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Frequently Asked Questions



What's the advantage of a jimaworks RelationShips display compared to my photo album, genealogy page, family stories, family passenger manifests, etc.

  • One key difference is that your RelationShips display is more public and available for repeated viewings, consistent reinforcement of the story it tells, and in its support of serendipity conversations.
  • Another is that , as a work of composed visual art, it is likely to be a bit more attractive than many if not all of  your existing family artifacts.
  • Furthermore, it is made to last; it may be handed down through the generations, and so be an effective way to propagate a families' heritage.
  • Finally, it conveys an integrated view of the many elements of a complex and pivotal event in a family's history, and provides a magnet to which other events, artifacts, and stories may be related.

Why would I pay for a product I haven't seen yet?

  • You will indeed see the product exactly a you have ordered it (though it will be at a lower-resolution and with a watermark compared with the product that will be physically delivered to you).  It will reflect all the choices you've made from our many options, will show the sea route of your ancestor's journey to America, and will show all the text choices and changes you've decided on in the five RelationShips text boxes.
  • We prepare this for you when you have decided to order your RelationShips print.  At that time we request a small, non-refundable fee for production of a proof of your product ($20 at the time of this writing), and a deadline for responding.
  • You may then submit your approved choice or request a revision (of which the first two are free).  If you don't respond before the deadline, we will assume you have changed your mind and we will cancel your order without any further obligation to you.

How can I have confidence in what my individual, personalized version of a RelationShips product will look like if I only see general-issue mockups when I build up my order?

  • You will be sent an exact (though low-resolution and watermarked) proof of the individual, personalized RelationShips product as you have specified it (see 2)

What if I don't have all the information I need for this product?

  • Jimaworks provides suitable fill-in text for every item it asks you to provide (except for the names of the people you are commemorating).
  • The default text provided by jimaworks states general conditions or facts about migration voyages, but it is usually sensitive to the answers you are able to provide.
  • But irrespective of what you don't know or of what default text is provided, you may always write in what you do know, in whatever way you would like to state it for your version of the product (up to the length limits of the associated text box - and even there, if you have issues just contact us and we'll find a solution)
  • Additional approaches and resources are described on the ABOUT YOU page on this website (and in the FAQ answers below), including specific hints and tips for filling in the Who, What, When, Where, Why of the piece of your history you are commemorating.

What if I have more information than I'm being asked for in the RelationShips product?

  • You may add as much information as you like. For instance, if you know the originating Province or even City or Town of the people you are honoring, you may use the textbox for DeparturePort to add that information.
  • (But contacts us, please, if you don't see how to accomodate your additional information. There is very likely a way for us to help).

What if I don't know the names of the ancestors who came over?

  • You can start with the names of your father and your mother.  Each had some ancestor of that name who crossed the seas to get here (unless they were Native American and came to American not over the Bearing Sea, but over a pre-existing land bridge).
  • You can go beyond your parents by accessing family memories, searching family records, or using the services of a genealogical organization.
  • Or, without naming them, you can refer to them in terms of how they relate to you. For instance, "The First Antonisse Namesake to America"
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "Who Came Over?" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I don't know the Country of Origin of my forebears?

  • Their names will usually provide a very good indicator of their origins, and, conveniently, many organizations have compiled names-to-countries tables that compile those indicators into a useful, searchable form.  See, for instance, https://en.geneanet.org/surnames/GENET for just one of many examples.
  • Even if you cannot find the exact country of origin, you may state their origins more generally, not as the country but as the region - "Eastern Europe"
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "What Country Did They Come From?" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I don't know the Port of Departure of my forebears?

  • The port of departure may be obtained directly from the passenger list or ship's manifest of the ship that brought your forebear to this country
  • But if you cannot find such a passenger list, you may be able to infer the departure port from the time of the voyage and the country of origin
  • If you can narrow the departure to a small number of ports or to a region, you can state the departure in a less precise way (e.g., "A North Sea Port")
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "What Port Did They Leave From?" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I don't know the Port of Arrival of my forebears?

  • You are likely to be able to infer the arrival port from the time of the voyage and the country of origin, as well as from your family's past and current residence.
  • A great proportion of oceanic immigration into the United States came through only a small number of ports of entry, so you may be able to search the records of the individual ports
  • ...(For instance, a preponderance of European immigrants sailed in through New York, so the Ellis Island records and search tools are like to be of direct and immediate help.)
  • If you can narrow the arrival to a small number of ports-of-entry or to a region, you can state the arrival in a less precise way (e.g., "An Gulf Port")
  • ...(If you can find the port of entry, you are likely to be able to find the ship and the ship's manifest as well, at which point you will have material for many of the elements of your RelationShip product)
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "Where Did They Land" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I don't know the initial Destination of my forebears?

  • The initial destination of passengers can often be obtained directly from the passenger list or ship's manifest of the ship that brought them
  • You are also likely to be able to infer the initial destination from the time of the voyage and the country of origin, as well as from your family's past and current residence.
  • ...(For instance, the greater share of Scandinavian immigrants coming into America in the 1880's settled in the Midwest.)
  • If you can narrow the initial residence to a region, you can state the destination in a less precise way (e.g., "The Midwst"), or don't state is at all
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "Where Did They End Up" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I don't know what ship (or airplane) my forebears took to get here?

  • You are likely to be able to find the ship of passage directly from the records of a port of entry, especially if have some sense of when the trip was taken
  • Similarly, if you can find the port of departure, you may be able to find the ship and possibly the ship's manifest through that source.
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "What (ship/airplane) Brought Them Here" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.

What if I'd like to indicate Why my forebears came to America (and what if I don't know the reason)?

  • Different times in history have given rise to different considerations for a family to be inclined to depart from their previous place of residence, and/or to be attracted to the prospect of living in America, whether temporarily or permanently. Family lore is likely to be the best source for these considerations were.
  • In addition, there are rich sources of historical analyses of every country in the world, which provide insights on the conditions that might tend to "push" people out of a country, and of the United States, which provide insights on the conditions that might have tended to "pull" people into the country
  • The title or the sub-title can be used to indicate the impetus for the crossing, e.g., (as a very general example) "Seeking Opportunities for a Better Life"
  • Additional approaches and resources are described under "What Made Them Leave Their Homeland" on the ABOUT YOU page on this website.