Have you ever wondered why your ancestor decided to emigrate, how they got there, or how they knew where to go? The answers to these questions could have come from an emigrant guide. Emigrant guides contain instructions and advice for those interested or planning to emigrate. They are useful for gaining insight into the whys and hows of an ancestor's preparation, journey, and settlement in a new land. Whether your ancestor sailed across the ocean or traveled across the country, they had questions about the trip and their future home which an emigrant guide often answered. These guides provided essential information and practical advice about travel, weather, geography, opportunities, and much more. They were aimed at people who were literate and had the means to travel to a new place in order to start a new life. The ideal guide had a table of contents, included maps, was cheap, and was compact for easy carrying. Emigrant guides provide a window into the lives of our ancestors. Learn how to locate the guides and how to use them to understand more about your ancestor's story.
Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS is a full-time professional researcher, speaker, and writer who lives in Colorado. She speaks on a wide variety of genealogy subjects both locally and nationally. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ, NGS Magazine, and she was the genealogy columnist for her local newspaper, the Broomfield Enterprise, for ten years. Julie is chair of the NGS conference committee, served as conference chair of the 2010 and 2012 NGS conferences, and served on the NGS board from 2006-2014. She has also served on the boards of APG, ISFHWE, Colorado Genealogical Society, and the Colorado Chapter of APG. Julie is a fellow of the National Genealogical Society and was the winner of the 2013 NGS Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism. She has been a volunteer at NARA-Denver for nineteen years.