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

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874 .

Record Description

This is a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 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

This index covers the years 1820 to 1874. 

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.

Passenger 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.

For a list of records by surnames currently published in this 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.

"United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M334. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts 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 to Use the Record

Fill in your ancestor’s name 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 search the collection image by image 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

If unable to find your immigrant ancestors in the vital records of the state, you may find them in the passenger lists. In order to find ancestors in the passenger lists, you need to know an approximate date and port of arrival. You can narrow the date down with a birth and death date. With these pieces of information, you can search indexes created for the lists that are grouped by nationality or port of arrival.

Known Issues with This Collection

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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.

Related Websites

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

United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874"  images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 30 September 2011). Jane Ewing  June 27, 1953; citing Passenger Lists, Ev-Fam, image 1814; Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington, D.C., United States.