Family researchers on a quest should contact genealogical and historical societies where their ancestors lived. These groups often work on indexing projects relative to their geographical areas.
The Southern California Genealogical Society - which also sponsors a great conference each year (Jamboree) - is particularly active in this regard, publishing volumes on immigration and naturalization extracts and also working on the 1892 Great Register of Los Angeles Voters.
Another major work is a multi-year project to reconstruct the Los Angeles County portion of the 1890 United States census, lost to fire and subsequent water damage, and create a searchable database based on many types of records, such as birth, death, marriage, cemetery, tax, immigration, church, and an every-name index of the 1890 Los Angeles Times.
The SCGS has just published four new volumes in its immigration and naturalization series. Now available in both softbound and CD versions are declarations of intentions filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, Central District (Los Angeles).
The new volumes cover October 4, 1906-April 3, 1911, April 4, 1911-January 6, 1914, January 8, 1914-July 28, 1915, and July 28, 1915-February 3, 1916. They cover intentions numbered 1-3239.
Included in these documents - addition to name, age and address - are birthdates and places, physical description, method of immigration and port of entry.
In addition to the documents, there is an address index for indicated addresses as well as an index for birth locations indicated by the applicants.
According to one entry, from the SCGS journal "The Searcher" (Autumn 2008):
Lundstrum, Ture Edwin Intention No. 1243
Ture Edwin Lundstrom, aged 32 years, whose occupation is Carpenter, was born in Gislof, Simrishamn, Sweden on March 08, 1880. Mr. Lundstrom presently resides at 150 Colima Ave., Los Angeles, California. He departed from the port of Southampton, England on the vessel Titanic & transferre to Carpathia mid-ocean, arriving at the port of New York in the State of New York about April 18, 19132. His last foreign address was Simrishamn, Sweden.
Mr. Lunstrom's physical description: Color: White; Complexion: Fair; Height: 5'6"; Weight: 145 pounds; Hair Color: Light Brown; and Eye Color: Blue. Other distinctive mars: None. With his Declaration of Intention signed before Wm. M. Van /dyke, Clerk of the United States District Court, Southern District California by Chas, N, Williams, Deputy Clerk on February 25, 1913, Ture Edwin Lundstrom renounces his allegiance to Gustavus V, King of Sweden.
Researchers can obtain a digital or printed copy of the original record from which the abstract was taken, by contacting the society via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another major project of the SCGS is the 1892 Great Register of Los Angeles Voters, with more than 27.500 records. Of these, 12,000 were for city residents and the balance represented "country" residents (anywhere except the city).There was a marked increase in "country" numbers, as in 1884, only 7,000 lived there.
Only males are listed as women were not allowed to vote until 1920.
Information in the registers included name, age, place of birth, occupation, residence, as well as naturalization information (date and court). It also includes a physical description (height, weight, complexion, eye/hair color and other marks).
The SCGS's very extensive research library has the microfilms of the Great Registers for 1873-1896. Occasionally, the group publishes extracts from a specific city in The Searcher, as it did for the 1892 register for the city of Pomona in the autumn 2008 issue - listing 1,069 records.
The record for Timothy Bresnahan indicates that he was age 42, 5'9", dark complexion, grey eyes, dark hair, and was "deficient in right eye." His occupation was a section foreman. He was born in Ireland and was naturalized in September 1879 in Los Angeles.
The record for Nathan Cohn showed that he was 35, 5'10", dark complexion, brown eyes, dark hair. He was a merchant born in Germany and was naturalized on November 29, 1878, in Los Angeles.
There are advantages in becoming a member of societies in the geographical areas of interest to your research. The SCGS is planning to post the entire 1892 Great Register extraction to its website's member-only section.
Other databases are online now to all visitors, including the 1884 Los Angeles County Great Register, 1890 building permits, Los Angeles County Burial Permits (1870-1892), and others.
For more information, go to the Southern California Genealogical Society site www.scgsgenealogy.com.