To my surprise, not a single record was found:
At this point, I decided to look at what crossing points and year spans were included in the database.1 (You can do this by clicking on the "Learn more about this database link" on the left side of the page.) Naturally, the vast majority of the records for Maine took place in the 20th Century, making it unlikely that I'm going to find my earlier Nickerson/Robinson clan in these records. BUT...a closer examination of the description shows that the earliest crossing in this record set, from any entry point, is from 1877, even though the database's title says 1825! If this recordset had an accurate title (e.g 1877-1960), I would not have spent my precious research time on a fruitless effort. Thanks, Ancestry.
So what did I learn from this?
- If I don't find what I expect to find in a search, check the database's description to see what was actually included in the record set and/or index. It may be that the records I'm looking for DO exist, just not where I'm looking for them.
- Better yet, especially on days that I have just 10-15 minutes to do a quick search, maybe I should check the database description first, instead of relying on titles, to let me know if I might find what I'm looking for.
1. "U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1825-1960", database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed January 22, 2017), database description; citing National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Record Group 85.