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Immigration is entering a country where you are not a native, to take up permanent residence.
Emigration is leaving a country where you have been a citizen, to settle elsewhere.
Migration is the movement from one place of residence to another, usually within a country.
An emigrant is a person who leaves a country to reside in another country.
An immigrant is a person who comes into a new area to settle.
An alien is a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized in his/her new country.
Major ports of entry to the United States were Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. Some people came through Canadian ports and then moved over the border to the United States.
When checking a ship's passenger list, look for others who came from the same area where your ancestors lived. They may be relatives . Following their ancestry may help you find out more about your family's roots.
Create a MIgration Map which displays each place your ancestor(s) lived. Add historic events. This map can help you determine why your ancestors moved.
Migration patterns and trends were usually tied to economics. Crop failures or the promise of new, fertile land caused many to move.
Frequently, a family moved as far as their money allowed. They settled in an area long enough to earn more money and then moved on.
Wars influenced migration patterns. Many Europeans came the the United States to avoid having to serve in their country's military.
Check military, pension, bounty, and land grant records to see where a soldier was living when the grant or land record was filed.