Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 and Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945.
- 1 Record Description
- 2 Record Content
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Known Issues with This Collection
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
These collections include the following:
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 (NARA M425)
- Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945 (NARA T840)
The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.
A Soundex Index is available for the years 1883 to 1945.
The soundex index is a phonetic index that groups together names that sound alike but are spelled differently, for example, Stewart and Stuart. The index cards are filed according to the soundex number associated with each family name and then by given names. For more information on soundex indexes and help with coding names and using the index, see the wiki article: Soundex
For a list of records by dates currently published in the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 collection, select the Browse.
For a list of records by dates currently published in the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945 collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M425. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.
- "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication T840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.
Lists for the years 1798 to 1882 generally include the following information:
- Name of immigrant/passenger
- Place of birth
- Age and gender
- Name of country to which passenger belongs
- Port of departure
- Date of arrival
- Name of ship
Lists and soundex index cards for the years 1882 to 1948 generally include the following information:
- Birth place
- Last permanent residence
- Name and address of relative or friend
- Port and date of entry
- Name of ship
The index cards also list the volume, page, and line number in the passenger lists.
How to Use the Record
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.
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name 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.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number and Description" category which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.
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:
- 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 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 on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
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. For example:
- Use passenger lists to learn an immigrant’s place of origin; confirm their date of arrival; determine their foreign and “Americanized” names; and find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests
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.
- 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.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- 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.
General Information About These Records
Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival. 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.
Known Issues with This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| 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 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
"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945." images FamilySearch (htttps://.familysearch.org: accessed 13 March 2012). Emil Eckhardt, age 50; v. 39-41, 1 March 1901>image 900 or 938,; National Archives, Washington D.C., United States.