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Posted on 01/08/2014

At www.shieldandcrest.com we get quite a few phone calls from folk interested in the coat of arms (family crest) for their name as part of their ongoing family research. ( We even pay for the call!) It’s always interesting to hear how far back in family history some people have been able to go. These days, Ancestry.com is a great resource, but it’s not the only one. Immigration records are such an interesting way to join the family dots.

Before the 1800’s, immigration documents were basically unheard of, however, some of our customers have relayed stories of discovering the 1623 “Division Of Land” documents of Plymouth Colony in Virginia. This document supplies most of the names of passengers on The Mayflower in 1620, The Fortune in 1621, and The Anne and The Little James in 1623. Compiled by the colony Governor William Bradford, the head of household of every dwelling in Plymouth is also recorded.

Boston import records from 1712-1769 record the first passengers described as immigrants. Immigration “control” first reared it’s head in Pennsylvania in 1727 when The Commonwealth began to regulate “foreigners” ( By which they meant Germans) entering the colony. It was charged that these “Palatine Arrivals” posed a threat to security and peace.

For great gifts to enhance your family story, contact us at www.shieldandcrest.com or call (Toll-Free) 866-289-2798