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Genealogy Resources

Immigration Records,
 Ships & Passenger Lists

Immigration records, also known as "ship passenger arrival records," may provide genealogists with information such as:
  • one's nationality, place of birth
  • ship name and date of entry to the United States
  • age, height, eye and hair color
  • profession
  • place of last residence
  • name and address of relatives they are joining in the U.S.
  • amount of money they are carrying, etc.

If an ancestor immigrated to the United States after 1820, you may find him on the passenger list of the ship on which he arrived. Passenger arrival records are on microfilm at the National Archives. Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals is an online catalog of microfilmed passenger indexes and lists. The National Archives will search passenger indexes and lists for you. For records that are indexed, you must provide the full name of the passenger, port of entry, and approximate date of arrival. For unindexed records through 1892, you must provide the full name of the passenger, port of entry, and either the name of the ship and approximate date of arrival or the port of embarkation and exact date of arrival. For unindexed records after 1892, you must provide the full name of the passenger, port of entry, name of ship, exact date of arrival, and names and ages of accompanying passengers, if any. There is no index for New for the periods 1847-1896 and 1949-present.

Early records relating to immigration originated in regional customhouses. The U.S. Customs Service conducted its business by designating collection districts. Each district had a headquarters port with a customhouse and a collector of customs, the chief officer of the district.

From 1607-1776, most immigrants settled in the colonies and were not required to document their arrival. An exception is the records for the arrival of about 40,000 Germans in Pennsylvania from 1727-1808.

An act of March 2, 1819 (3 Stat. 489) required the captain or master of a vessel arriving at a port in the United States or any of its territories from a foreign country to submit a list of passengers to the collector of customs, beginning January 1, 1820. The act also required that the collector submit a quarterly report or abstract, consisting of copies of these passenger lists, to the Secretary of State, who was required to submit such information at each session of Congress. After 1874, collectors forwarded only statistical reports to the Treasury Department. The lists themselves were retained by the collector of customs. Customs records were maintained primarily for statistical purposes.

On August 3, 1882, Congress passed the first Federal law regulating immigration (22 Stat. 214-215); the Secretary of the Treasury had general supervision over it between 1882 and 1891. The Office of Superintendent of Immigration in the Department of the Treasury was established under an act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1085), and was later designated a bureau in 1895 with responsibility for administering the alien contract-labor laws. In 1900 administration of the Chinese-exclusion laws was added. Initially the Bureau retained the same administrative structure of ports of entry that the Customs Service had used. By the turn of the century it began to designate its own immigration districts, the numbers and boundaries of which changed over the years.

In 1903 the Bureau became part of the Department of Commerce and Labor; its name was changed to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization when functions relating to naturalization were added in 1906. In 1933 the functions were transferred to the Department of Labor and became the responsibility of the newly formed Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Under President Roosevelt's Reorganization Plan V of 1940, the INS was moved to the Department of Justice.

For a history of U.S. immigration laws see Legislative History 1790-Present index, listing all major US immigration and naturalization laws, with their legal citation, and a link to a list of each law's major provisions.

19th Century Shipping Lines

  • 1840: Cunard, in Great Britain
  • 1847: Hapag (an acronym for "Hamburg-Amerikanishce Packetfahrt-Aktien Gesellschaft"), or Hamburg  American Line, in Germany
  • 1857- Lloyd, in Germany.
  • 1869: White Star, in Great Britain
  • 1872: Red Star Line, in Belgium
  • 1873: Holland-America Line, in the Netherlands.

  • Access to Archival Databases (AAD). NARA's searchable database containing electronic records. The following topics have specific genealogical sources in AAD: Passenger lists of immigrants to the Port of New York 1846-1851, WWII POWs and casualties, Korean War POWs and casualties, Japanese-American internees, Vietnam War casualties, and more.
     
  • Alien Registration Records. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Alien Registration began in August 1940, as a program intended to fingerprint and create a record for every non-citizen within the United States. Alien Registration Forms, 1940-1944, were microfilmed and remain in the custody of DHS. Beginning in 1944, Alien Registration records became the foundation document in a new series of INS records, the Alien Files, or A-Files. After April 1, 1944, INS maintained an individual case file on each immigrant to the United States, containing all papers, records, and documents relating to that immigrant. A-Files remain in DHS custody and are subject to the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts.
     
  • Ancestry's Immigration Collection  Includes passenger indexes (some with images from the microfilm) for New York (1820-1850; 1851-1891 with images), Boston (1821-1850; 1891-1943 with images), Baltimore (1820-1872; Dec 1891-1948 with images), Philadelphia (1800-1850; 1883-1945 with images), New Orleans (1820-1850), and San Francisco (1893-1953 with images), plus some smaller ports and some naturalization records. Subscription product from Ancestry.com.

  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Genealogical Society, 1995-
     
  • Andrews, William Loring. The Iconography of the Battery and Castle Garden. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901.
     
  • Arbeiter, Nancy Levin. "Castle Garden, the Barge Office, and Manhattan's Piers." NGS NewsMagaine, (April/May/June 2006): 16-20.
     
