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.


Collection Time Period

This index covers the years 1820 to 1874.

Record Description

This is a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 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

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.

United States. Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports, 1820-1874. Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington, D.C.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in most immigration passenger lists include:

Index to passenger lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf coast ports 004882056 05185.jpg
  • Passenger name and surname
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Country of origin
  • Names of children (if a family traveled together)
  • Name of ship
  • Port of embarkation
  • Port of destination
  • Date of departure
  • Date of arrival

How to Use the Record

If unable to find your immigrant ancestors in the vital records of the state, you may find them in the passenger lists. In order to find ancestors in the passenger lists, you need to know an approximate date and port of arrival. You can narrow the date down with a birth and death date. With these pieces of information, you can search indexes created for the lists that are grouped by nationality or port of arrival.

Record History

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.

Why the Record Was Created

Passenger 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.

Record Reliability

Although generally reliable, passenger lists were handwritten, causing possible spelling errors.

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should 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 Exapmle fora Records Found in This Collection

United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874"  digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 30 September 2011). Jane Ewing  June 27, 1953; citing Passenger Lists, Ev-Fam, image 1814; Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington, D.C., United States.


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