Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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Flag of Maryland
US Locator Map Maryland Baltimore.PNG
Location of Baltimore, Maryland
US Locator Maryland.png
Location of Maryland
Record Description
Record Type Passenger Lists
Collection years 1820-1948



What is in the Collection?

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). Passenger arrival lists from July 1, 1948 to November 30, 1954 do not exist.

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

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948.

Collection Contents

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 Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The full name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of immigration.

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

How Do I Search the Collection?

To search the collection by name:
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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒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.

Search the collection by 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.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times

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 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • 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, Now What?

  • Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
  • 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 of other port cities.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

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.


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:

"Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publications M255, M596 and T844. 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 titlerecord.

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 titleimage.