  • Arbeiter, Nancy Levin. "The Port of New York Before Ellis Island." AVOTAYNU: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. 21 (Fall 2005): 27-34.
     
  • Bagger, Louis. "A Day in Castle Garden." Harper's New Monthly Magazine.  42 (March 1871): 547-57.
     
  • Baltimore Passenger Lists Online Index 1820-1872. Indexes approximately 227,000 individuals who arrived in Baltimore from foreign ports between September 2, 1820 and 29 February 1872. Subscription product form Ancestry.com.
     
  • Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1892-1948. Subscription product from Ancestry.com.
     
  • Bentley, Elizabeth P., transcriber and Michael H. Tepper, editor. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Baltimore 1820-1834.  Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982, reprinted 1999. This book contains the names of about 50,000 passengers (listed alphabetically) who arrived in Baltimore from 1820-1834, and indexes all of the available Baltimore lists for this period: the State Department Transcripts, Quarterly Abstracts and the surviving original lists. About 75% of the passengers were German, many of the rest were British or Irish. The book is available at many libraries or click on the title for ordering information.
     
  • Bentley, Elizabeth P., transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York, 1820-1829; From Customs Passenger Lists. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. This book contains the names of more than 85,000 passengers (listed alphabetically) who arrived in New York from 1820-1829 taken from a direct transcription of the original microfilmed passenger lists (NARA roll 1 thru part of roll 13 of M237).
     
  • Bentley, Elizabeth P., transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York, 1830-1832; From Customs Passenger Lists. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000. A sequel to the above book, and arranged in the same way, this volume contains the names of about 65,000 passengers who arrived in New York from 1830-1832. Coverage is for part of roll 13 thru part of roll 18 of NARA microfilm series M237.
     
  • Bentley, Elizabeth P., transcriber and Michael H. Tepper, editor. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. This book contains the names of about 40,000 passengers (listed alphabetically) who arrived in Philadelphia from 1800-1819. Most of the passengers were from Great Britain (especially Northern Irleand) and Germany.
     
  • Boston, Massachusetts Passenger Arrival Records, 1820-1943.
     
  • Boyer, Carl. Ship Passenger Lists, National and New England (1600-1825). Newhall, CA: C. Boyer, 1977. Covers Lancour entries 1-71 (See Lancour listing below).
     
  • Boyer, Carl. Ship Passenger Lists, New York and New Jersey (1600-1825). Newhall, CA: C. Boyer, 1978. Covers Lancour entries 72-115. (See Lancour listing below)
     
  • Boyer, Carl. Ship Passenger Lists, Pennsylvania and Delaware (1641-1825). Newhall, CA: C. Boyer, 1980. Covers Lancour entries 116-197. (See Lancour listing below)
     
  • Boyer, Carl. Ship Passenger Lists, the South (1538-1825). Newhall, CA: C. Boyer, 1979. Covers Lancour entries 198E-243. (See Lancour listing below)
     
  • Bremen (Germany) - New York Passenger Lists  - Search the Bremen Chamber of Commerce's database of passenger lists 1920-1939, of over 120,000 passengers.

  • Brownstone, David M., Irene M Franck and Douglass L Brownstone. Island of hope, island of tears. New York : Rawson, Wade Publishers, 1979. Personal accounts by immigrants from various countries who passed through Ellis Island.
     
  • "By Hook or by Crook: How Wondrous, How Inventive Were the Schemes Devised to Take Advantage of Naive Entering Immigrants."  Der Blumenbaum, 24, 3 (January, February, March 2007), 110-113.

  • California Bound 1848 - 1873 Ship Passenger Lists Wagon Train Lists Isthmus of Panama Passenger Information.
  • "This site contains passenger lists for ship and wagon train passengers traveling to California between 1848 and 1873. The lists are transcribed from microfilm of the New York Daily Times, the New York Herald, the New Orleans Picayune, the Panama Star, the Panama Herald, and the Boston Daily Evening Transcript."

  • California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953.  Passenger lists of those arriving in San Francisco, California, 1893-1953. Passenger lists of those arriving in San Francisco, California. Corresponds to NARA Publication M1410: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, 1893-1953.
     
  • Canadian Immigration Records, 1925-1935.  The National Archives of Canada holds immigration records from 1865 to 1935. The names of immigrants arriving from overseas are recorded in passenger lists. Those arriving from or via the United States are recorded in border entry lists. A series of old nominal indexes exist for the 1925 to 1935 records. In cooperation with the National Archives of Canada, the Pier 21 Society in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has input the information from the passenger list indexes into this database. Also included are border entries for individuals whose surname starts with the letter C.
     
  • Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo. The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005.
     
  • Castle Garden Immigrant Database Online. CastleGarden.org offers free access to an extraordinary database of information on 10 million immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 73 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period.
     
  • Changing Immigrant Names.

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of those who took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-conformity; and of those who were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993.
     
  • Colletta, John Philip. "Births and Deaths at Sea." Ancestry Magazine (January-February 2003).
     
