Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Passenger list Index
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1899-1940
Microfilm Publication T790. Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists,1899-1940. 107 rolls.
  T617. to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, MA, July 1, 1906-December 31, 1920. 11 rolls.
  T521. Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, MA., Jan. 1, 1902-June 30, 1906. 11 rolls.
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in the Collection?

This collection corresponds with the following NARA publications which are part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

  • T790: Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940; covering April 1, 1899 to September 14, 1940; Arranged by date,book indexes do not exist from 1901.
  • T617: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, July 1, 1906-Dec. 31, 1920; Arranged alphabetically
  • T521: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, January 1, 1902-June 30, 1906; Arranged alphabetically

Collection Content

Sample Image

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 Do I Search the Collection?

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 by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information 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. 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.

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 appropriate "Roll No. - Description" which takes you to the images.

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

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking or, What Now?

  • 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.

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:

"Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940." Database with images. FamilySearch : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication T790, T617, T521. 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 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940.

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 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940.

How You Can Contribute

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