New York, Passenger Arrival Lists, Ellis Island (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) Index, 1892-1924  and New York, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) Images, 1892-1924.
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Ellis Island, New York, United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Passenger Arrivals
Record Group RG 36: Records of the US Customs Service, RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1892-1924
Microfilm Publication M237:. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1897. 675 rolls.
  T715:. Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels, Arriving at New York, NY, 1897-1957. 8,892 rolls.
Arrangement Chronological
National Archives Identifier 365 414
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

Index and images of passenger and crew lists of ships arriving at the port of New York. The Collection includes two National Archive microfilm publications:
Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1897, M237

Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels, Arriving at New York, NY, 1897-1957, T715

  • Rolls 1 through 3595 covering the years 1897 through 1924 in, Record Group 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  • Microfilm publication T715 includes the manifest records from the Carpathia for 1912. The manifest records for 1912 include the list of 706 passengers rescued from the Titanic on April 15. The NARA Prologue Article “They Said It Couldn’t Sink” provides record details of the Titanic losses and the investigation into the Titanic’s sinking. The article mentions other related record groups and collections that include information on the Titanic sinking and the aftermath.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1891-1924.

Collection Contents

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The card index to passenger lists includes the following information:

  • Name of immigrant
  • Accompanied by
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Nationality
  • Last permanent residence
  • Destination
  • Port of entry
  • Name of vessel
  • Date of arrival

Passenger lists, particularly later lists, include the following information:

  • Names of immigrants and close relatives
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Birthplaces, former residences, and intended destinations
  • Marital status
  • Nationality and race
  • Occupations
  • Date of arrival
  • Port of departure

General Information About Passenger Arrival and Custom Lists

Passenger arrival lists, or customs manifests, date back to 1820. The first official emigration station for New York was Castle Garden, located at the tip of lower Manhattan. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival. After January 1892, passengers arriving in New York debarked at Ellis Island, located east of Manhattan in the New York Harbor. From 1892 to 1924, almost all immigrants entered the United States through the port of New York. When passengers arrived at Ellis Island, they were asked a series of questions designed to determine whether they would be able to support themselves and did not have any health problems. The information was supplied by the immigrant or a traveling companion (usually a family member). Only 2% of immigrants were denied entry into the United States.

The passenger lists are usually two typed pages divided into columns and rows. When you select an image to view, sometimes the manifest includes more than one page, and when you use the "click to enlarge manifest" link, the image that appears is not always the first page. To view the other page, use the "previous" or "next" links.

How Do I Search the Collection?

Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have. This will provide possible matches. Compare the information in the results to what you already know to determine if you found the correct person.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

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 “NARA Roll Number" 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though the indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

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

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you biographical details which can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example, 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 manifests

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • Entry clerks tried to record names correctly; however, mistakes may have been made in spelling foreign names. Often many second or third generation United States citizens Americanized their names, so the spelling in the passenger list may be different than the spelling that you are familiar with.
  • 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.
  • A fire broke out in the original buildings on 15 June 1897 destroying most of the immigrant records dating back to 1855. Record of your ancestor’s arrival may have been among those records.

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 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

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, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA publications T715 and part of M237. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

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, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924.

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, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island),1892-1924.

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