California, San Francisco Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
San Francisco, California, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Passenger Lists
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1893-1953
Microfilm Publication M1410. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA., 1893-1953. 429 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 4498993 414
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of lists of those arriving in San Francisco, California. It corresponds to NARA Publication M1410: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, for the years 1893 to 1953 and is part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The collection is arranged date of arrival starting with May 1, 1893.


To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953.


Collection Content

Sample Images

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

Arrival lists was used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States.

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.

The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Passenger lists generally included the following information:

  • 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 at least some of the following:

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


If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900. Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then select the NARA Roll Number - Contents.


For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests, birth,christening, marriage and census records..
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


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

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of California, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the California Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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.


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 Passenger Lists, 1893-1953." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1410. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

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 California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953.


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 Passenger Lists, 1893-1953.


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.