The Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University is an academic research center associated with the family history B.A. program. Typically, 45 students work in the center each semester on various projects. All student research is made available online, providing quality resource materials for genealogists worldwide.
One of our projects is the Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP) which has been on-going for 16 years. One of the most difficult issues in genealogical research is to discover the hometown of an immigrant in order to continue research in an earlier country of residence. To locate the birthplaces of immigrants, which are generally missing on the records in arrival countries, IAP identifies and indexes emigration records from European home countries. These records are rich in genealogical information, but they are largely untouched simply because they are not readily available. Most are accessible only by visiting the archives containing the records and are rarely indexed or microfilmed.
The IAP project provides employment for students in the center, but it also provides internship opportunities in European countries. Students intern in various repositories of Europe. There, they obtain permissions, then acquire digital images of various record types: passports, passport applications, ship lists, boarding permissions, fugitive records, and more. The project is currently indexing records in six countries: England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and The Netherlands. The IAP data is available online to anyone researching immigrants. The searchable database now totals over 750,000 names, with over 100,000 entries added each year.
During the NGS Conference in Raleigh, the center is sponsoring a class (W145) on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30: “Making Sense of Censuses: Analyzing and Interpreting Census Data.” Also, come visit our vendor booth (#224) to learn more about our projects and meet some of the up and coming genealogists of the next generation!