  • Colleta, John Philip. "Technology Impact on Immigrant Records," Ancestry Magazine (November/December 2001), pp. 29ff.
     
  • Colletta, John Philip. They Came in Ships. 3rd ed. Orem, Utah: Ancestry, Inc., 2002..
     
  • Colletta, John Philip. "US Passenger Records -- What Are They, Really?" Family Chronicle Magazine (November-December 2002) pp. 19ff

  • The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776 & Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775. Family tree maker. [Novato, CA]: Brøderbund Software, 1996. With approximately 140,000 names, this work contains the most comprehensive list ever published of the men, women, and children who emigrated from England to America between 1607 and 1776.
     
  • Conway, Lori. Forgotten Ellis Island: The Extraordinary Story of America's Immigrant Hospital.  Book and film. Photos and history of the Ellis Island hospital that served immigrants, and tells the story of several patients there.
     
  • Consolidated Immigrant Arrival Records from Various Ports. For one-step searching by Stephen P. Morse.
     
  • Country of Origin of Immigrants and Persons Naturalized, 1820-1996. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
     
  • Crume, Rick. "Finding Immigrants Online." Family Chronicle Magazine (January/February 2006) pp. 29-32.
     
  • Dobson, David. Transatlantic Voyages, 1600-1699. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 2006, 2004. A reconstruction of English passenger lists from shipping records in various British archives and libraries.
     
  • Dollarhide, William. Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735-1815. North Salt Lake, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1997, 2003. Identifies the important overland routes.
     
  • Early Immigrant Inspection along the US-Mexico Border
     
  • Ellis Island - American Family Immigration History Center (1892-1924 arriving passenger records)

  • Family Tree Maker Immigrants to America, 1600s-1800s, Immigration Records. Family tree maker, CD #352. [S.l.]: Genealogy.com, 2000. This CD identifies 200,000 immigrants who arrived at Atlantic and Gulf coast ports between the 17th century and the 19th century. Based on twenty volumes of ships' passenger lists published by the Genealogical Publishing Company, it provides such details as name, age, occupation, place of origin, port of departure, name of vessel, names of accompanying family members, and date and place of arrival.
     
  • Filby, P. William, and Mary K. Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: A Guide to Published Arrival Records of about 5000,000 Passengers Who Came to the United States and Canada in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries. 1st edition. 3 vol. plus annual supplements. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1981.
     
  • Filby, P. William, ed., Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538-1900: Being a Guide to Published Lists of Arrivals in the United States and Canada. Detroit: Gale Research Corp., 1981.
     
  • Filby, P. William & Mary K. Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: Guide to More than 2 Million Passengers. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1981-2003.
     
  • Finding Immigration Records.
     
  • Finding Passenger Arrival Records at the Port of Boston, Massachusetts 1820-1943. Compiled by Joe Beine.
     
  • Finding Passenger Arrival Lists & Immigration Records for Charleston & South Carolina. Compiled by Joe Beine
     
  • Finding Passenger Arrival Records at the Port of Galveston, Texas. Compiled by Joe Beine .
     
  • Finding Passenger Arrival Records at the Port of Galveston, Texas. Compiled by Joe Beine .
     
  • Finding Passenger Arrival Records at the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana. Compiled by Joe Beine.
     
  • Firstmom's Genealogy Resources Immigrant Ship Passenger Lists. Contains Italian, German, Irish, Scottish and French immigrants ship passenger lists./www.tsm-elissa.org/immigration-main.htm">Galveston Immigration Database and Texas Seaport Museum.- The database includes names of passengers and members of their traveling parties, age, gender, occupation, country of origin, ship name, dates of departure and arrival, and destination in the United States. Information is also provided for a small number of ship arrivals. The ship database includes ship name, type of ship, master, home port of ship, arrival date at Galveston, port of departure, destination port, tonnage, number of immigrants, ship owner, and citation source.
  • From Immigrant to Local Citizen: The Ellis Island Story. Ellis Island served as a federal immigration station for more than 60 years, from 1892 to 1954. The ancestry of more than 40% of all Americans can be traced back to this station, as millions of immigrants arrived to the United States from Europe and elsewhere, but first processed through Ellis Island. Ellis Island served a great need when it initially opened its doors, as a great influx of immigrants had begun to arrive from the whole of Europe.

  • Galveston Immigration Database. Database with access to 130,000 passengers who landed in Galveston between 1846 and 1948.
     
  • Galveston Passenger Lists 1896-1948 - Subscription product from Ancestry.com.
     
  • Germans-from-Russia to US & Canadian Ports - a database that allows you to search by ship or passenger name, port of arrival, town/country of origin.
     
  • Gilder, Rodman. The Battery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1936.
     
  • Glazier, Ira A., editor. Emigration from the United Kingdom to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports. 2 volumes. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2006. Vol. 1, January 1870-June 1870. Vol. 2, July 1870-December 1870.
     
  • Glazier, Ira P. and William Filby. Italians to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports, 1880-1900. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1992-
     
  • Great Lakes Crew Lists.
     
