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U.S. Passenger Arrival Records, 1820-1950s

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U.S. Passenger Arrival Records, 1820-1950s

The starting point for documenting the voyages of your immigrant ancestors –and many native-born ancestors- should be the official customs lists and the later immigration manifests required by the U.S. government as of 1820.

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Latest Activity: Oct 28, 2020

Introduction: U.S. Passenger Arrival Lists, 1820 – 1950s

OBJECTIVE:
The starting point for documenting the voyages of your immigrant ancestors –and many native-born ancestors- should be the official customs lists and the later immigration manifests required by the U.S. government as of 1820.

U.S. passenger arrival lists are primary sources of information for both immigrant and native-born ancestors. We will also learn to search for more than one voyage for each ancestor, especially as many of the documents have online indexes and images.

SUPPORTING IDEAS:

A. Customs lists contain very basic information.
- Bureau of Customs (Treasury Dept.)
= name of vessel, date of arrival, port of arrival
= name of passenger, age, sex, occupation, country of origin

B. Original customs lists are available for 5 major ports, 1820 1891/1902:
New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans

C. Copies of customs lists are extant for 70 "miscellaneous" ports, generally 1820 1875.

D. Transcripts (1819-1839) and abstracts (1820-1875) are available as supplements.

E. Customs lists have pros and cons as a research source.

F. Immigration manifests contain many historical and biographical details.
- Immigration and Naturalization Service (Justice Dept.)
= name of vessel, date of arrival, ports used
= name of passenger, age, sex, occupation, place of birth, marital status, last residence, previous visits, final destination, name and address of relatives in the U.S. and former country of residence

G. Immigration manifests are available for over 40 ports, 1883-1950s.

H. Immigration manifests must be used very carefully.

I. Canadian and Mexican border records also help document immigrants to the U.S.

J. The National Archives and Family History Library have copies of these records.

K. Peculiarities in using passenger lists are not uncommon.

L. Records of ship arrivals may help your search.

M. Numerous passenger lists have been published in books, discs, and databases.
The most complete online collection is at Ancestry’s fee-based website.

N. You need not give up the ship when there are no indexes or poor indexes.

Discussion Forum

Golze immigration 5 Replies

Started by Kate Steere. Last reply by Karl-Michael SALA Sep 14, 2009.

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Comment by Unknown Ancestor on August 10, 2009 at 11:29pm
Robin, do you mean directly from Greece to Canada? Who, what year?

Many immigrants knew admissions were easier in Canada, which is why the USA began to ask the many questions and to document the many immigrants crossing that border starting in 1895.
Comment by Robin R. Cordell-Inge on August 10, 2009 at 9:29pm
How do i find information about family who migrated here from Greece. I have the information about when they moved from Canada to MI, but nothing from Greece.
Comment by Unknown Ancestor on August 8, 2009 at 11:46pm
With Irish in the 1860s, you always start with Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Don't forget the minor ports such as Passamaquoddy and Portland.
If you were worried about New Orleans, where 100,000 Irish came between 1820 and 1865, there are lists of them arriving during the war (although those for 1862 don't start until 18 June).
Comment by Annette on August 8, 2009 at 8:50pm
Ggrandfather Patrick Ready supposedly came over from Ireland to the U S in 1862, which was during the Civil War. At which port would he have come through, as the southern ports may have been closed.
 

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