Where to Find Alaska’s Passenger Lists

National Archives and Records Administration

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The United States government kept custom house records and passenger lists for alien, immigrant, and citizen arrivals in various locations of Alaska. Most of the surviving records for the Eagle, Hyder, Ketchikan, Nome, and Skagway offices are from before 1920, but a few include the years between 1920 and 1946.

These records constitute direct, original, and primary information about individuals entering the United States. Indirect information, such as age, sex, marital status, and destination may also appear in these records.

Copies of these records are kept at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Pacific Alaska Region facility in Seattle, Washington, where I am a professional genealogy researcher. Contact me to start a discussion about the possibilities of researching your family’s history. Likewise, if you would like more information about my genealogical research services, including information about fees, and range of materials available to research, I’d love to hear from you.

For more detailed information about these records, please see the NARA publications for:

  • M2016 — Index of alien arrivals at Eagle, Hyder, Ketchikan, Nome, and Skagway, Alaska, Jun 1906–Aug 1946.
  • M2017 — Lists of aliens arriving at Skagway (White Pass), Alaska, Oct 1906–Nov 1934.
  • M2018 — List of aliens arriving at Eagle, Alaska, Dec 1910–Oct 1938.

Where to Find Idaho’s Federal Land Records

National Archives and Records Administration

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Between 1860 and 1934 the U. S. government kept records of all federal land transactions in Idaho. These records can contain genealogically significant information.

The records include land transactions under various laws and acts, including: donation land, homesteads, timber and stone, timber culture, desert land, mining, and some cash sales. The records also include tract books (township, range, section, and fraction of section) with lists of owners.

There are records of homestead entries and final certificates, desert land declarations and entries, timber culture entries, abstracts of land sold, and patents delivered.

Federal Land Offices were located in various places over the years, including: Blackfoot, Boise, Coeur d’Alene (most records lost in fire), Hailey, Lewiston, and Oxford.

The records here do not include the land entry case files. Those records are available from the National Archives, in Washington, D. C. Record copies of donation land patents issued are kept by the Bureau of Land Management, and are not included here.

Some information on this page has been summarized from NARA publication M1620 — Federal Land Records for Idaho, 1860–1934.

Copies of these records are kept at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Pacific Alaska Region facility in Seattle, Washington, where I am a professional genealogy researcher. Contact me to start a discussion about the possibilities of researching your family’s history. Likewise, if you would like more information about my genealogical research services, including information about fees, and range of materials available to research, I’d love to hear from you.

Where to Find Oregon’s Federal Land Records

National Archives and Records Administration

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Between 1851 and 1908 the U. S. government kept records of all federal land transactions in Oregon. These records can contain genealogically significant information.

The records include land transactions under various laws and acts, including: donation land, homesteads, timber and stone, timber culture, desert land, mining, and some cash sales. The records also include tract books (township, range, section, and fraction of section) with lists of owners.

There are records of homestead entries and final certificates, desert land declarations and entries, timber culture entries, abstracts of land sold, and patents delivered. In addition, some Oregon land records include abstracts of military land warrant certificates and soldier declaratory statements.

The records here do not include the land entry case files. Those records are available from the National Archives, in Washington, D. C. Record copies of donation land patents issued are kept by the Bureau of Land Management, and are not included here.

Oregon’s Federal Land Offices were located in various places over the years, including: Burns, Harney, La Grande, Lakeview, Linkville (Klamath Falls), Oregon City, Portland, Roseburg, The Dalles, Vale, and Winchester.

Some information on this page was summarized from NARA publications:

  • M145 — Abstracts of Oregon Donation Land Claims, 1852–1903
  • M815 — Oregon and Washington Donation Land Files, 1851–1903
  • M1621 — Federal Land Records for Oregon, 1854–1908

Copies of these records are kept at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Pacific Alaska Region facility in Seattle, Washington, where I am a professional genealogy researcher. Contact me to start a discussion about the possibilities of researching your family’s history. Likewise, if you would like more information about my genealogical research services, including information about fees, and range of materials available to research, I’d love to hear from you.

Where to Find Washington State’s Federal Land Records

National Archives and Records Administration

Image via Wikipedia

Between 1855 and 1910 the U. S. government kept records of all federal land transactions in Washington Territory and State. These records can contain genealogically significant information.