  • Great Ocean Liners. History of ships in transatlantic crossings.
     
  • Greenwood, Val D. "American Aids to Finding the Home of the Immigrant Ancestor." Chapter 34 in The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3rd edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000.
     
  • Guber, Rafael. "Locating Your Family's Ancestral Town," Ancestry. September/October 1998, Vol. 16, No. 5.
     
  • Guzda, Henry P. "Ellis Island a Welcome Site? Only After Years of Reform," Monthly Labor Review, (July 1986).
     
  • Hall, Charles M. "How to Deal with Boundary Changes in Eastern Europe." Everton's Family History. September/October 2000, 12-15.
     
  • Hamburg Emigration Lists - a database of personal data of 5 million people (Russian, German, Jewish, Austrian) who emigrated via Hamburg, Germany from 1850 to 1934; 80% of whom were traveling to the United States.
     
  • Hamburg Passenger Departure Lists.
     
  • Handlin, Oscar, ed. Immigration as a Factor in American History. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1959.
     
  • Handlin, Oscar, ed. The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People. Reprinted, 2d edition enlarged, Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1973.
     
  • Hansen, Marcus and John Brebner. The Mingling of the Canadian and American Peoples. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1940.
     
  • Harris, Ruth-Ann and Donald M. Jacobs, and Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989-96.
     
  • Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1955. Reprint, New York: Atheneum, 1963-1981.
     
  • History, Genealogy and Education. This site, maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) gives information about the Immigration and Naturalization (I&N) Historical Reference Library collection and services.
     
  • How to Find Your Immigrant Ancestor - Passenger and Immigration Lists Index.. By Jim Rader.
     
  • The Immigrant Ancestors Project, sponsored by the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, uses emigration registers to locate information about the birthplaces of immigrants in their native countries, which is not found in the port registers and naturalization documents in the destination countries. Volunteers working with scholars and researchers at Brigham Young University are creating a database of millions of immigrants based on these emigration registers.

  • Immigration. Read about "Leaving Home" to "The Crossing" to "The Arrival in New York City and more.

  • Immigration Explorer -- An interactive map of the United States from the New York Times showing where various foreign-born groups settled.
     
  • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930. From Harvard university Library's Open Collections Program, includes a variety of interesting materials on immigration.

  • inGeneas Database. The inGeneas Database contains passenger list records for immigrants arriving at Canadian ports between 1748 and 1873.
     
  • Immigrant & Passenger Arrivals. 2d ed. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1991.
     
  • Immigrant Ships Ship Descriptions from Various Internet Mailing Lists List and from Direct Submissions E-mailed to the Owner of this Web Site.
     
  • Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild - Over 3,800 ships passenger lists have been transcribed, passenger and crew names and ship name, departure point etc from all lists can be searched here.
     
  • Immigrant Visa Files. (1924-1944) Immigrant and Naturalization Service. The Immigration Act of 1924 established immigration quotas according to the national origins system, and as of July 1, 1924, required all aliens arriving at the United States to present a visa. Immigrant visas were forwarded for filing at INS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they remain today. Immigrant visas contain valuable genealogical information, including exact date and place of birth, names of parents and children, all places of residence for five full years prior to immigration, and a photograph.  
     
  • Immigration and Emigration by Decade, 1901-1990. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
     
  • Immigration and Naturalization Legislation, 1790-1996. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
     
  • Immigration & Ships Passenger Lists Research Guide - The goal of this guide is to help in research of United States immigration records and ship's passenger lists, both on-line and off-line. 
     
  • Immigration History Research Center. Offers resources focusing on eastern, central, and southern European and Near Eastern ethnic groups. From the University of Minnesota.

  • Immigration to Canada 1925 - 1935. The National Archives of Canada holds passenger lists from 1865 to 1935 (Record Group 76, C 1). These lists constitute the official record of immigration to Canada in that period. A series of old nominal indexes exist for the period 1925 to 1935. They provide the volumes and page numbers on which the names of Canadian immigrants appear in the passenger lists. In cooperation with the National Archives of Canada, the Pier 21 Society in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has input the information from the passenger list indexes into this database.
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Ports in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina 1890-1924 (NARA & FHL Catalog Numbers)
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, MD, 1820-1897 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication M327; 171 rolls)
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, MD (City Passenger Lists), 1833-1866 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication M326; 22 rolls)  Alternate Microfilm Index: If your ancestor arrived at Baltimore from 1833-1866 and you did not find anything in the main index listed above, then you could also try searching this index, which is for the separately kept Baltimore City Passenger Lists
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, MD, 1897-1952 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication T520; 43 rolls)
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, LA, 1853-1899 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Roll Numbers) (NARA Publication T527; 32 rolls)
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, LA, 1900-1952 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication T618; 22 rolls)
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1846 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication M261; 103 rolls)
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, June 16, 1897-June 20, 1902 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication T519; 115 rolls)
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, July 1, 1902-December 31, 1943 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication T621; 755 rolls)
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1944-1948 (NARA Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication M1417; 94 rolls)
     
  • Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, PA, 1800-1906 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication M360; 151 rolls)
     
  • Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, PA, January 1, 1883-June 28, 1948 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Numbers) (NARA Publication T526; 61 rolls)
     
  • International & Passenger Records Collection. A subscription to this database gives you online access to 22 million records from more than 25 different databases, including Germans, Irish, Italians and Russians to America; Dutch Immigrants and English settlers; Plus Baltimore, Boston, New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia indexes from about 1820-1850. Subscription product from Genealogy.com.

  • Irish Passenger Lists - to US and Canada - search an extensive database of Irish passengers arriving (during 1800s) in US and Canadian ports.
     
  • Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Ireland to America: Extracted from the Hardwicke Papers. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.

  • Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to American on Ships of the J & J Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988.
     
  • Jones, Maldwyn A. Destination America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976.
     
  • Kapp, Friedrich. Immigration and the Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York. 1870. Reprint, New York: Arno Press and the The New York Times, 1969.
     
  • KinShips.  The passenger vessels of your immigrants ancestors.
     
  • Konvitz, Milton R. Civil Rights in Immigration. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1953.
     
  • Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, John C. Appleby, and Mandy Banton. Calendar of State Papers, Colonial North America and the West Indies 1574-1739. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Books, 2000.
     
  • Lancour, Harold, comp. A Bibliography of Ship Passenger Lists, 1538-1825; Being a Guide to Published Lists of Early Immigrants to North America. 3d ed. New York: New York Public Library, 1978.
     
  • Library and Archives Canada. "The Passengers Lists" database, which makes up the majority of the immigration lists from 1865 to 1935, is the largest database that the Canadian Genealogy Centre has put online. The database is not indexed, but it does list the date and location of the port where the ship landed, the passenger name, the age and sex of the person, their nationality, and the name of the ship. It includes the names of all passengers -- returning Canadians, tourists, visitors, and immigrants en route to the U.S. The list also includes the names of people who landed at American ports and who indicated at that time that they were going directly to Canada.
     
  • Link to Your Roots - A database provided by the Hamburg State Archives for searching the Hamburg emigration lists.
     
  • Mariners. Researching the mariners and ships of the merchant marine and the world's navies.
     
  • Maritime Timetable Images. Includes lists of ships and shipping companies.
     
  • Mexican Border Arrival Records Glossary.
     
  • Meyerink, Kory L. "Improved Access to Customs Passenger Lists." Heritage Quest, May/June 2000, Vol. 16, No. 3, 72-76.
     
  • Meyerink, Kory L. "Rediscovering Passenger Lists." Ancestry Magazine (Nov/Dec 2001), pp. 21 ff.
     
  • Miscellaneous Atlantic, Gulf Coast & Great Lakes Ports 1820-1873. Includes links to indexes, online & off.
     
  • Miscellaneous Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists 1890s-1940s. Online index and digitized images of the passenger lists (Ancestry.com subscription product) includes the following ports:
    • Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London, Connecticut 1929-1959
    • Gloucester, Massachusetts 1906-1942
    • New Bedford, Massachusetts 1901-1942
    • Portland, Maine 1893-1943 (plus 1 list from 1891)
    • Providence, Rhode Island 1911-1943
    • Savannah, Georgia 1906-1945
     
  • Mitchell, Brian. Irish Emigration Lists, 1833-1839: Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989.

  • Mitchell, Brian. Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988.

  • Morgan, George. Our Ancestor's Migration Patterns: The Push and Pull Effect." Family Chronicle Magazine (January/February 2006) pp. 34-36.
     
  • Morton Allen Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals: For the Years 1890 to 1930 at the Port of New York and for the Years 1904 to 1926 at the Ports of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1931, 2001. The directory consists of arrival records to those major ports mentioned in the title. A helpful background tool before searching the National Archives indexes to passenger records.
     
  • Name Changes at Ellis Island: Fact or Fiction? This article was originally published in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 13 May 2001.
     
  • National Archives and Records Administration - Immigration Records
     
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts Index 1902-1954. Microfilm catalog numbers; includes passenger lists 1902-1942.

  • New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846. Card file Index to early New York passenger lists. Corresponds to NARA publication M261: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1846. FamilySearch.

     
  • New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942. Images of passenger arrivals in New York Harbor, corresponding to NARA microfilm publication T715: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. FamilySearch.

  • New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956. This collection comprises two record sets from the National Archives: Manifests of alien arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagra Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954 (NARA M1480) and Soundex card manifests of alien and citizen arrivals at Hogansburg, Malone, Morristown, Nyando, Ogdensburg, Rooseveltown, and Waddington, New York, July 1929-April 1956 (NARA M1482). These card manifests, arranged in Soundex order, document over 1,000,000 arrivals. Family Search.

  • New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891. Passenger lists for over 13 million immigrants arriving in New York City from 1820 through 1891. NARA publication M237: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. FamilySearch.
     
  • New York Passenger Lists - 1850-1891. Subscription product from Ancestry.com.

