'Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' The wretched refuse of your teeming shore; Send these, the homeless, tempest to me ... "The New Colossus"
Emma Lazarus, Welcome to America!
Without Emma Lazarus' poem, Ms. Liberty would be just another statue
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America is a nation of immigrants where more than 35 percent (closer to 4o%) of the population -- or 100 million Americans -- has at least one relative who passed through Ellis Island - a tiny spot of land, part New York's, part New Jersey's, from 1892 until 1954.
There was an incredible surge of Jewish immigration
into the United States that began in the late 19th
century. The two million Jews who arrived here
between 1880 and 1924 helped make this nation an industrial,
financial, cultural and global power.
Of the 12 million people who arrived at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, only two percent were sent back.
Immigrants sailed to America and
other countries in hopes of carving out new
destinies for themselves and their families. Most were fleeing
religious persecution, political oppression and economic hardships.
Thousands of people arrived daily on steamships from mostly Eastern and
Southern Europe. The first and second class passengers were allowed to
pass inspection aboard ship and go directly ashore. Only steerage
passengers had to take the ferry to Ellis Island for inspection.
"This marks an immigrant's first footstep in America, and provides information leading back to Europe and forward into America, stated Pet Zitko, spokeswoman for The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc." "It must be remembered that there were no rabbis in America in the colonial and early period of American independence. Women joined with men to start congregations. These Jews were mostly Sephardic, but Jews began to leave Germany and central Europe around 1820, and a small immigration continued until the 1880s when pogroms and other circumstances produced a rush of Jews from eastern Europe and especially Russia."
The history of Jewish
immigration has not only been the story of Jews who
moved from one country to another to better their lives, but
also one of newcomers who built and enriched the nations
they chose to now call their home.
"In the early 19th century in Germany (before there was much of an exodus to the USA from eastern Europe), groups of young
Jews from one town would band together, exchange information, and eventually proceed as a group, on foot, for the ports, often settling down together in the same town when they arrived in the
USA. These were probably the original Fusegangers."
"By 1850 Western and Central Europe had an effective railroad network. It had reached well into
Russia by the end of the century. There were up to four different 'classes' and prices; the 4th class with hard wooden benches and no frills was for the working poor. I doubt very much that it would have
been commonly cheaper to walk long distances than to ride by train, factoring in the cost of shoe leather and food. Certainly it would have severely limited how much of one's possession one could
take into the new world. There was also a good chance that one might get robbed on the roads and
lose the money for the trans-Atlantic ticket."
Since 1906, arriving aliens were divided into two classes:
1.) Immigrants, or those who intended to settle in the U.S. or
2.) Non-immigrants, or aliens who declared an intention not to settle in the U.S., and all aliens returning to resume domiciles formerly acquired in the U.S.
Non-immigrants were alien residents of the U.S. returning from a temporary visit abroad, or non-resident aliens admitted to the U.S. for a temporary period, such as tourists, students, foreign government officials, those engaged in business, people representing international organizations, the spouses and unmarried children of all these individuals, and agricultural laborers from the West Indies
A third charter note of the Kalamazoo National Bank and Trust
Company depicts President Benjamin Harrison
"I suspect the term
Fußgängercame into more general meaning among Jews to perhaps mean emigrants in general (possibly limited to those going as a group). In the late 19th century there were passenger ships sailing out of the Baltic and Black Sea ports; it would have made little sense for a Jew to walk from the Pale to Bremen if he could take a train (or, if necessary walk) to Konigsberg or
Danzig and get on a ship there."
"We should always remember that both hardships and pleasures tend to grow in intensity as their history is remembered over the years and handed down through the generations." From a posting by Michael Bernet
"Most Jews emigrated to North America in the 1880-1925 period. This means that their transatlantic passage was on a steamship and their inland travel by rail (rather than riverboat.)
"Around half of the immigrants to Chicago and the Northern States entered the USA through Canada. Quebec was the major port, used from May to October, while Halifax and Saint John, NB were mainly used from November until April. Trains, often special immigrant trains, carried the passengers inland. Immigrants arriving after 1895 should be recorded in the US St. Alban's border entry records, which are indexed. If an immigrant is found in these records, the name of the transatlantic ship is usually noted, and the immigrant can be found on the Canadian manifests, which are microfilmed but not indexed."
