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HIST 3658: Jewish Tales from Four Cities

Jose C. Moya

Tips for Genealogical Research

Genealogical Records: Researching Individuals


Useful Guides to Research

Document types

  • Census: Census records for Argentina exist on Family Search for 1855 (Buenos Aires only) 1869, and 1895. ​You can find these on Ancestry and Family Search.
  • Immigration: Center for Latina American Migration Studies (CEMLA) has compiled passenger lists for Argentina.  
  • Vital Records: Incomplete coverage of these records can be found in Ancestry, Family Search


Useful Research Guides

Document Types

  • Census: French national censuses have not been microfilmed and are seldom used for genealogical research. Unlike the census records of the United States, Canada, or Great Britain, they cannot be easily used to locate families. Because French censuses are not indexed, it is not easy to find a name in them.
  • Immigration: The only lists available for the French port of Le Havre are lists of crews and passengers on some commercial cargo vessels. They are very incomplete. Very few passengers sailed on cargo ships. Passenger vessels are not included. 
  • Vital Records: Ancestry and Family Search both have select vital records for Paris. Other vital records are available online through French Archives Online (see above Online Genealogical Records).

United Kingdom:

Useful Research Guides

  • Census: The United Kingdom’s census is enumerated on years ending in 1. You can find the full census from 1841 - 1911 on Ancestry. 1921 is currently being digitized, 1931 was destroyed by fire, and 1941 was never taken due to WWII. 
  • Immigration:  These records are offered primarly through Ancestry.
  • Vital Records: A large collection of UK vital records are available through Ancestry and Family Search. Columbia Libraries does not provide digital access to FindMyPast.

United States 

  • Census: Digital access to indexed US Census are released after 72 years. The 1790 - 1940 census can be found in numerous location, including both Ancestry and Family Search. The 1890 Census was mostly destroyed by fire, and no pages from New York City survived.
  • Immigration: Extensive immigration records for New York City are available through Ancestry and Family Search. You can also find them through the Ellis Island Passenger Lists. Stephen P. Morse Ellis Island resources offer additional ways to search these records.
  • Vital Records: Vital Records for New York are available, though in some cases only as indexes, not fully digitzed records. You can find these collections through Ancestry and Family Search.

Fire insurance map showing a single enumeration district

​Researching US Buildings and Neighborhoods:

In order to find the pages of the census that correspond to a given area, you need to find the area’s enumeration district (ED). An enumeration district does not correspond to neighborhood boundaries. Rather, it is an area covered by a single census taker in one census period. Enumeration districts vary in size from several city blocks in densely populated urban areas to an entire county in sparsely populated rural areas.


Image: [Detail] Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, Plate 18 Atlas of the City of New York, The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1899. - accessed using NYPL MapWarper.

  • Select the census year in the dropdown menu at the top of the page
  • Search by address 
  • Add the cross street boundaries
  • Click on the ED link at the bottom (ex: “New York- 180”)
  • Click “Free Display”
  • Census pages are arranged by street and building address

Genealogical Research Databases

Resources for Genealogical Research