  • New York, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924. Name index to lists of 25 million people (not just immigrants) who arrived at Ellis Island, Port of New York, 1892-1924. In addition, includes a link to images of arrival lists at the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Web site. FamilySearch.
     
  • Novotny, Ann. Strangers at the Door: Ellis Island, Castle Garden, and the Great Migration to America. Riverside, Connecticut: The Chatham Press, 1971.
     
  • Olive Tree Genealogy - Free ship's passenger lists, church records, land records, family surnames and much more will help you find that elusive ancestor.
     
  • One-Step Web Pages, by Steven Morse. A more effective search engine to access immigration records, census, and vital records, and some Jewish databases.
     
  • "Opens the Door to Frauds: How Food Is Sold to Immigrants at Ellis Island," The New York Times, (December 13, 1894).
     
  • Palmer List of Merchant Vessels.  This list consists of descriptions of merchant vessels, both sail and steam.
     
  • Passenger Lists on the Internet. - Links to ships list and a short description of each link.
     
  • Passenger Manifest (1848-1891) Contents. Massachusetts Archives. Massachusetts officials started recording the names of immigrants who arrived by ship in January of 1848, a procedure which continued until July of 1891, when federal records-keeping programs superseded those of the state. Although immigrants arrived at numerous Massachusetts ports, the Archives holds manifests for BOSTON ONLY. These are arranged chronologically according to the date when the ship arrived in port. The Archives holds the original manifests as well as the only microfilm copy available of these Passenger manifests. This collection has been cataloged as HS3.02/1990X (Registers of passengers arriving in Massachusetts ports) in the finding aids of the Massachusetts Archives.
     
  • Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists. Subscription product form Ancestry.com.
     
  • Philadelphia Passenger Lists - Index & Images 1883-1945 - Subscription product from Ancestry.com.

  • Pier 21 - Canada's Historic Soul. Visitors may search electronically for the basic arrival information of anyone who immigrated through a Canadian port between 1925 and 1935. Immigration records of individuals who entered Canada through Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax and Saint John between 1925 and 1935 may be accessed on microfilm. No online research.
     
  • Pitkin, Thomas P. Keepers of the Gate: A History of Ellis Island. New York: New York Univeristy Press, 1975.
  • Port of Entries by State or District -- Records created at each port, dates of those records, where they were originally filed, and the current National Archives microfilm publication number (if any).:
     
    Alabama
    Alaska
    Arizona

    California
    Delaware
    District of Columbia
    Florida

    Georgia
    Hawaii

    Idaho
    Illinois

    Louisiana
    Maine
    Maryland
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    New York
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    North Carolina

    North Dakota
    Ohio
    Oregon
    Pennsylvania

    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina

    Texas
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia
    Vermont

    Washington
    Wisconsin

    US Ports of Entry in CANADA

     
  • Portland, Maine Index 1893-1954 (NARA & FHL Catalog Numbers; includes passenger lists 1893-1943)
     
  • Punch, Terrence. Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1761-1853. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008. Contains transcriptions of records of Irish arrivals in Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia) from 1761 to 1853 and includes sources such as passenger ship lists, census records, newspaper articles, regimental records, church records, prison records, burials, and tombstone inscriptions. A bibliography and surname index round out the book.

  • Records for Passengers Who Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine, created, 1977 - 1989, documenting the period 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851 - NARA Collection CIR
     
  • Reeves, Pamela. Ellis Island: Gateway to the American Dream. New York: Dorset Press, 1991.
     
  • Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York 1789-1919 lists on microfilm of New York ship arrivals by name of ship and date of arrival (no passengers are listed)
     
  • Requesting Your Ancestor's Naturalization Records from INS. A guide by Dennis Piccirillo.
     
  • Resources for Finding New York Passenger Lists 1847-1897..
     
  • Sachtjen, Maude.  Immigration to Wisconsin: A Thesis. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1928.
     
  • Portland, Maine Index 1893-1954 (NARA & FHL Catalog Numbers; includes passenger lists 1893-1943)
     
  • Ramirez, Bruno. Crossing the 49th Parallel: Migration from Canada to the United States, 1900-1930. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2001.
     
  • Savannah, Georgia Passenger Lists 1906-1945. Includes index information
     
  • Schecter, Jack. "Migration of Canadians to the United States." Everton's Genealogical Helper. 60, 2 (March/April 2006) p. 41-47.

  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis. Ellis Island: Tracing Your Family History through America's Gateway. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2000.
     
  • Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step - 1892-1924.
     
  • The Ships List.  TheShipsList website, online since August 1999, will help you find your ancestors on ships' passenger lists. We also have immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, ship descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists and more; as well as hundreds of passenger lists to Canada, USA, Australia and even some for South Africa.
     
  • Ships Passenger Lists - To USA. Olive Tree Genealogy.
     
  • Ships Passenger Lists - Australia  - State of Victoria: search the Public Record Office of Victoria's Index of Inward Passenger Lists 1852-1911.
     