From a posting by Harry Dodsworth firstname.lastname@example.org
Ships that landed in St. John in New Brunswick in 1912 - their records are contained in the National Archives in Ottawa.
Landings in 1912 records, span almost three reels. In some
cases, there are about 1,500 immigrants per ship. The
readability of the records varies from very good to illegible.
The Archives holds records until 9-30-1922 . Information
regarding available records for various ports and dates can be found
Further ... "many immigrants to the USA came through Canada. The huge lists of ship passenger to Canada exists today in the National archives in Ottawa. On those lists the Canadian authority wrote down a note about a passenger destination. The individuals without American visa spent some months in Halifax or some other camps before being transferred either by train or another ship to the USA.
The trains departed from Montrealto Boston (info could be found in NARA), the ships went from Halifax to St. Albans or Boston (also Nara). To search in National Archive in Ottawa, you have to know the
year of arrival. All information is on microfilms (none is on the Internet) From a posting by Irene Kudish
"TheFHC has microfilms of the 1891 Passenger Manifests of ships arriving at Quebec City. Many of those listed indicated that their final destination was the American Midwest and West (e.g. Chicago, Portland, Oregon, etc.) as well as the western Canadian provinces (i.e. Winnipeg) "In some instances, their manifests indicate the passenger was proceeding to Montreal by steamer. Others seem to
suggest that some passengers already held RR tickets to their destination."
"Clearly for some, this was a more direct route. You may not realize that New York Central RR trains from NYC to Detroit or Chicago actually crossed into Canada at Buffalo** and then reentered in Detroit."
** There are separate rolls of Buffalo immigration at NARA
"The railroads, as well as the Homestead Act were a basis that attracted many immigrant farmers to the northern plain States."
"I understand that prior to 1892 or 3, (the St Albans lists) there were no specific records kept of Canadian to US immigration." From a posting by Morton Cohen
Jews from western or northern Russia would cross the German border surreptitiously and proceed to Berlin and the northern ports.
Routes between Canada and North Dakota in the 19th century The main route was up the Red River Valley, initially by water and later by rail. The Canadian Pacific Railway reached Winnipeg from the east around 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived at
Winnipeg from Pembina, North Dakota at about the same time. For many years before this, the
easiest route from Eastern Canada to Winnipeg (previously Fort Garry, Red River Settlement) was through Chicago and up the Red River Valley.
Railroad Station in Minneapolis circa 1900
"Trade and Immigration: From Minneapolis to the Old
World and Back" An article written by Peter Rachleff talks about how emigrants from the Old World come to the New World, farm and manufacturer flour, which then is shipped back to the Old Country because it was cheaper to do then grow it and then use the same ships to bring back to the New World more emigrants. email@example.com
"At the turn of the 20th century the western world, particularly the United States of America, attracted the ambitious workers in the shtetl to migrate to America. MotlHorelick did not deliver the mail but late in the afternoon. The field in front of his house became crowded with all the families that expected mail from America. Vicariously even those that did not receive mail were listening to the wonders written to their relations and friends. Now the whole shtetl was in the throes of a social upheaval. In the early 1900’s the desire to migrate accelerated and the very pattern of living changed. For those who could not read, Motl read the wonders of Americaout loud.
