources, including newspaper directories, union lists, finding aids, African American bibliographies, yearbooks, and more. It is searchable by geographic region, time period, and title. Below is a sampling of early colonial newspapers that published slave advertisements. From them you may be able to find information about your own ancestors.

  • Boston Independent Advertiser
  • Connecticut Gazette
  • The Georgia Gazette or Independent Register
  • The Guardian of Freedom (Frankfort, Kentucky)
  • Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser
  • Missouri Republican
  • Mobile Gazette
  • The New England Journal
  • The New Jersey Journal
  • New Orleans Advertiser and Prices Current
  • New York Gazette
  • New York Weekly Journal
  • New York Weekly Post Boy
  • The Norfolk Intelligencer
  • North Carolina Gazette
  • The Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser
  • Virginia Gazette

Books such as those listed below may be able to help you locate the newspapers that you are seeking.

  • The Afro-American Press and Its Editors , by Penn I. Garland Reviews African-American magazines and newspapers published between 1827 and 1891.
  • Bibliographic Checklist of African-American Newspapers , by Barbara K. Henritze
  • Sesquicentennial 1827-1977: Black press handbook, 1977
  • Encyclopedic Directory of Ethnic Newspapers and Periodicals , by Lubomyr R. Wynar

In addition to slave advertisements, plantation books may be excellent sources. Also, since slaves were considered property, you may find records of them in deed books and the probate records of their owners. You may also want to look into Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies by David H. Streets.

Post-1864 Research

For individuals who lived after 1864, you can generally use the same procedures as for any other group: look for census records, vital records, and family sources. Many, but not all, former slaves took the surname of their owners upon emancipation. Some tried different names before settling on one. Also, don't forget to check Civil War indexes, as many former slaves served in the military.

Asian Indian

Although the first Asian Indians, Sikh lumber mill and railroad workers from Western Canada, arrived in the United States around the beginning of the twentieth century, the vast majority of Asian Indian immigration has occurred since the 1965 Immigration Act. Since this time, more than half a million Asian Indians have entered the United States, many of them in search of better-paid employment and better education opportunities. Unlike other Asian immigrant groups, the vast majority of Asian Indians live in the Eastern United States.

Books

  • History of Indian Immigration to the United States: an Interpretive Essay, by Roger Daniels
  • On the Trail of an Uncertain Dream: Indian Immigrant Experience in America, by Sathi Sengupta Dasgupta

Canadian

The only large exchange of population between the United States and Canada occurred after the American victory in the Revolutionary War. Many Americans did not agree with the separation from England and remained loyal to the King. Loyalists in America had their property confiscated by the American government, and the British government offered them free land in Canada. To obtain land, they had to file petitions. It is these petitions which often provide a wealth of personal information for the present-day genealogist.

Aside from this and despite the War of 1812, the United States and Canada have interacted closely with each other since the colonial period. As a result, large numbers of Canadians have immigrated to the United States, making them the sixth largest source of immigration since 1820.

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Needless to say, if your genealogical search leads you to Canada, it will probably eventually lead you to Britain or France. In addition to the Public Archives of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, there are a wide variety of societies and texts available for exploring your genealogy in Canada.

Books

  • British and Canadian Immigration to the United States since 1920, by Kenneth Lines
  • Searching for Your Ancestors in Canada, by Eunice Ruiter Baker
  • Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties, by Regina L. Oliver
  • In Search Of Your Roots: A Guide for Canadians Seeking Their Ancestors, by Angus Baxter
  • The Canadian Genealogical Handbook, by Eric Jonasson

Chinese

Significant Chinese immigration to the United States began with the California gold rush in 1849. This immigration, consisting primarily of Southern Chinese men, continued unabated until the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882. In future years, despite immigration restrictions, significant numbers of Chinese came to the U.S. as a result of war and domestic conflict. This occurred primarily after World War II and the communist revolution of 1949. Today, Chinese-Americans can be found nationwide, although the largest concentrations remain in the West (especially California) and New York.