The records include land transactions under various laws and acts, including: donation land, homesteads, timber and stone, timber culture, desert land, mining, and some cash sales. The records also include tract books (township, range, section, and fraction of section) with lists of owners.

There are records of homestead entries and final certificates, desert land declarations and entries, timber culture entries, abstracts of land sold, and patents delivered. In addition, some Oregon land records include abstracts of military land warrant certificates and soldier declaratory statements.

Washington Territory and State Federal Land Offices were located in various places over the years, including: Colfax, North Yakima, Olympia, Seattle, Spokane Falls, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Waterville, and Yakima.

The records here do not include the land entry case files. Those records are available from the National Archives and Records Administration, in Washington, D. C. Record copies of donation land patents issued are kept by the Bureau of Land Management, and are not included here.

Some information on this page was summarized from NARA publications

  • M203 — Abstracts of Washington Donation Land Claims, 1855–1902
  • M815 — Oregon and Washington Donation Land Files, 1851–1903
  • M1622 — Federal Land Records for Washington, 1860–1910

Copies of these records are kept at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Pacific Alaska Region facility in Seattle, Washington, where I am a professional genealogy researcher. Contact me to start a discussion about the possibilities of researching your family’s history. Likewise, if you would like more information about my genealogical research services, including information about fees, and range of materials available to research, I’d love to hear from you.

Research Look-up Listings

Over the past weekend and week I restructured my professional research strategy on GenLighten.com. The new listings are

  • Idaho Federal Land Records – 1860 to 1934
  • Oregon Federal Land Records – 1851 to 1908
  • Washington State Federal Land Records – 1855 to 1910
  • Oregon Naturalization Records – 1859 to 1956
  • Washington State Naturalization Records – 1850 to 1974
  • Seattle, Washington Obituary Look-ups – 1888 to 2011

Most of these records are National Archives and Records Administration microfilm holdings at the Pacific Alaska Region facility in Seattle. Depending on site availability, I can use different archives for the obituary lookups.

Feel free to post questions about the listings and specific items on that site.

Other obituary and newspaper item look-ups are also possible, using a custom look-up request mechanism on the GenLighten site.

Re-starting look-up services

I’m planning to begin offering look-up services in Pacific Northwest area archives in the coming weeks. I’ve been a member of Genealogy Freelancers for some time and had participated in the GenLighten.com beta several years ago. I’ll be restructuring my offerings and fees this weekend and should have them posted on those sites next week sometime.

You may see references to SeaGenes.com in some of my older posts. That site name has been taken over by a completely unrelated person and does not deal with genealogical issues. I think it was an unfortunate occurrence, but it was unavoidable under the circumstances. Seattle Book Scouts is also no longer functioning as a web site at SeattleBookScouts.com, so those references should also be avoided.

In-depth Genealogy Research

Genealogy is more than just looking at a record set, and copying the information found in that document. Occasionally, one can do valid genealogy research in that way, most times, however, it is not possible. Few people are lucky enough to have had their genealogies written already and fewer of those people are able to compile the entirety of a family history back to the fifth generation, at any rate. Given these facts of life, a professional genealogist is a great resource for the amateur family historian.

Most lineage research, both ancestry and descendant, involves detailed examination of difficult to read records. Old-fashioned language is the least of the problem; many records that genealogists use are poorly microfilmed and the context of a document, historical, legal, cultural, or otherwise must also be considered. Again, sometimes it is necessary to consult a professional genealogist, someone who understands the time, place, and context of a record.

Many times an amateur genealogist will contact a professional and ask that they do some in-depth research for them. A responsible and accountable professional will follow a number of steps in fulfilling the need of the amateur; to list them briefly, a professional should:

  1. Analyze the data received
  2. Check for availability of records
  3. Develop a research strategy
  4. Do original research; i.e., that not already done by the client or others
  5. Keep track sources examined and record all documentation
  6. Summarize the research
  7. Provide suggestions for further research

At the end of the research time allotted by the client, the client should expect to see much progress made on his/her stated goal as demonstrated with the above specifications. Even though the professional may not have solved the research problem, or completed the task, the client expects results.

As a professional genealogist, I follow the guidelines set forth above in working with a client to consult and tell them of any questions about the data provided and all results found in a project.

Some of the material in this article was abstracted from the GENTECH flowchart from the National Genealogical Society’s website.