4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2016 1:09 PM by J Richards

    I'm trying to find when and where my great great grandfather came into the US

    Newbie

      My great great grandfather came to the US when he was about 15 years old from emperial Russia, modern day Poland. I think he arrived somewhere around 1880, pre Ellis Island days. He settled in Pennsylvania and got married there.  Where can I find out where and when he came to the United States?

        • Re: I'm trying to find when and where my great great grandfather came into the US
          Patrick Connelly Adventurer

          Mr. Gryz,

           

          Despite his arriving "pre Ellis Island days" there are still passenger arrival lists available.  Ellis Island was merely the processing station for immigrants.  Passenger arrival lists were maintained starting in 1820.  A great place to start would be with a naturalization record of his own or of his father.  People typically applied for naturalization in a court nearest their home, most often a county courthouse, but there were also federal and state courts that had jurisdiction.  The naturalization declaration of intention and petition for naturalization often contained useful information to help track down the arrival.  Please let me know his name and where he lived so that I can direct you further.

           

          Sincerely,

           

          Patrick Connelly

          Archivist

          The National Archives at Philadelphia

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            • Re: I'm trying to find when and where my great great grandfather came into the US

              Thank you for the response Patrick.  His original spelling of his name was Wojciech Grzeszkiewicz. Later, during the 1940's census his name is recorded as George Gryskiewicz. I don't know which name I would find his nationalization records under? I know he was married in Plymouth,  PA but later settled in Larksville, PA. Both places are within Luzerne County, PA. Hope that helps.

                • Re: I'm trying to find when and where my great great grandfather came into the US
                  Patrick Connelly Adventurer

                  Mr. Gryz,

                   

                  If he was in Luzerne County prior to 1900, he more than likely would have applied for citizenship at the county courthouse.  I checked our index to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and he was not found.  This court only began operating in 1900 and was located at Scranton.  You should contact:

                   

                  Prothonotary

                  Luzerne County Courthouse

                  200 North River Street

                  Wilkes Barre, PA 18711

                  Telephone: (570) 825-1745

                   

                  Don't forget that he may have been naturalized through his father so you should also search for him as well.

                   

                  Patrick

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              • Re: I'm trying to find when and where my great great grandfather came into the US
                J Richards Wayfarer

                   You have to do your homework first before you can effectively track down the immigration manifest on which your ancestor appears. First, the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 U.S. censuses all provide a year of immigration for your ancestor if he was enumerated, with the 1920 census providing a year of naturalization. They all provide info if someone was an alien (AL), naturalized (NA) or in the process of becoming naturalized (PA for papers submitted) to narrow the years they may have become a citizen. Check the census databases for free on familysearch.org (the free LDS genealogy website) under the search tab or go to your local library and use either Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest for free if they provide these contract databases. If you can get an approximate date of immigration, you can check the familysearch and ancestry.com databases for free for the immigration manifests. In addition, Ancestry.com (at your local library for free hopefully) has extensive databases for Pennsylvania naturalization records which has provided many naturalization records in my researching.

                  Modern-day genealogical researchers rarely use the "contact the local courthouse" method of obtaining records these days because the vast majority of key records are digitized and available online on FamilySearch.org, (always free) Ancestry.com and a myriad of other contract websites. Just remember... many of theses sites may be free at your local library and you do not have to subscribe and pay to join them!

                  You may have a local genealogical society that offers classes in how to effectively conduct genealogical research which will save you a great deal of time and money in your search.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful