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SHIPS PASSENGER LISTS
What's Available in Ships' Passenger Lists to USA After 1820by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Between 1820 and 1920, 35 million immigrants arrived in the USA, the majority of them at the port of New York. To search for an existing list you need to know your ancestor's name, approximate date of arrival, approximate age at arrival and port of arrival.
If your ancestor arrived after 1819, he may be listed in any of the following
Customs Passenger lists begin in 1820. A passenger list will usually provide you with name, age, sex, occupation, country of origin, port of departure, destination, date of arrival and name of the ship.
Immigration Lists (Ships' Manifests) after 1883 give more detailed information.
The National Archives has the customs and immigration passenger lists and indexes from 1820 to the 1950s. You can request a search of the records at the National Archives http://www.nara.gov/ with form NATF 81. You must submit one form each person or family group traveling together. You can obtain the NATF Form 81 by providing your name and mailing address to email@example.com. Specify "Form 81" and the number of forms you need.
For a list of all available NARA immigration records from 1800-1959 see http://www.nara.gov/genealogy/immigration/immigrat.html
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has microfilmed copies of passenger arrival records and indexes from the National Archives. If you find your ancestors in any of the indexes you should then consult the original passenger lists.
Indexes for which are microfilmed and available through your local FHC are:
Lists and indexes for Charleston, Galveston, Key West, New Bedford, Passamaquoddy, Portland Maine, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, and other ports can be found at the Family History Library and the National Archives.
There are also CD-Roms that index arrivals 1820-1850. See the list of CDs on the right hand navigation bar of Ships Section on Olive Tree
There are various hard copies (books) of indexes and lists, and I will discuss those at another time. There is also the online Ellis Island Database 1892-1924 at http://www.ellisislandrecords.org/ which will be discussed later.
There are many online lists and to start your Internet search for ships' passenger lists, begin at The Olive Tree Genealogy Ships Section
Ships to USA start at Index to USA Ships Once on this page you can choose by state, or by year of arrival.
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