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Passenger List << Immigration Records <<

| Go to the Ship Passenger Arrival List Introduction |

Ship Passenger Arrival List 1893-1954 Guide

Immigration Records-
Ship Passenger Arrival List
What's In Them Where to Find Them How to Use Them***

Almost always include:

  • Each immigrant's name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Country of origin
  • Marital status
  • Last residence
  • Final destination in the U.S.
  • Whether been to the U.S. before (and if so, when, where and how long)
  • If joining a relative, who this person was, where they lived, and the nature of the relationship
  • Whether able to read and write
  • Whether in possession of train ticket to final destination
  • Who paid for the passage
  • Amount of money the immigrant had in their possession
  • Whether the passenger had ever been in prison, a poorhouse, or in an institution for the insane, or was a polygamist
  • immigrant's state of health


  • May also include:
  • Whether detained for health or other reasons
  • Personal description (post-1906)
  • Place of birth (post-1906)
  • Name and address of closest relative in the home country (post-1907)
  • General compiled sources such as P. William Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists or the FHL Catalog:
    http://www.familysearch.org/
     Search/searchcatalog.asp

    Online & CD transcription projects

    Emigration Records

  • To discover when your ancestor arrived in the U.S.
  • To find out which country your ancestor was from
  • To learn roughly when he or she was born
  • To find the occupation of your ancestor
  • To uncover family relationships
  • To find evidence of chain migration
  • To perhaps find the name of a county, town or place more specific than a country
  • To learn the dividing line time-wise of when to focus your research in the U.S. and when to focus on the country of origin
  • To learn marital status
  • To learn place of origin in the "old country"
  • To find names and addresses of other family members
  • To find clues to initial (perhaps temporary) settling places in the U.S.
  • To learn of previous stays in the U.S. (leading to other arrival records)
  • To determine literacy
  • To get a feel for economic status
  • To help reconstruct the immigrant journey and experience
  • To seek clues to motivation for emigration (e.g., poverty, possibly avoiding draft in home country, etc.)
  • To learn of health problems
  • To learn of family members who may have been turned back or who died before formally entering the U.S. (e.g., at sea or at hospital)
  • To learn of ancestors born at sea
  • To discover an ancestor's physical appearance
  • To learn the place of birth
  • To learn of other places the ancestor may have lived before emigrating
  • To obtain information to lead to emigration records
  • *** Please share your suggestions for other uses of information found in family records here

    For more information on these important records, be sure to catch the Immigration Records episode of Ancestors on your local PBS station.

     
     
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    Immigration Records

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    Immigration
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    Guide 1820-1892
    Guide 1893-1954
    Naturalization
    Guide 1790-1906
    Guide 1906+

    Episode Extras:
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    Naturalization
    Ellis Island
    Emigration

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