Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Immigration Frustration: Malcolm Macleod 1854

From: Macleod
I am a novice and have been a member of for a week now. I am searching my surname MACLEOD. Per an 1880 Chicago, Illinois census I know that Malcolm Macleod immigrated to the US from Scotland around 1854 (b.1849). I believe that he immigrated via Canada, and I THINK he came from the isle of Skye. The hits (from passenger lists) are so vague I don't know where to start. I know his mom was Irish and father was Scots but don't have their first names nor any names of siblings. I have attempted to find their marriage certificate and death certificates with NO luck (family members are no help either).

-- For immigration searches: Is it even possible to gather enough info to cross-check/validate a passenger list if the Malcolm that I locate is indeed my relative?

-- How limited is my search since I only have internet access? I am currently living in Germany. I don't have the first clue if I could even order these "indexes" or even if they would send any to Germany.

Any tips clues would be wonderful! Help! Thank you.

You are doing GREAT, kiddo! We all started out as newbies to genealogy. I am every grateful to a genealogy instructor in Maryland who set me on the right path. Your thought to look at original documents (passenger lists) rather than relying solely on a index from is VERY WISE. I love the indexes and scanned images, but there are other viable alternatives to consider.

Ol' Myrt just called the (FHC)Family History Center Support line, and verified that you can INDEED order in any microfilm or microfiche in the Family History Library Catalog through your local LDS Family History Center in Germany, unless of course it has a designated restricted status, limiting access to patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. To locate the address of a FHC near you, go to: This means that if the database you are using was derived from a record group on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, you can order the original document if the scanned image isn't available online.

Assuming you wish to look at a passenger list to see if the town of origin is listed, though there is perhaps a less time-consuming alternative. But since your ancestor hailed from Scotland, you are in luck! Scotland is one country that has developed a partnership with a website to provide a country-wide index to official records including:

• Statutory Registers Births 1855-1905
• Statutory Registers Marriages 1855-1930
• Statutory Registers Deaths 1855-1955
• Old Parish Registers Births & Baptisms 1553-1854
• Old Parish Registers Banns & Marriages 1553-1854
• Census Records (1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901) (view 1881 at for free)
• Wills & Testaments Free Index Search 1513-1901

This is also a fee-based website, but I think it’s a wise investment for anyone with Scottish ancestry. From this you should be able to search Isle of Skye for the name and estimated birth date, and work through the indexes at this government website. Family historians make the jump to local church records for time periods when the public vital records weren't kept. Fortunately this website understands the importance of the Old Parish registers. This would be true when searching for evidence of Malcolm MACLEOD's birth circa 1849.

These are available at:
-- Tracing Immigrant Origins Research Outline
-- Scotland Country/City Maps Register
-- Scotland Historical Background
-- Scotland Map (Boundaries after 1974) [Description]
-- Scotland Map (Boundaries before 1974) [Description]
-- Scotland Research Outline
-- Scotland, How to Find a Map
-- Scotland, How to Find a Place Name
-- Scotland, How to Find Compiled Sources
-- Scotland, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived
-- Canada Previous Research, Part 1
-- Canada Previous Research, Part 2
-- Canada Research Outline
-- Canada, Church Records, 1600s to the Present
-- Canada, Histories of Towns, Counties, and Provinces
-- Canada, How to Find Family Histories
-- Canada, Tombstone and Sexton Records
-- Canadian 1871 National Census
-- Canadian Census Records Before 1871

There are lots of alternatives, but hopefully this info will help you on your way.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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