Tracing Immigrants Origin Court Records

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Tracing Immigrant Origins Gotoarrow.png Country of Origin Gotoarrow.png Court Records

Look first for published court record abstracts with indexes. In some countries, such as Germany, emigrants had to show their debts were paid to get permission to leave. People who left without permission (fugitives) are also sometimes mentioned. In some countries, like England, courts deported criminals to America or Australia during colonial times. Some such records are indexed, for example—

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. (FHL book 973 W2c.)
  • ——. The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987. (FHL book 973 W2coL.)

You can also use court records when you know the region where an emigrant may have lived. This is difficult and requires searching the appropriate records for the time period when the immigrant left. You may have to hire on-site researchers to investigate foreign court records.

For court record indexes and abstracts on emigrants, deported convicts, or bonded servants, check the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under [COUNTRY] - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION.