Hi, Linda, the problem is not usually that the records do not exist but that they just haven't been organized, photographed and/or indexed yet. You might want to schedule a free 20-minute consultation with someone at the Family History Library to give you some ideas. This link has information about that and about some other possible resources. You might also want to investigate the possibility of becoming a FamilySearch Indexer to help get some of these records to a more available place. https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/where-can-i-get-help-with-my-genealogy
can you clarify your question a bit so we can give the correct answer. can you give specific details?
Sorry-I thought I was using a search engine…My problem is Catherine or Katherine Willig/Willich/Willeg.
She married JohnHoffman in 1853 in DuPage County, IL. She was born Alsace. Unaware of any siblings. I cannot find any entry remotely feasible for her immigration 1840-1853. I cannot find family anywhere near on the 1850 or 1855 censuses. I don't know where to try.
My favorite place to start my search is Ancestry.com If you don't have a subscription, then on FamilySearch click Search - Records, type in your person's information then Restrict Records By: check Immigration and Naturalization - click Search
The third place I go is the Ellis Island website https://heritage.statueofliberty.org/passenger The One Page Form allows you to be creative in your search. But, your relative may not have come through Ellis Island and you may need to check other ports such as Boston or Philadelphia and there are many smaller ports of entry. Finally, you may never find the record you're looking for a variety of reasons.
thank you for some ideas Deborah. I cannot seem to read where I much elaborated on my question in an edited post March 8. I have been on ancestry 20 yrs; have searched ancestry, family search, and at the LDS main library. Others in the same close area arrived at the same time from New Orleans, a good route for those interested in newly settling Illinois, since they could come up the Miss. River. I have not tried Ellis Island yet and I will do so. It makes no sense that these people just APPEAR in the US. !! Big brick wall, of long standing. Thanks again for your reply.