Monday, November 18, 2013

Tika & Ports of Entry

Tika and I had always thought of a port as a place on land near water, most usually the ocean, where boats and ships dock. When doing some FamilySearch Indexing, I did a passenger list record from the Port of Easton, Idaho. Idaho? A port in Idaho? Tika was surprised, too, and suggested we do some research.

According to Wikipedia, "a port of entry is a place where one may lawfully enter a country."  But, Wikipedia continues, "the formal definition of a port of entry in the U.S. is something entirely different." The explanation goes on to explain "the terms port and port of entry incorporate the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a port director and may encompass an area that includes several border crossings as well as some air and sea ports."

The Port of Easton, Idaho, is directly across from Kingsgate, British Columbia. Easton is one of 118 ports of entry between Canada and the United States and many of those ports are on dry land and not connected to an ocean or other body of water.  Idaho has two ports along its 45-mile border with Canada.... and is nowhere near the ocean.

We both gained a new understanding of the term port and port of entry by having just one little thing spark our interest. Good way to learn a lesson. But while that's "good news", the "bad news" is that an ancestor could have emigrated into the U.S. through which one of those 118 ports of entry??

"Well," says Tika, "I much prefer to think of ports as places where I can get onto the water and go swimming."  I agree with her. 

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