Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index Cards (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

Collection Time Period

This collection includes records from the earliest port records to 1948.

Record Description

These collections include the following:

  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 (NARA M425)
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1948 (NARA T840)
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1948, Soundex Index Cards (NARA T526)

The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.

The soundex index is a phonetic index that groups together names that sound alike but are spelled differently, for example, Stewart and Stuart. The index cards are filed according to the soundex number associated with each family name and then by given names. For more information on soundex indexes and help with coding names and using the index, see the wiki article:

Soundex

Record Content

Pennsylvania Philadelphia Passenger Lists (10-0778) (10-780) (10-0781) DGS missing NARA Roll 91 93.jpg

Lists for the years 1798 to 1882 generally includes the following information:

  • Name of immigrant
  • Birth place
  • Birth date
  • Age
  • Port of arrival
  • Date of arrival
  • Port of departure
  • Name of ship

Passenger lists and soundex index cards for the years 1882 to 1948 generally includes the following information:

New York Eliis Island Passenger List.jpg
  • Name
  • Birth place
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Nationality
  • Last permanent residence
  • Destination
  • Name and address of relative or friend
  • Port and date of entry
  • Name of ship

The index cards also list the volume, page, and line number in the passenger lists.

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Check the index for the surname and then the given name. You may need to look at many entries to find the one you are seeking. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

When searching the index 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.

Use the locator information found in the index (such as name of the ship, page, or entry number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record 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:

  • 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.

Record History

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 this Record Was Created

Arrival lists was used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States.

Record Reliability

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.

Related Websites

Passenger Ship Records of Pennsylvania

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related web sites here.

Related Wiki Articles

Pennsylvania Emigration and Immigration

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.

A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

Sources of Information for This Collection

Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Passenger Lists 1800-1882; Passenger Lists and Index 1883-1948. NARA M425; NARA T840; and NARA T526. National Archives, Washington D.C.

  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 (NARA M425)
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1948 (NARA T840)
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1948, Soundex Index Cards (NARA T526)

 

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