  • Smith, Marian L. "By Way of Canada: U.S. Records of Immigration Across the U.S.-Canadian Border, 1895-1954 (St. Albans Lists)" Prologue Magazine. Fall 2000, Vol. 32, No. 3
     
  • Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York), 1820-1874 (NARA & FHL Microfilm Roll Numbers) (NARA Publication M334; 188 rolls)
     
  • Svedjda, George J. Castle Garden as an Immigrant Depot, 1855-1890. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1968.
     
  • Tepper, Michael. American Passenger Arrival Records: A Guide to the Records of Immigrants Arriving at American Ports by Sail and Steam. Updated and enlarged edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001, 1993.
     
  • Tepper, Michael. New World Immigrants: a Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from Periodical Literature. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979.
     
  • Tepper, Michael. Passengers to America: A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977.
     
  • Tepper, Michael. Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819: a Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978
     
  • Tepper, Michael. Immigrants to the Middle Colonies: a Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978
     
  • "Thirteen Reasons Our Ancestors Migrated." From Ancestry.com.

  • The Transatlantic Crossing. This is the story about how the majority of emigrants going to America would travel. It also gives some insight to the amazing development in how ships were constructed and the transportation arranged.
     
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Resources for Teachers and Students.
     
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services History. It will contain information about the Immigration and Naturalization (I&N) Historical Reference Library collection and services, documents concerning the history of the Service, immigration law, procedure, AND immigration stations, as well as instructions for historical and genealogical research using records of the former INS.
     
  • U.S. Department of State. Passengers Who Arrived in the United States September 1821-December 1823. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005, 1969.

  • United States, Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851. Records for passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine 1846-1851. Created by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Center for Immigration Research. FamilySearch.
     
  • U. S. National Archives. E-mail request for NATF Form 81. E-mail address from which you can order copies of NATF Form 81, “Order for Copies of Ship Passenger Arrival Records.”
     
  • U. S. National Archives. Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals. Online version of the National Archives microfilm catalog of passenger lists and indexes.
     
  • U.S. Ports of Arrival and Their Available Passenger Lists 1820-1957. A Genealogy Guide by Joe Beine. This is a list of nearly every port in the United States that has published immigration records (passenger arrival lists) 1820-1957, organized by state. Included are Canadian border crossing records, which are called "St. Albans Lists" and are listed here under the state of Vermont (even though the actual border crossing may have taken place elsewhere). Mexican border crossing records are also listed here for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The rest are for ship passenger arrival records.
     
  • US Ports of Entry & Their Available Passenger Lists - A list of nearly every US port.
     
  • U.S. Ports of Entry in Canada-St. Albans Lists Soundex. Hosted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and provides information port of entry cards. This site also contains images of a blank Soundex manifest card and a Canadian Border card manifest. Under a US-Canadian agreement signed in 1894, immigrants destined to the United States were inspected and recorded by US immigrant inspectors at Canadian ports of entry. Until 1917, records of all entries at all Canadian ports, Atlantic and Pacific, were filed in the Soundex index at Montreal, now known as the St. Albans Lists. After 1917, entries at land border ports WEST of the Montana/North Dakota state line were filed in Seattle. No centralized set of records was maintained after June 30, 1929, and after that date records will be found only among the records of the immigrant's actual port of entry along the US-Canadian Border.
     
  • What Passenger Lists Are Online? Internet Sources for Transcribed Passenger Records & Indexes from German Roots.
     
  • What You'll Learn from Passenger Lists - by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG on Genealogy.com.
     
  • Wood, Virginia Steele. Immigrant Arrivals: A Guide to Published Sources. Revised. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy Reading Room, n.d.).
     
  • Wyman, Mark. Round Trip to America: The Immigrants Return to Europe, 1880-1930. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1993.

  • Yans-McLaughlin, Virginia. Ellis Island and the Peopling of America: The Official Guide. New York: New Press; Distributed by W.W. Norton, 1997.

Additional Resources -- Ethnic Groups

  • Adams, Raymond D. An Alphabetical Index to Ulster Emigrants to Philadelphia 1803-1850. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 1992, 2004 reprint
     
  • Armenian Immigrants
     
  • Avakian, Linda L. Armenian Immigrants: Boston (1891-1901), New York (1880-1897). Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1996.
     
  • Baca, Leo. Czech Immigration Passenger Lists. Various Ports (1847-1871). 4 volumes. Richardson, Texas: 1983-1991.
     
  • Chinese Immigrant Files. Responsibility for enforcement of US Chinese Exclusion law transferred to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1903, and continued until repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943. The old Chinese Service transferred into INS along with it's records, which INS maintained as a separate set until 1908. Those files on Chinese matters kept separate from general immigration files at Washington, D.C., until 1908 are referred to as Segregated Chinese Files, and are today found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
     
  • Chinese Immigration and Chinese in the United States: Records in NARA's Regional Archives
     
  • Czech Immigrants (from Bohemia, Moravia or Silesia)
     
  • Davis-White, Jeanne. Polish Arrivals at the Port of Baltimore, 1880-1884. Baltimore: Historyk Press, 1994.
     
