United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Immigration
Collection years 1820-1874
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This is a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for the years 1820 to 1874. New York City is excluded from this index.

States covered by this collection include:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Ship captains kept lists of passengers to manage their finances and prevent stowaways. Later, immigration laws increased the need for passenger lists, which grew in detail. Eventually the Federal Government began to store immigrant documentation. These lists were first created to keep track of a captain's shipment and paying passengers. Later, they became a means to document immigration to the United States. Although generally reliable, passenger lists were handwritten, causing possible spelling errors.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information found in most immigration passenger lists include:

  • Passenger's name
  • Accompanied by
  • Names of children, if any
  • Age in years and months
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Country of origin
  • Name of ship
  • Port of embarkation
  • Port of destination
  • Date of departure
  • Date of arrival

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your immigrant ancestor.
  • The approximate age of your ancestor.
  • The date of arrival.
  • The port of arrival.
  • The names of other family members who may have immigrated with your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial 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 the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Surname Range" which takes you to the images

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Keep in mind:

  • 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.

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

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s in the index to passenger arrivals to the Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives.
  • 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 of more than one family 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 for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of other ports such as New York or Boston.
  • 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.

Known Issues

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 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:

"United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication M334. 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 United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.


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 United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.


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.