Books

  • The Extent and Preservation of Genealogical Records in China, by Hsiang-lin Lo (available at most Family History Centers, or can be ordered from the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City)
  • China Connection: Finding Ancestral Roots for Chinese in America, by Jeanie W. Chooey Low
  • Contemporary American Immigrants: Patterns of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese Settlement in the United States, by Luciano Mangiafico

Cuban

The first Cubans came to the United States in the nineteenth century. Most of these individuals left Cuba to either work in the American cigar and tobacco industry or to escape political persecution by the Spanish. The Spanish were driven from the island by the United States in 1898.

For half a century following Cuban independence, few Cubans emigrated to the U.S. During the 1950s, however, growing political unrest and economic uncertainty caused thousands of Cubans to flee the island for Miami and other Northern points. This exodus grew even larger after Fidel Castro seized control of the island on January 1, 1959, and began nationalizing large companies and confiscating the property of the upper middle class and wealthy. Between this date and the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, more than 150,000 Cubans came to the United States.

In the following years, Cuba's status as a communist country made the U.S. particularly receptive to Cuban immigrants, with hundreds of thousands of Cubans entering the U.S. Perhaps the most noteworthy event in this immigration is the Mariel boatlift of 1980, in which 125,000 people were allowed to immigrate to the U.S. from Cuba in a matter of weeks. Since this time, a few thousand Cubans have managed to escape their country each year. These Cubans, and those who came before them, are heavily concentrated in the Miami area, although large numbers can also be found in and around New York and Los Angeles.

Books

  • The Cuban American Experience, by Thomas D. Boswell
  • Immigrant Adaptation and Family Structure Among Cubans in Miami, Florida, by Marie LaLiberte Richmond
  • Cuba: Gu'a de Investigaciones Geneal‚Äîgicas, by Lyman D. Platt
  • Cuba: Research Guide, by Lyman D. Platt
  • Genealogical Research in Latin America and The Hispanic United States, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Hispanic Surnames and Family History, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Latinoam˜Orica: Investigaciones Geneal‚Äîgicas, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Tracing your Hispanic Heritage, by George Ryskamp

Dominican

Although Dominican immigration has historically been fairly small, it has grown rapidly in recent years, with more than a quarter million Dominicans immigrating to the U.S. during the 1980s. Most of these immigrants have come to the U.S. in search of better-paid employment, with many Dominicans eventually returning to their native country. The largest concentration of Dominicans is located in New York City.

Books

  • The Making of a Transnational Community: Migration, Development, and Cultural Change in the Dominican Republic, by Eugenia Georges
  • Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration, by Sherri Grasmuck

Dutch

The first Dutch came to the New World in 1614, establishing Fort Nassau (later Albany) and New Amsterdam (later New York) along the Hudson River Valley. Although the Netherlands lost this territory to the British in 1664, some Dutch remained in the region, gaining considerable economic power and firmly establishing their culture.

Since this time, modest numbers of Dutch have immigrated to the United States annually, with large concentrations in New York and Western Michigan.

Books

  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • New Netherland Roots, by Gwenn F. Epperson
  • Netherlanders in America: Dutch Immigration to the United States and Canada, 1789-1950, by Henry Stephen Lucas
  • Dutch Genealogical Research, compiled by Charles M. Franklin
  • The Dutch in America: Immigration, Settlement, and Cultural Change, edited by Robert Swieringa

British

The first successful English colonies were established in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, early in the 17th century. By the time of the first United States census in 1790 (following independence from England in 1776), English colonists and their descendants constituted well over 50% of the 3.1 million white residents and formed the majority in every state except Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Since this time, the English have continued to immigrate to the United States in significant numbers, forming the third largest immigrant group from 1820 to the present.

Books

  • Genealogical Research in England and Wales, by Frank Smith and David Gardner
  • In Search of Your British and Irish Roots, by Angus Baxter

Filipino

The first large group of Filipinos, primarily students, came to the U.S. after the American annexation of the Philippines in 1898. They were followed in the 1920's and 1930's by farm workers, most of whom gained employment in either Hawaii or California. Unfortunately, although the Philippines were under U.S. control, Filipinos remained aliens ineligible for American citizenship until the islands gained their independence in 1946.

The majority of Filipino immigration, however, has occurred since the 1965 Immigration Act, with the Philippines accounting for the second largest source of immigrants (after Mexico) in recent years. Most of these immigrants, like their predecessors, come to the U.S. in search of greater economic opportunity. Although almost half of the Filipino American population lives in California and another sixth lives in Hawaii, most of the remaining population is divided between the Midwest, Northeast, and South.

