Saturday, November 16, 2019
Now Indexing: Back to New York
With all the different research projects I've been working on, and all the locations which they've taken me over the past month, I still find myself heading back to New York for indexing projects. Why is it that I have this unquenchable hope that I'll discover my paternal ancestors' immigration or naturalization records in a place the size of New York City? As unreasonable as that hope is, I find myself returning again and again to the U.S. District Court Naturalization Records for New York City's Southern District.
You will not be surprised to learn that I didn't run across any familiar surnames this time.
I did, however, transcribe the naturalization records for several immigrants from Germany and Italy in this month's volunteer moments. As much of a drop in the bucket as this attempt at giving back may be, at least it is something. I do appreciate all the many efforts of so many other volunteers who transformed the world of genealogical research for the rest of us, and want to chip away at what can be added to the process.
And though I suspect I'll never run into a yet-to-be-transcribed record of any of my distant relatives in that NYC collection, I can't help but wonder if their names might pop up as witnesses on someone else's affidavits.
Perhaps it might seem as if I'd have better chances if I just went out and bought a lottery ticket—but even if I lost that chance to spot an ancestor in all these unindexed records, at least the effort may make it possible to secure a win for someone else.