United States Immigration from 1840 - 1924 - A Chronology 1840 Cunard Line is founded, beginning the era of steamship lines especially designed for the transportation of passengers between Europe and the United States. 1846 Crop failures in Germany and Holland send thousands of dispossessed to the United States. 1846-47 Irish potato famine causes mass emigration of all classes of the Irish population to the United States. 1855 Castle Garden immigrant depot opens in New York City to process mass immigration. 1861-65 Large numbers of immigrants serve on both sides of the American Civil War. 1882 First federal immigration law bars lunatics, idiots, convicts and those likely to become public charges. 1882 Outbreak of anti-Semitism in Russia triggers a surge in Jewish migration to the United States. 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act is adopted; the first time a group of people is barred from the US solely based on their national identity. 1886 Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York Harbor. 1891 Congress adds medical status to immigration restrictions. 1891 Violent pogroms swell the continued exodus of Jews from Russia. 1892 Ellis Island replaces Castle Garden as a processing center for immigrants. 1894 Immigration Restriction League organized to spearhead the restrictionist movement for the next 25 years. 1914-18 World War I brings an end to the period of mass migration to the United States. 1916-18 Thousands of immigrants return
to Europe as soldiers for the United States Army. 1917 Literacy test for immigrants finally adopted after being defeated by Congress for more than twenty years. 1921 Emergency Immigration Act introduces a quota system, heavily favoring natives of Northern and Western Europe and restricting those from Southern and Eastern Europe. 1923 Ku Klux Klan’s anti-immigration movement reaches peak strength. 1924 National Origins Act is adopted, setting a ceiling on the total number of immigrants and establishing discriminatory national-racial quotas, effectively closing the door on immigration http://www.saintjoanofarc.org/sites/default/files/SteerageSongProgram.pdf
"I've noticed that *many* of your family searches are for *names* that we have here in Australia. Just to let people know that, when conducting family searches, they should not forget the possible Australian connection of about 100,000 Jews. Jews have been here for over 200 years.
Melbourne[Australia] has the largest Jewish population of approx. 40,000 and has the second highest settlement of Holocaust survivors in the world after Israel. It has the only Holocaust Museum set up by actual survivors, as well as a Jewish Museum. Most of the post-war Jewish immigration to Melbourne consisted of Polish Jews, with German Jews settling pre-war. The Hungarian Jews came after 1956 but most tended to settle in Sydney, Australia [which also has a Jewish Museum]. Russian Jews followed while the South African Jews have been the more recent immigrants. Other main centres of Jewish settlement are Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra. All of these cities have synagogues of various congregations, as well as Jewish Burial societies which also house family records e.g. Melbourne Chevra Kadisha www.mck.org.au
specifying which town e.g. Melbourne, as well as the Australian Jewish News at www.ajn.com.au
Various Jewish Community Councils are also a good source of information, as well as the Victorian Government Immigration Museum and the Dept. of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs at
http://www.immi.gov.au From a posting by Adele Meren Melbourne, Australia
In the 1930s, Jews wishing to immigrate to the US needed a Visa, obtainable from a nearby US Consulate. In order for a Visa to be issued, assuming a quota was met, one first had to have an Affidavit (s) from US residents (citizens?) who would vouchsafe the individual so that he/she would not become a financial burden on society. Thus, relatives, friends and sometimes strangers were beseeched for such Affidavits. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1335.html
In 1940, in response to threats of war, the US required every alien resident to register at their local Post Office. Aliens filled out a two page form, which was numbered and sent to the INS. Once the AR-2 form had been process, the AR-3, or Alien registration Receipt Card (AR-3) was torn off and mailed to the registered alien. The alien then carried the AR Card to show compliance with the law.
The form contains information including many names (the name used upon entry to the US; Maiden Names; Nicknames; Aliases), Address, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Citizenship, Sex, Marital Status, Race, Physical Description, Date, Port and Vessel/Carrier of Last Arrival in the US, Class of Admission, Date of First Arrival in the US, Number of Years in the US, Occupation and Employment information, Membership Information (Clubs, organizations, societies), Military Service (Country, Branch, Dates)Declaration of Intention and Petition for Naturalization Information, Number of Relatives living in the US (Parents, Spouse, Children), Arrests and more!
How to get copies: Early registrations (c. July 1940-April, 1944/A-numbers below 12,000,000) are on microfilm in INS custody, searchable by name, date of birth and place of birth. These records are subject to the FOIA/Privacy Act. It takes around 6 months. Details can be found at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/history/immrecs/areg.htm
U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service Attn: Ave M. Sloane, Chief. FOIA/PA Unit, 425 I Street, NW, 2nd Floor ULLICO Bldg., Washington, DC 20536
Form Request # COW2000008445
Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA ), the INS will not release the information unless you can a) prove they are deceased, or b) have a notarized form from them, releasing the information to you.
