Thursday, October 25, 2012

CANADIAN BORDER CROSSINGS


Tonight I decided I would investigate my Scots-Irish ancestors who lived in Canada. New York is not far from Canada, and I have traveled through customs in Niagara Falls many times.



On Ancestry.com there is a database called “Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1954.” In this database, I found Alexander Stewart, my great grand uncle. These are some of the gems I discovered:

  • His arrival date (2 Oct 1916)
  • The port of arrival (Niagara Falls, New York)
  • The departure contact (his wife Elmor [which should be Eleanor])
  • His age (50) and his birth date (apx. 1866)
  • His race (Irish) and his nationality (Canadian)
  • His occupation (bricklayer)
  • His address (786 Palmerston Avenue, Toronto)
  • That he had been in the U.S. before from 1888 to 1893 and that he was returning to work.
  • His destination was Buffalo, NY, to a residence on 18 Chippewa.
  • He is listed as 5’8”, of medium complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair with no distinguishing marks.

There was no photo; it was a card type record.


Ancestry.com also gave me a clue that there was another record in the same database for Alexander Stewart. From this record I learned:

  • His arrival date was 5 Aug 1923
  • His port of arrival was Lewiston, New York
  • His wife’s name was Eleanore.
  • He was 57.
  • He was born in Toronto, Canada.
  • His health was good.
  • His address was 40 Sparkshall Ave.
  • He intended to be in the U.S. for two months.
  • He was not coming because of an offer of employment.
  • He had not been deported or in jail.
  • He was not a polygamist or an anarchist.


I then took the addresses (786 Palmerston Avenue and 40 Sparkshall Avenue in Toronto) and put them into Google maps. I not only got the location, but I also saw a picture of the homes that are there and a view of the neighborhood. 

That's quite a bit of information for one night. Sometimes you get lucky!




ILLUSTRATION FROM:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Advertising Cuts of the 20s and 30s, 2003.

CITATION SOURCE:

Record for Alexander Stewart, Arrival date 2 Oct. 1916, Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1954 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1480; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85.

Ibid., Record for Alexander Stewart, 5 August 1923.



2 comments:

  1. My uncles spent many years between 1905 and 1952 travelling from Canada to USA and crossing at Huron or Niagara Falls . How do I trace their records.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In addition to the Ancestry database referenced above, you could try New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956 on FamilySearch: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1876434
    Also see "Passenger Lists" by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library http://www.buffalolib.org/sites/default/files/pdf/genealogy/subject-guides/PassengerLists.pdf
    You could also contact the Buffalo Library at http://www.buffalolib.org/content/contact-us

    Good luck!
    Karin

    ReplyDelete