Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 .
This Collection will include records from 1820 to 1948.
This collection consists of the index and images of passenger arrivals in Baltimore, Maryland. This collection contains records from three NARA publication including M255 (Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1820-1891); M596 (Quarterly Abstracts of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1820-1869); and T844 (Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1891-1948).
For a list of records by dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
The passenger arrival list was used by legal inspectors to cross-examine each immigrant during a legal inspection prior to the person being allowed to live in America. Only two percent of the prospective immigrants were denied entry.
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
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publications M255, M596 and T844. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
A ship manifest of alien immigrants includes the following information:
- Ship's name with port and date of departure
- Date of arrival and U. S. port of entry
- Name of immigrant and nationality
- Age, gender, marital status and occupation of immigrant
- Birth place, and last permanent residence
- Who paid for passage
- Intended final destination
- Able to read and write?
- Any physical impairments?
How to Use the Records
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Date Range"
⇒ Select the "Roll Number - Date Range" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Check the index for the surname and then the given name. You may need to look at many entries to find the one you are seeking. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the full name of your ancestor and the approximate date of immigration. If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900.
Use the locator information found in the index (such as name of the ship, page, or entry number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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 and 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’s manifests.
You may also find these tips helpful:
- 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.
If you do not find the name you are looking for, try the following:
- 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.
Please note that 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 of the record. You may need to click on the "previous" or "next" links to view the remaining pages of the full manifest. .
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 12 June 2012),1891-1957 (NARA T844) > 1 - Jun 2, 1892-Aug 31,1892 > Image 506 of 822; Fred Niese, age 29, Born in Germany; citing [United States Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948, NARA PublicationsM255, T844, and M596. National Archives and Records Center. Washington D.C.].