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

Record Description

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

Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival.

For an alphabetical index currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

This collection indexes records from 1883 to 1948. 

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 index was created as an easy access to the records for a specific individual.

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.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records. 

Immigration and Naturalization Service. "Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, PA, January 1, 1883--June 28, 1948". NARA microfilm publication T791. National Archives and Records Administration. Washington D.C., n.d.

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The soundex index cards generally include the following information:

  • Full name of passenger
  • Number of persons accompanying passenger
  • Birth place
  • Age, gender, marital status and occupation
  • Place of nativity
  • Whether passenger is able to read and write
  • Last permanent residence
  • Name and address of relative or friend in former country
  • What is final destination
  • Physical description
  • Arrival date and port of entry
  • Name of ship
  • Volume and page number

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, 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.

Known Issues with This Collecton

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

Passenger Ship Records of Pennsylvania

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.

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 keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948."  digital images, FamilySearch (https://.familysearch.org: accessed 23 June 2011).  Antonio Capillieto,  June 12, 1909; citing Passenger Lists, C142 Vanentin - C 265/366 Antonio: Part 1 Image 63; National Archives, Washington D.C., United States.


 

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