Books

  • Filipino Immigration, by Bruno Lasker
  • Contemporary American Immigrants: Patterns of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese settlement in the United States, by Luciano Mangiafico

French

Most of the early French colonists to the Americas, who began arriving in large numbers in the 17th century, settled in Quebec and Nova Scotia, to the north of the original colonies, or in French-held territories in the Caribbean, far to the south. In addition, however, some French settled in Louisiana and the in the Midwest. Although the United States acquired this land from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, French culture has retained its influence in the southern part of Louisiana. Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, French immigration to the United States has been extremely small, with fewer than 5,000 French per year opting to move to the U.S.

Books

  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • France in America, by W.J. Eccles
  • The French in America, by James S. Pula, from Vol. 20 of the Ethnic Chronology Studies

German

As determined by language, this includes Germans, Alsatians, Austrians, German minorities in Russia, Hutterites, Luxembourgers, and Swiss.

German immigrants first began arriving in the New World in the late 17th century, with a major settlement established at Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1683. Large-scale immigration did not begin, however, until the War of Spanish Succession, a quarter century later, devastated the German Rhineland. Thousands of German refugees emigrated to England, from which many were transported by the British to New York and Pennsylvania. From this time until after the Second World War, repeated cycles of political unrest and conflict caused large numbers of Germans to flee their homelands for the United States. Indeed, since 1820, more Germans have immigrated to the U.S. than any other national group.

Books

  • The Germanic Genealogist, published by the Augustan Society, 1617 West 261st Street, Harbor City, CA 90710
  • In Search of Your German Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • Research Guide to German-American Genealogy, by the Germanic Genealogy Society
  • Roots in the Rhineland: America's German Heritage in Three Hundred Years of Immigration, 1683-1983, by Christine M. Totten
  • Address Book for Germanic Genealogy, 4th edition, compiled by Ernest Thode
  • A Genealogical Handbook of German Research, by Larry O. Jensen
  • Researching the Germans from Russia: Annotated Bibliography of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, compiled by Michael M. Miller

Greek

Genealogy

Large-scale Greek immigration to the United States did not begin until the 1890s, when many Greeks began leaving the Balkans as a result of difficult economic conditions and ongoing regional conflict. Interestingly at this time, more Greeks lived in the lands surrounding Greece than within the country itself. As a result, a significant percentage of the Greeks immigrating to the U.S. actually came from Turkey and other lands.

Most Greeks settled in the traditional immigrant belt of the northcentral and northeastern states, but some also headed to California, Tarpon Springs, Florida, and other locales.

Books

  • Greek Immigration to the United States, by Henry Pratt Fairchild
  • The Greeks in the United States, by Theodore Saloutos

Hungarian

Although the Hungarian presence in America dates from the American Revolution, significant numbers of Hungarians did not come to this country until the late nineteenth century. From the late 1890s until World War I, more than 450,000 Hungarians came to the United States as a result of worsening economic conditions at home. These immigrants were followed in the 1920's and 1930's by refugees of the dictatorial Horthy regime and, in the 1940s, by persons escaping Nazi control.

It

The last significant wave of Hungarian immigration occurred as a result of the failure of the 1956 revolution, with 35,000 Hungarians escaping their country for the United States. Since this time, Hungarian immigration to the U.S. has been extremely small. Historically, the largest Hungarian-American communities have been in Cleveland and New York, although large concentrations can be found throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

Books

  • Hungarian Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland, by Susan M. Papp
  • From Hungary to the United States: 1880-1914, by Julianna Puskas
  • Handy Guide to Hungarian Genealogical Records, by Jared Suess

Irish

Earnest Irish immigration to the United States began after the potato famine in the 1840s, with more than 4.5 million Irish arriving prior to 1930. The Irish settled throughout the United States, with the highest concentration found in Boston. Although immigration during the rest of the twentieth century has been slow, Irish remain the fifth largest immigrant group since 1820.