The INS will accept a statement from you saying they are deceased if you can find their name in one of the Social Security Death Indexes (SSDI) found at Ancestry.Com RootsWeb.com or LDS.org, etc. and write that they are deceased as proved by being located in the appropriate SSDI.
Births, Marriages and Deaths on British ships were recorded by the captain and passed to the Board of Trade. These records have been microfilmed and are available from 1854 to 1890 through the LDS (Microfilm numbers: 1414469 to 1414472. These records were passed to the Registrar-General and form a series of supplements to the regular GRO indexes.
The following text is from "Where to Write for Vital Records" published by the U S Department of Health and Human Services. "When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft or on a vessel, the record is usually filed at the next port of call.
1. If the vessel or aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port, requests for copies of the
record may be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705
2. If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to the registration authority in
the city where the vessel or aircraft docked or landed in the United States.
3. If the vessel was of U S registry, contact the local authorities at the port of entry
and/or search the vessel logs at the U S Coast Guard Facility at the vessel's final port
of call for that voyage.
This would suggest that a birth on a ship bund for Boston would be recorded in Boston when the ship docked. The source pamphlet does not cite any specific legislation, nor the dates on which these rules became effective, so the law may have been different a century ago. From a posting by Ted Gostin
and contains a list of all INS offices. You can download the necessary forms. If the person that you want to obtain copies of naturalization papers is deceased, you need to prove that the person is deceased (e.g., with a death certificate). A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information will have to be submitted. Here is information about INS FOIA requests and the form that has to be submitted:
INS Microfilm Reel# List This website has a load of good information and instructions on securing INS records for genealogical purposes. Website lists Information on: Ship Passenger Manifests, Land Border Arrival records, Visa Files 1924-1944, Alien Registration records
for Brooklyn naturalizations. The records are kept in the Kings County Clerk's Office. The National Archives houses Southern District of NY records of naturalization but not all districts in NY or all courts.
wrote... "I understand I can send/pay for copies [of naturalizations] from NARA on Varick Street in NY. Does anyone know if FOIA gets their unreadable copies from NARA in NY."
"The BCIS (formerly INS) makes copies from its own microfilm. The National Archives-Northeast Region on Varick Street in New York holds the original naturalizations created in NYC's two federal courts (Southern and Eastern Districts) and can make better copies." Money-saving tip: Italian Genealogy Group website
where many of us are using the Southern District naturalization index, says to send NARA $10 per name when requesting copies of naturalization records. In fact, NARA policy is to copy up to three person's records for $10 (maximum 20 pages total). From a posting by Renee Stern Steinig firstname.lastname@example.org
Form Code 500 (depending on the period it might read 1500 but the suffix is the same)
500 or 1500 - First Class 500 or 1500A - Second Class 500 or 1500B - Steerage or third class
The designation "steerage" was dropped from official language by the early 1930s.
Between 1892 and 1924, designation for arrivals through Ellis Island should end in the letter "B". After January 1924, because Ellis Island was used as a detention center as opposed to a standard immigration station, it is not uncommon to find people who traveled second and, on rare occasions, in first class who end up on Ellis Island for political reasons.
Basically in the early days, Ellis Island was meant for those who couldn't afford better tickets. The theory was that if you couldn't afford a better ticket your chances of carrying disease, have criminal past, being mentally unstable, and/or being unable to support your family, were much higher."
From a posting by Rafi Guber Talner@aol.com
It is important to remember that Ellis Island did not open until
January of 1892. Therefore, searching for anyone before that date, came
through Castle Garden (aka Castle Clinton) C. 1855-1890, or
the Barge Office, c. 1890-1891 and 1897-1900. On November 12, 1954, Ellis
Island, the gateway to America, shut its doors after processing
more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an
estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis
Island, named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the
Also remember that New York was not the only port used. Canada,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, Galveston, etc. were also points of
immigration on the east coast.
While searching New York records, many Birth records are not as good as the Marriage records because people didn't bother to register births. On the other hand, Death records are much better since a death certificate could not be issue unless proof of burial was provided. All of these records are available at the New York City Archives and indexes are available at the LDS libraries. You can write to the New York City Archives and ask for a search, if you can't visit the Archives in person.
