United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
 

Contents

Record Description

This is a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for the years 1820 to 1874. New York City is excluded from this index.

States covered by this collection include:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Ship captains kept lists of passengers to manage their finances and prevent stowaways. Later, immigration laws increased the need for passenger lists, which grew in detail. Eventually the Federal Government began to store immigrant documentation. These lists were first created to keep track of a captain's shipment and paying passengers. Later, they became a means to document immigration to the United States. Although generally reliable, passenger lists were handwritten, causing possible spelling errors.

For a list of records by surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Record Content

Information found in most immigration passenger lists include:

  • Passenger's name
  • Accompanied by
  • Names of children, if any
  • Age in years and months
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Country of origin
  • Name of ship
  • Port of embarkation
  • Port of destination
  • Date of departure
  • Date of arrival

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The immigrant's name
  • Identifying information such as arrival date or age

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Surname Range" which takes you to the images

Search the collection by image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Keep in mind:

  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections, see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of other ports such as New York or Boston.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M334. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 4 December 2014, at 18:10.
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