Books

  • In Search of our British and Irish Roots, by Angus Baxter
  • Irish Emigration to the United States, by Stephen Byrne
  • Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research, by Margaret D. Falley
  • Ireland Research Outline, by the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Tracing your Irish Ancestors, by John Grenham
  • A Guide to Irish Parish Registers, by Brian Mitchell
  • Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy, by Brian Mitchell
  • Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History, by James G. Ryan
  • Ireland and the American Emigration, 1850-1900, by Arnold Schrier

Italian

Between 1880 and 1920, more than 4 million Italians immigrated to America, the largest wave of immigrants from any particular country during a forty-year period. Interestingly, however, an estimated 30 to 50 percent of these immigrants eventually returned to their homeland. Nevertheless, Italians constitute the second largest immigrant group during the period since 1820. Although the first wave of Italian immigrants in the early nineteenth century settled primarily in Louisiana, subsequent generations of immigrants settled in New York and other large northern cities.

Books

  • Some Aspects of Italian Immigration to the United States, by Stella Antonio
  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • Italian American Family Research, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
  • Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Other Records in Family History Research, by Trafford Cole
  • Finding Your Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans, by John Philip Colletta
  • Our Italian Surnames, by Joseph S. Fucilla
  • Italian Family Research Made Simple, by J. Konrad
  • Tracing Your Italian Heritage in Italy, by Dewayne J. Lener
  • Italian Americans: New Perspectives in Italian Immigration and Ethnicity, edited by Lydio F. Tomasi

Japanese

Japanese people did not immigrate to the United States in significant numbers until the 1890s. Although most of this immigration was initially to Hawaii, Japanese immigration to the United States mainland grew rapidly after Hawaii's annexation in 1898. In general, these immigrants remained primarily on the Pacific coast, with the exception of their internment in interior concentration camps during World War II. Since the war, American restrictions and rapid Japanese economic development greatly reduced Japanese immigration to the United States.

Books

  • Ethnic Chronology Studies: The Japanese in America, 1843-1973, by Herman Masako

Korean

The first Korean immigrants came to Hawaii and then the United States early in the twentieth century. The overwhelming majority of today's Korean Americans, however, are post-Korean War immigrants or their descendants, with the bulk of immigration occurring since 1970. Interestingly, women comprise significantly more than half this population.

Most of the Korean immigrants opted to leave their country due to greater economic opportunities in the U.S. (particularly in the immediate post-war period) and in response to repeated cycles of internal strife. More than 40% of Korean Americans live in the West, most notably in Los Angeles' thriving Koreatown. Large Korean communities can also be found in New York, Philadelphia, and many other urban centers.

Books

  • New Urban Immigrants: the Korean Community in New York, by Kim Illsoo
  • The Korean Diaspora: Historical and Sociological Studies of Korean Immigration and Assimilation in North America, compiled by Hyung-chan Kim
  • Contemporary American Immigrants: Patterns of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese settlement in the United States, by Luciano Mangiafico

Norwegian

Most Norwegian immigration to the United States occurred in the period between the Civil War and World War I. During this time, rapid population growth combined with extremely small amounts of farmable land forced large numbers of Norwegians to leave their country in search of better conditions. The majority of these Norwegians settled in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, where they established large farms. After 1890, however, more and more immigrants settled in cities, especially (for a time) Brooklyn.

Except for the period of the Second World War, Norwegian immigration during the rest of this century has been extremely limited, tapering off to only a few hundred annually during recent years.

Books

  • The Beginner's Guide to Norwegian Genealogical Research, by Finn A. Thomsen
  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • Norwegian Migration to America, by Christian Blegen
  • Tracing Your Norwegian Roots, by Marlyn A. Wellauer

Mexican

Mexico has been the fourth largest source of immigrants since 1820, and by far the largest source of immigrants in recent years. In fact, Mexican immigration has occurred in varying amounts for hundreds of years. In addition, many Mexicans 'moved' to the United States as a result of the annexations of Texas and the West.

Early in the twentieth century, large numbers of Mexicans came to the U.S. to work in agriculture in California or as miners and track layers throughout the West. This pattern of Mexicans coming north of the border in search of better paying jobs has continued until the present day, with the largest numbers of Mexican-Americans residing in California, New Mexico, and Texas.