Contrary to popular notion, not all Jewish immigrants to the U.S. came through Ellis Island and settled in New York or other cities along the Eastern Seaboard. Many of the more adventurous sought their fortunes along the ever-shifting frontier of the American West, which stretched from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
While the first Jews arrived in the West with the early Spanish expeditions of the 16th century, perhaps the true prototype of the Jewish pioneer of the 19th century was Solomon Nunes Carvalho who served as the official artist and photographer in the Fremont expeditions that explored vast tracts of the West, and then became one of the founding fathers of the Los Angeles Jewish community.
Many Jews left New York to settle in the Mid-West. Some took the Erie Canal from Albany, the state capital, situated on the Hudson, across New York state to Buffalo, and then by boat across the Great Lakes. The Erie Canal, begun in July, 1817, was opened in stages from 1819 through 1825 when it was completed. The first Welland Canal opened four years after the Erie Canal. Both canals are still in operation today.
Hungarian Jewish immigrants , Adolph and Sam Frankel pose for a photo in Cushing, Oklahoma, in 1915. Photo courtesy of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles
'The Great Hall' at Ellis Island as it looks like today.
Immigrating to a new country is not an easy endeavor,
and this is not only in reference to the legal aspects of
immigration. The processes, the forms, the waiting periods, the
fees, yes, all of these can be very confusing and frustrating.
However, the most troublesome part is in leaving one familiar place
to permanently reside elsewhere, a place with a different language
and different culture than yours. For immigrants, everything is
strange and new, and though this might be the very thing that is
exciting about moving to a new place, for many immigrants, the
circumstances have been less than ideal. Having the company of
family may be the only thing that makes immigration less difficult.
There is a lot of information in the following link provided by
Download this file once a
week, as it does change. Unzip them to a subdirectory and click on
your desktop, press F3 to search the subdirectory you placed the ship files
in for your ancestors surname. For a powerful search program that can
search an unopened zip file, download the program "Examine" from
Has both passenger arrival lists and immigration cards for each immigrant. If you can determine the date of arrival (naturalization documents?), you may be able to find both.
The Canadian government did not keep records of people leaving the country; however, in 1895, the United States established border ports along the International Boundary and began recording arrivals from Canada. These lists are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. 20408
You will need the Soundex to go into the US National Archives microfilm series M1461 which is the St Albans Index where you will find the 3x5 card images. The card image contains much of the information from the passenger list, including a pointer to that exact list. The card image also contains a number in the form xxx-yy-z which points you to the volume (xxx) sheet (yy) and line number (z) of the exact microfilm in the series M1464 St Albans Passenger Lists for you to see the manifest.
An excellent article on this subject is contained in the Spring 1996 issue of Avotaynu, entitled "Interpreting U.S. Immigration Manifest Annotations "Authored by Marian L. Smith.
Contrary to common assumption, the Certificate of Arrival was not issued at the time of arrival. It was issued after the Declaration of Intention was filed, confirming that the potential citizen had indeed arrived when he or she stated, and had been in the U.S. more than the minimum years required. It means that a clerk looked at the Declaration of intention, and used that information to find the original passenger manifest. The manifest was reviewed and they verified the individual and confirmed the information presented was correct. (This is also why sometimes people find Certificate of arrival numbers written on a passenger manifest).
TheCertificate of Arrival was filed with the Declaration and the ensuing Petition of Naturalization. It wasn't luck - it was bureaucracy. From a posting by Hilary Henkin
Morton Allen Directory Includes an online version of the Morton Allen Directory which is used to locate ship arrivals by port, date, by ship's name; Magellan Ship Biographies between 1890 and 1930 http://www.cimorelli.com/safe/shipmenu.htm
Counselor Records Database
U.S. Dept of State, Jerusalem, Jaffaand Haifa Consular Post Records Database includes more than 9,000 entries, and was compiled from U.S. National Archives RG 84 (Record Group) Foreign Service Post Records of the U.S. Department of State for Consular Posts: Jerusalem (1857-1935), Jaffa (1867-1917), and Haifa (1872-1917) http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/group84.htm
Declarations of Intent and Naturalizations for New York County1907-1924
It is on one of the more popular genealogy sites and it is available to those with a paid subscription. The Declarations of Intent seems to be lacking in important information - the dates on the individuals were missing. The Naturalization database is a lot more helpful. This same site also has Naturalizations for Minnesota.
