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 holds Certified Genealogist (CG) and Certified Genealogical Speaker (CGL) credentials and is a fellow of the National Genealogical Society. She is a full-time professional researcher, speaker, and writer who lives in Colorado. Julie speaks on a wide variety of genealogy subjects both locally and nationally. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ and NGS Magazine. Julie was the NGS interim Education Manager (2018), is a member of the NGS conference committee, and was a volunteer at NARA-Denver for twenty-one years.