New York, Northern Arrival Manifests (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956 .
This article describes a collection of records at
New York, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Emigration and Immigration
Collection years 1902-1956
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in the Collection?

This collection is comprised of two record sets from the National Archives:

  • Manifests of alien arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagra Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1956 (NARA M1480)
  • Soundex card manifests of alien and citizen arrivals at Hogansburg, Malone, Morristown, Nyando, Ogdensburg, Rooseveltown, and Waddington, New York, July 1929-April 1956 (NARA M1482).

Both collections are part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

These card manifests are arranged in Soundex order. For help in using the soundex refer to the wiki article: Soundex.

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.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956.

Collection Content

Sample Image

The cards generally include the following:

  • Full name 
  • By whom accompanied
  • Place of birth
  • Age, gender, marital status, occupation
  • Ability to read and write
  • Race and nationality (citizenship)
  • Place of last permanent residence
  • Name of relative or friend in country of emigration
  • Ever lived before in the United States
  • If so, where and length of stay
  • Who paid for passage
  • Final destination
  • Name and address of friend or relative in this country
  • Any criminal record
  • Physical description
  • Purpose in coming to United States
  • Date and port of arrival
  • Name of ship

How Do I Search the Collection?

When searching these records it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • Other identifying information such as the approximate date of immigration

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

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

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 "Arrival Location" category
⇒Select the "Soundex Range" category 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.

With either search 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.

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. 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. Use these records 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.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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. 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.

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, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at 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

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1480 and M1482. 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 New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956.

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 New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956.

How You Can Contribute

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.