A full list of sources can be found here.
About U.S., Atlantic Ports Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1959
This database is an index to passenger lists of ships from foreign ports that arrived at various Atlantic ports in the United States (see below for a specific list of ports and the year range this database covers for each). In addition, the names found in the index are linked to actual images of the passenger lists or transcripts of passenger lists, copied from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm (see Source Information above for microfilm series and roll information).
This database may also contain a few records of immigrants who entered the U.S. via other ports or border crossings and were later asked to fill out immigrant arrival information on passenger lists. Therefore, you may find individuals in this database whose port of arrival is not one of those listed below. You may also occasionally find passenger lists from smaller ports whose records have been grouped with those from ports in this collection.
Information contained in the index generally includes:
- given name
- last residence
- arrival date
- port of arrival
- port of departure
- ship name
- microfilm roll and page number
If a name of a friend or relative whom the individual was going to join with or a place of nativity was provided, that information is included in the index as well. Many of these items may be used to search the index in the search template above. Additional information may be available on the actual passenger list and can be obtained by viewing the corresponding image.
Many passenger list forms, especially those from the twentieth century, were two pages long. Be sure to click the "Previous" and "Next" buttons in order to see all the images pertaining to a particular manifest.
It is important to note that the port of departure listed on these passenger lists is not always the original port of departure for these individuals. A ship could make several voyages throughout the year, making several stops along way. Ofttimes the port of departure found on these lists is the most recent port the ship was located at prior to arriving in America. Therefore, if your ancestors emigrated to the U.S. from Germany, it’s possible that they could be found on a passenger list coming from Liverpool, England. They may have followed a local European shipping route to Liverpool and then boarded a vessel from one of the major shipping lines to America there.
The microcopies of the passenger lists found at NARA are arranged chronologically by the arrival date of the vessel. If you do not want to search this database using the search template, the images may be browsed as follows: first select the "Port" you would like to browse, followed by the "Year," then "Month," and finally the "Ship Name."
To learn about researching in passenger records consult John P. Colletta's They Came In Ships (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993).
Ports and Years Covered
|Port(s) City||Port State||Year Range|
|Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London||Connecticut||1820–1873, 1929–1959|
|New Haven||Connecticut||1820, 1822–31|
|New London||Connecticut||1820, 1823–27, 1829, 1831, 1918–1954|
|Portland and Falmouth||Maine||1820–1868|
|Baltimore||Maryland||1820, 1822–26, 1829|
|Havre de Grace||Maryland||1820|
|Boston & Charlestown||Massachusetts||1820–1827|
|New Bedford||Massachusetts||1822, 1825–1852, 1902–1942|
|Salem & Beverly||Massachusetts||1823|
|Cape May||New Jersey||1828|
|Little Egg Harbor||New Jersey||1831|
|Perth Amboy||New Jersey||1820–1832|
|New York||New York||1820–27|
|Sag Harbor||New York||1829–1834|
|Morehead City||North Carolina||1908–1958|
|New Bern||North Carolina||1820–1865|
|Philadelphia||Pennsylvania||1820–1822, 1824–1827, 1829|
|Bristol and Warren||Rhode Island||1820–1871|
|Providence||Rhode Island||1820–1867, 1911–1943|
|Quonset Point||Rhode Island||1918–1954|
|Charleston||South Carolina||1820–1829, 1919–1948|
|Port Royal||South Carolina||1865|
|Various ports||South Carolina||1822–23, 1828|
|Norfolk and Portsmouth||Virginia||1819–1857|