Books

  • Mexican immigration to the United States: A Study of Human Migration and Adjustment, by Manuel Gamio
  • Ethnic Chronology Studies: The Chicanos in America, 1540-1974, by Richard A. Garcia
  • Mexican and Spanish Family Research, by J. Konrad
  • Genealogical Research in Latin America and The Hispanic United States, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Hispanic Surnames and Family History, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Latin American Military Records, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Latin American and Spanish Census Records, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Mexico, General Guide: Political Divisions, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Mexico, Gu'a general: Divisiones Eclesi‚Ä°sticas, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Mexico: Research Guide, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Research in Mexico City, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Tracing your Hispanic Heritage, by George Ryskamp
  • Una Bibliograf'a de Historias Familiares de Latinoam˜Orica y Los Estados Unidos, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage, by George R. Ryskamp

Native American

In a sense, Native Americans were the first 'immigrants' to what is today the United States. Crossing over from far Northeast Asia in migration waves that began before 30,000 B.C., Native Americans succeeded in settling throughout the continent by 8,000 B.C. By the time Columbus arrived in 1492, somewhere between one and two million Native Americans lived on the lands north of the Rio Grande. During the next four hundred years, however, the bulk of the Native American population died as a result of disease and poor treatment by the European settlers and their descendants.

Because most Native American tribes did not develop a written language (with the exception of the Cherokee, who developed a writing system in the nineteenth century), finding primary records of your distant Native American ancestors will likely prove difficult. It is possible, however, that texts written by Europeans or Americans acquainted with the tribe at the time could prove helpful. By the late nineteenth century, almost all tribes were on reservations, so the standard American documents should as birth and death certificates should be available from this time forward.

Books

  • Our Native Americans: Their Records of Genealogical Value, by E. Kay Kirkham (two volumes)
  • A Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians, the National Archives and Records Administration
  • Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian, by A. Klein

Polish

The first Polish state disappeared at the hands of Austria, Prussia, and Russia in the late eighteenth century, re-emerging after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. As a result, the vast majority of Polish-speaking people who immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s and around the turn of the century were actually residents of one of these three countries (with Prussia becoming part of Germany after German unification in 1871).

The first immigrants, the German Poles, came to the United States in search of better economic conditions, and were shortly followed by the Austrian and then the Russian Poles. They settled throughout the American Northeast and Midwest, with the highest populations concentrated in Chicago, New York, and Pittsburgh.

When searching for Polish records overseas, make sure to check in the archives of the country which was occupying Poland at the time. In addition, be aware that many Polish towns changed names due to the different occupations.

Books

  • Polish Roots / Korzenie Polskie, by Rosemary A. Chorzempa
  • Polish Genealogy and Heraldry, by Janina W. Hoskins
  • 'Polish-American Genealogical Research.' Michigan Family Trails vol. 4, no. 1 (Summer 1972). Published by the Michigan Department of Education, State Library Services: 735 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48913
  • 'Some Sources for Polish Genealogy.' The Genealogist's Magazine, December 1969
  • 'Polish Immigration to the United States.' Authorized Notes from the Lectures of Professor Waclaw W. Soroka. Stevens Point: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1977

Puerto Rican

Puerto Rico was annexed by the United States from Spain in 1898, with Puerto Ricans granted U.S. citizenship by birth in 1917. As a result, Puerto Ricans in the mainland United States are not 'immigrants' in the literal sense of the term.

The majority of Puerto Rican immigration to the United States has occurred since the end of the Second World War. As of 1940, there were fewer than 70,000 Puerto Ricans living on the mainland. After the war, an abundance of employment opportunities to drew large numbers of Puerto Ricans to New York and other U.S. industrial centers. Today, there are more than 2.5 million people of Puerto Rican ancestry living in the United States, with almost 1 million of these residing in New York City.

Puerto Rican immigration has tended to be highly fluid, with many Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland and back to the island several times during the course of their lives.

Books

  • Puerto Rico: Research Guide, by Lyman D. Platt
  • Puerto Rican Americans: The Meaning of Migration to the Mainland, by Joseph P. Fitzpatrick
  • Puerto Rican Poverty and Migration: We Just Had to Try Elsewhere, by Julio Morales

Russian

The majority of Russian immigrants came to the U.S. between 1880 and 1920. In addition to those searching for better economic conditions, a large number of these immigrants were Jews escaping from the increasingly violent anti-Semitism within their country.

