The Hamburg passenger lists are a useful tool for many German researchers, as well as those who are researching immigrants from other countries. It is often very difficult to find an immigrant’s place of origin. This is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks that researchers face. The Hamburg passenger lists contain millions of names of Europeans, including immigrants from Poland, Germany, Hungary and Scandinavia.
The passenger lists include around 1/3 of the people leaving from Central and Eastern Europe. Although the port of Bremen would have had a larger percentage of European immigrants, those records are mostly destroyed. A few records from the port of Bremen are available, but only for small periods of time. The great benefit of the Hamburg passenger records is the fact that the birthplace or last known place of residence is listed for the majority of the passengers. This is marvelous for those looking to find their ancestor’s place of origin.
There are direct and indirect lists which are arranged by year of immigration. These records cover the time period from 1850-1934, with gaps during times of world war. These records are handwritten, which can make them difficult to use, but with a little patience they can be read.
Information included in the actual passenger lists includes:
- Names of the passengers
- Place of birth or last known residence
- Occupation or status of the individual
For those searching for their German or other European immigrant’s last known place of origin, the Hamburg passenger lists are a great resource. Some parts of the lists are indexed on Ancestry.com, and the remaining parts, both indexes and lists, are also on Ancestry. However, the filmed versions are still available at the Family History Library and can be ordered to the family history centers, as well.