Pennsylvania - Landing Reports of Aliens (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Pennsylvania - Landing Reports of Aliens, 1798-1828 .
Collection Time Period
This collection covers the years 1798 to 1828.
This collection consists of reports of aliens arriving in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The records correspond to NARA Publication M1639. The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. Earlier records are handwritten pages; later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.
Information in these records typically includes the following:
- Name of immigrant
- Place of birth
- Date of birth
- Date of arrival
- Port of departure
- Port of arrival
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it is helpful to know the full name of your ancestor and the approximate date of immigration. If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900.
Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
For example, you can use passenger lists to:
- Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
- Confirm their date of arrival
- Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
- Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests
You may also find these tips helpful:
- If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
- Continue to search the passenger lists to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have immigrated at the same time.
- If your ancestor has an uncommon surname, you may want to obtain the passenger list of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.
If you do not find the name you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
- Try a different index if there is one for the years needed. You may also need to search the passenger lists year by year.
- Search the indexes of other port cities.
Please note that when you select an image to view, sometimes the manifest includes more than one page, and when you use the "click to enlarge manifest" link, the image that appears is not always the first page of the record. You may need to click on the "previous" or "next" links to view the remaining pages of the full manifest.
Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival.
Why the Record Was Created
Arrival lists were used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States.
The information was supplied by the immigrant or a traveling companion (usually a family member). Incorrect information was occasionally given, or mistakes may have been made when the clerk guessed at the spelling of foreign names.
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Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- “Pennsylvania - Landing Reports of Aliens, 1798-1828. ” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2014. Citing NARA Publication M1639. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.
- This page was last modified on 26 August 2014, at 18:48.
- This page has been accessed 870 times.
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