  • Diestler, Martin A. "Tracing Emigrants Through Hamburg Police Records" P.G.S.A. Newsletter, Fall 1989, Vol. XII, No. 2, 34.
     
  • Dobson, David. Irish Emigrants in North America [1775-1825] Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 1994, 1995, 2004 reprint.
     
  • Dobson, David. Irish Emigrants in North America [1775-1825]. Part Four and Part Five. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 1998, 1999, 2004 reprint.
     
  • Dobson, David. Irish Emigrants to North America [1670-1830] Part Six. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 2003.
     
  • Dobson, David. More Scottish Settlers, 1667-1827. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005.
     
  • Dobson, David. Scottish Highlanders on the Eve of the Great Migration, 1725-1775: The People of Argyll. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2005.
     
  • Douglas, Lee V. Danish Immigration to America: An Annotated Bibliography of Resources at the Library of Congress. Research Guide No. 28. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy Reading Room, n.d.).
     
  • Douglas, Lee V. A Select Bibliography of Works: Norwegian-American Immigration and Local History. Research Guide No. 6. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy Reading Room, n.d.).
     
  • Dutch Immigrants in U. S. Ship Passenger Manifests 1820-1880 (to 1894 for New York) (online databases, books & a CD-Rom)
     
  • German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York 1847-1871 (books - these do not include every ship, only a small percentage)
     
  • Germans to America 1850-1897 (books, CD-Roms & an online database)
     
  • Glazier, Ira A. & Michael H. Tepper. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-1851. 7 volumes. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983-1986.
     
  • Glazier, Ira A. Migration from the Russian Empire: List of Passengers Arriving at New York (1875-1886). 2 volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1995.
     
  • Glazier, Ira A. and P. William Filby. Germans to America. (1850-1897). 67+ volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1988-2003.
     
  • Glazier, Ira A. Italians to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports (1880-1899). 8 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1992.
     
  • Greek Immigrant Passengers
     
  • Haury, David A. Index to Mennonite Immigrants in Passenger Lists (1872-1904). North Newton, Kansas: Mennonite Library, 1986.
     
  • Hoeke-Nishimoto, Sonja. "Hamburg Police Records." German Genealogical Digest. 1990, Vol. 6, No. 1, 9-16 and No. 2, 46-52.
     
  • Humphrey, John I. "Researching German Ancestors: Part II - Emigration Records."  N.G.S. Newsmagazine. May/June 2001, 138-140.
     
  • Irish Immigrants 1846-1886 (CD-Roms & an online database; includes the Irish Famine Immigrants series)
     
  • Italians to America 1880-1902 (books, a CD-Rom & an online database)
     
  • Luxembourg Immigrants
     
  • Owen, Robert E. Luxembourgers in the New World. 2 volumes. Luxembourg: Editions-Reliures Schortgen, 1987.

  • Passenger lists and emigrant ships from Norway Heritage.  Norway Heritage: Hands Across the Sea.
     
  • Russians to America 1850-1896 - Includes Russians, Finns, Poles and Germans from Russia
     
  • Schenk, Trudy and Ruth Froelke. The Württemburg Emigration Index. 5 volumes. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1986-1988.
     
  • Smith, Clifford Neal. British and German Deserters, Dischargees, and Prisoners of War Who May Have Remained in Canada and the United States, 1774-1783. Part One and Part Two [and] Deserters and disbanded Soldiers from British, German, and Loyalist Military Units in the South, 1782. 3 parts in 1. Baltimore, Maryland, Clearfield Co., 1988, 1989, 1991, 2004 reprint.
     
  • Smith Clifford Neal. Emigrants from Fellbach (Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany), 1735-1930.  Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 1984, 2004 reprint.
     
  • Smith, Clifford Neal. Emigrants from Former AMT Damme, Oldenburg, Germany. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Co., 1981, 2004 reprint.
     
  • Strassburger, Ralph B. and William J. Hinke. Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1934, partial reprint 1966.
     
  • Swedish Immigrants to New York
     
  • Swierenga, Robert. Dutch Immigrants in the U.S. Ship Passenger Manifests (1820-1880). 2 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Research, 1983.
  • Swierenga, Robert. Dutch Immigrants in the U.S. Ship Passenger Manifests (1820-1880). 2 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Research, 1983.

  • The Transatlantic Crossing. This is the story about how the majority of emigrants going to America would travel. It also gives some insight to the amazing development in how ships were constructed and the transportation arranged.

  • United States, Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851. Records for passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine 1846-1851. Created by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Center for Immigration Research. FamilySearch.
     
  • Wittke, Carl. Refugees of Revolution: The German Forty-Eighters in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Press, 1952. Examines German immigration to the U.S. following the failed 1848 revolution in Germany.
     
  • Wood, Virginia Steele. Immigrant Arrivals: A Guide to Published Sources. Revised. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy Reading Room, n.d.).
     
  • Yoder, Don.  Pennsylvania German Immigrants (1709-1786). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1980.
     
  • Zimmerman, Gary and Marion Wolfert. German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers from Bremen to New York.