It

Although immigration rose steadily up until the first World War, it was sharply curtailed by the Bolshevik seizure and consolidation of power during and immediately after the war. Since this time, Russian immigration has been extremely limited, but has risen dramatically since the demise of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

Books

  • Shores of Refuge : A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration, by Ronald Sanders
  • 'The Russians in America, 1727-1970.' Ethnic Chronology Studies, by Vladimir Wertsman

Scotch-Irish

This unusual term refers to those Presbyterian Scots who settled in Ulster (modern-day Northern Ireland) during the seventeenth century. From these 200,000 original settlers, up to 2 million of their descendants eventually reached North America.

The Scotch-Irish left Ulster as a result of neo-mercantilist British economic policy in the region, requirements that they pay 10% of their income to the Anglican Church, ongoing friction with their Catholic Irish neighbors, and greater economic opportunity in the New World. Although the Scotch-Irish settled throughout the colonies, they concentrated most heavily in Pennsylvania.

Books

  • Scotch-Irish Family Research Made Simple, by R.G. Campbell
  • Tracing your Scottish Ancestry, by Kathleen B. Cory
  • The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, by Wayland F. Dunaway
  • Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research, by Margaret D. Falley
  • The Scotch-Irish in America, by Henry Jones Ford
  • The Scotch-Irish or The Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and North America, by Charles Augustus Hanna
  • Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, by Charles Knowles
  • Scottish Family History, by David Moody
  • Scottish Local History, by David Moody
  • Scottish Family History: A Guide to Works of Reference on the History and Genealogy of Scottish Families, by Margaret Stuart

Spanish

The Spanish founded the first successful colony in North America at Saint Augustine in 1565. Over the next century, Spanish colonists and conquistadors seized and settled everything in the Americas from Mexico to the modern-day U.S. West and southward, with the exception of British Honduras, the Guyanas, and Brazil. In addition, the Spanish controlled Florida and much of the Caribbean.

It

Although the Spanish were eventually evicted from the New World by national independence movements and other European powers, they intermarried with the population of their territories to such a degree that almost all Hispanic Americans can trace at least part of their lineage back to Spain. Since 1820, immigration to the United States from Spain has been extremely small, averaging fewer than 2,000 people per year.

Books and Journals

  • The Spanish Genealogical Helper, published quarterly by the Augustan Society
  • In Search of Your European Roots: A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in Every Country in Europe, by Angus Baxter
  • Mexican and Spanish Family Research, by J. Konrad
  • 'The Spanish in America, 1573-1974.' Ethnic Chronology, Arthur A Natella, Jr.
  • Espa‚Äìa, Gu'a General: Divisiones Pol'ticas, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Hispanic Surnames and Family History, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Latin American and Spanish Census Records, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Spain: Research Guide, by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
  • Tracing your Hispanic Heritage, by George Ryskamp

Swedish

Despite the Swedish establishment of a small colony along the Delaware River in the mid-seventeenth century, the majority of Swedish immigrants arrived in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although the first Swedish immigrants of the nineteenth century were primarily middle class persons in search of adventure, subsequent immigrants left their country due to a large population boom and the availability of cheap, fertile farmland in the Midwest, especially in Minnesota. Since this time, Swedish immigration has slowed to a trickle.

Books

  • The Beginner's Guide to Swedish Genealogical Research, by Finn A. Thomsen
  • Cradled in Sweden: A Practical Help to Genealogical Research in Swedish Records, by Carl-Erik Johannson. May be available at your local Family History Center. It gives explicit directions for research in Sweden, including an alphabetical index of all parishes.
  • Genealogical Guidebook and Atlas of Sweden, by Finn A. Thomsen

It's Been Ages.puerto Rican Genealogy Dna Testing

Vietnamese

Vietnamese immigration to America has been almost exclusively a by-product of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. Although there were probably fewer than 10,000 Vietnamese living in America in 1970, by 1980 this figure had risen to almost a quarter of a million as a result of the South Vietnamese defeat and subsequent refugee flows. Today, these and subsequent immigrants from Vietnam, along with their descendants, number well over half a million.

Although Vietnamese Americans reside nationwide, the largest concentration (approximately 40%) lives in California, most notably in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

Books

It's Been Ages.puerto Rican Genealogy Sites

  • From Vietnam to America: A Chronicle of the Vietnamese Immigration to the United States, by Gail Paradise Kelly