California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records, 1910-1941 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
San Francisco, California, United States
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Special Inquire Office Records
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization
Collection years 1910-1941
Microfilm Publication M1388. Registers of Persons Held for Boards of Special Inquiry at the San Francisco, California, immigration Office, February 1910-May 1941. 4 rolls.
Arrangement Arrival Date and by Ship Name
National Archives Identifier 4468084 414
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of registers of persons held for Boards of Special Inquiry at the San Francisco, California, Immigration Office, February 1910-May 1941. This collection corresponds to NARA Publication M1388 and is part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The collection is arranged by arrival date, and by ship.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records, 1910-1941.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records may contain any of the following:

  • Name of ship
  • Port of embarkation
  • Date and seaport of entry
  • Final destination
  • Whether or not ticket to final destination
  • Name of passenger
  • Birth place
  • Age in years and months
  • Gender
  • Civil status
  • Occupation
  • Whether or not can read and write
  • Nationality
  • Last permanent residence
  • Destination
  • Who paid for passage
  • Declaration of money in possession
  • Whether or not has been in U. S. before
  • Whether or not passenger has been in prison
  • Whether or not passenger is a polygamist
  • Name and address of relative or friend passenger plans to join
  • Whether or not under contract to labor
  • General condition and statement of health
  • Description of passenger

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your immigrant ancestor
  • The approximate date of immigration
  • The age and birth place of your ancestor


If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Volume and Year Range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images 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.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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.
  • 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.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the name.
  • Look for an index. Records are often indexed by local historical and genealogical societies.
  • Search the passenger lists year by year.
  • Search the indexes of other port cities.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

“California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records, 1910-1941.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1388. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records, 1910-1941.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.