Vermont Emigration and Immigration
The “Emigration and Immigration” section of the United States Research Outline (30972) lists several important sources for finding information about immigrants to this country. These sources include many references to people who settled in Vermont. The Tracing Immigrant Origins FamilySearchWiki article introduces the principles, research strategies, and additional record types you can use to identify an immigrant’s original hometown.
Colonial settlers of Vermont generally came from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. During the early years of statehood until about 1808, settlers continued to come to Vermont from southern New England, but by the 1830s many Vermonters had left for developing cities in the south or for new farmlands to the west in the United States or to the north in Canada.
Before the middle of the 19th century, Irish immigrants from overseas came to build the railroads. Canadian immigrants, especially French Canadians from Quebec province, began to come to the state before the Civil War and continued to come in large numbers in the early 1900s. Smaller numbers of settlers came from Italy, Wales, Spain, and Poland to work in the mines, mills, and quarries of Vermont.
For a history of settlement patterns of emigrants from Vermont before 1860, see:
Stilwell, Lewis D. Migration from Vermont. Growth of Vermont, 5. Montpelier, Vermont: Vermont Historical Society, 1948. (FHL book 974.3 W2s; film 873949.) This book includes a name and locality index and charts showing migration patterns of Vermonters to other parts of the United States.
Names of colonial immigrants listed in published sources are indexed in P. William Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. See the “Emigration and Immigration” section of the United States Research Outline (30972) for this source and more detailed information on U.S. immigration sources.
A comprehensive list of about 140,000 immigrants to America from Britain is:
Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607–1776 and Emigrants in Bondage, 1614–1775. Family Tree Maker’s Family Archives, Number 350. Brøderbund Software, Novato, Calif., 1996. (FHL compact disc Number 9 pt.350.) This compact disc is not circulated to Family History Centers. It includes Vermont immigrants and may show British hometown, emigration date, ship, destination, and text of the document abstract. These are also indexed in the FamilyFinder™ Index and Viewer (FamilyFinder is a trademark of Brøderbund Software, Inc.) described in the "Census" section of this outline.
New England Passenger Lists (1820–1940). The major port of entry to New England is Boston. The following indexes and records are available:
United States. Bureau of Customs. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, 1820–1891: With Index 1848–1891. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0277. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1959–1960. (On 397 FHL films starting with 205656.) The passenger lists between 1874 and 1883 are missing. The Massachusetts State Archiveshas copies of these lists, including the nine missing years. There is an index:
United States. Bureau of Customs. A Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic & Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York) 1820–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0334. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1960. (FHL films 418161–348.)
United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Jan 1, 1902–Dec. 31, 1920; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Aug. 1, 1891–1943; Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899–1940. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T0521, T0843, T0617, and T0790. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1944–45, 1956. (On 597 FHL films beginning with 1724620.) The indexes are chronological by arrival date and name of the ship and then lists the passengers alphabetically.
Portland, Maine was another significant port of arrival:
United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Portland, Maine, 1893–1943; Index 1893–1954. National Archives Microfilm Publications, A1151, and T0524. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1944, 1986. (On 34 FHL films beginning with 1412619.) Index cards are grouped by time period and then by name of the head of the household, but are not in strict alphabetical order.
Canadian Border Crossing Records (1895–1954)
Lists of passengers crossing the Canadian border to the United States, including Vermont, were collected at St. Albans, Vermont, and are called Manifest of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont District. This collection includes records from all over Canada and the northern United States. These are the records compiled by U.S. immigration officials who inspected travelers at all Canadian seaports, major cities, and emigration stations and at U.S. train arrival stations in all border states from Maine to Washington. These lists may include the name of the passenger, date and port or station of entry, literacy, last residence, previous visits to the United States, place of birth, and names of relatives in the United States and Canada. For a full description of the two sets of records and four indexes, see the “Emigration and Immigration” section of the United States Research Outline (30972). One record pertains more to Vermont than the others:
United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. St. Albans District Manifest Records of Aliens Arriving from Foreign Contiguous Territory: Records of Arrivals through Small Ports in Vermont, 1895–1924. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1462. Washington, DC: National Archives Records Service, 195–?. (FHL film 1430387–92.) These records are arranged first by entry station, then alphabetically by surname. They are from Vermont ports of entry only: Alburg, Beecher Falls, Canaan, Highgate Springs, Island Pond, Norton, Richford, St. Albans, and Swanton.
Where Vermont Residents Went
For information about where Vermont residents tended to move, see:
Davenport, David Paul. Yankee Settlement of New York 1783–1820. Genealogical Journal 17, Number 1 & 2 (1988/1989): 63–88. (FHL book 973 D25gi.) This article gives a state-by-state analysis of New Yorker origins and includes several maps.
Darlington, James W. Peopling the Post-Revolutionary New York Frontier. New York History 74, Number 4 (Oct. 1993): 340–81. (FHL book 974.7 H25n.) This statistical analysis with detailed maps also discusses where people moved after settling New York.
Other sources on emigration and immigration can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:
VERMONT- EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION
- A useful site for Vermont migrations is www.ancestry.com.