Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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


Record Description

This collection corresponds with three NARA publications: T790: Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940; T617: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, July 1, 1906-Dec. 31, 1920; and T521: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, January 1, 1902-June 30, 1906.

Record Content

These records usually contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Accompanying family members
  • Citizen of which country
  • Name of ship
  • Name of shipping line
  • Date of arrival
  • Port of entry
  • Group number
  • List number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Name of immigrant
  • Some other identifying information such as age or date of arrival

If you do not have this information search the United States census records after 1900. The census should list the year of immigration or how many years the immigrant has been in the United States.

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • 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 on-line 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. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the name, date, group, and list number to obtain additional immigration information from the National Archives.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may also have immigrated.
  • 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 on more than one card 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.
  • Search the indexes and records of other port cities.
  • 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.

Related Websites

National Archives

Related Wiki Articles

Massachusetts Emigration and Immigration

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

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:

"Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940." Images. FamilySearch accessed 2015 Citing NARA microfilm publication T790, T617, T521. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

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 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940.


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  • This page was last modified on 10 June 2015, at 08:20.
  • This page has been accessed 2,200 times.