The JGS of New York offers the Index to Naturalizations (Declarations and Petitions) filed in the Kings County (Brooklyn) Clerk's Office exceeds 216,000 entries http://http://www.jgsny.org/
Generally, catalog entries are written in the same language as the original record they describe. You can order microfilms through your nearest Family History Center. You can also use the microfilms, books and other items at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
G639 - Freedom of Information Request (to get to US Naturalization Records) F81 - Order for Copies of Ship Passenger Arrival Records at US ports F82 - Order for Copies of US Census Records F80 - Order for Copies of US Veterans Records (prior to WW I)
BC-600 - Application for Search of US Census Records (1930 and later) Form 1609 - Tracing Inquiry (for Holocaust and other WW II Victims) from American Red Cross Form 180 - Request Pertaining to US Military Records WW I and after
You can request a form G639 by calling the INS at 1 800 870 3676. If you need further help, call the INS help line at 1 800 375 5283. Press 1 for the English option, then wait through the first set of six options and press 9 to talk to an agent.
"At the dock" for passengers on any HAPAG ships was not on Manhattan, but in Weehawken, N.J. When a ship entered New York, it first had to anchor in a designated quarantine area off Clinton Point, Staten Island. That day, special ferry boats, run by the Immigration Service, off-loaded all of
the 3rd class passengers bound for Ellis Island, unless it was during the period of June 14, 1897 to December 16, 1900, when a burned out Ellis Island was being rebuilt.
During this period, they went to the "Barge Office" - a part of the Old Customs House on The Battery (located in lower Manhattan) that was used by the service before Ellis Island was opened on January 1, 1892.
Generally speaking, the first and second class passengers bound for Manhattan were off-loaded onto a HAPAG ferry boat that took them to Manhattan.
All aliens were taken to Ellis Island for processing before anyone was allowed to meet them. Citizens of the U.S. were released at the dock and could go on their merry way. If immigrants were traveling to destinations that were a great distance from Ellis Island (e.g. to Chicago, etc.) the alien had to have a paid ticket to get there and the immigration officers check the ticket.
All aliens had to prove that they had a 'sponsor' at the 'stated' destination. Immigration officers did verify the truthfulness of this information. Sponsors were not required to travel to New York to meet immigrants after they were approved and released by the immigration officer. If the immigration inspector had any doubt about he disposition of an immigrant to a sponsor, they would release the immigrant to an immigrant aid society
The oldest international migration and refugee resettlement agency in the U.S. It was founded by a group of Russian Jews, recent arrivals themselves. HIAS representatives served as mediators and interpreters for the immigrants, found them housing and fed them until relatives or friends showed up, searched for relatives and friends who didn't show up, and put in all-nighters scouring the late editions of newspapers for jobs. Many people were relocated to the Midwest by HIAS originally for farming. http://www.hias.corg/
There are microfilm recordsfor the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society'sPhiladelphia immigrant records, from 1884 to 1952,LDS films 1,550649 - 1,550655. The records are alphabetical by first letter of the surname only. Then it is chronological. It is quite a job to search! http://www.hias.org/Find_Family/listings.html
"120 HIAS Stories" details the personal accounts of 120 immigrants assisted in our
12-decade history of rescue and resettlement. Among the storytellers
Mandy Patinkin, whose
grandfather, Max Patinkin, served on the
HIAS Board of
Directors after his own arrival in 1905 from Poland.
Other stories are by or about ordinary and well-known American
figures alike, such as Olympian
Lenny Krayzelburg, who
won two gold medals for the United States in 2000 andHadassah Lieberman,
wife of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Visit
"Hall of Fame" to learn
more about these contributors.
“The story of HIAS is the story of the four-and-a-half
million people who came to freedom since we opened our doors in
1881,” says Leonard Glickman, past President and CEO of HIAS. “Of
course there are far more than 120 HIAS stories out there, but this
book is special. It is our way of acknowledging all those people and
their families who bravely made a start in a new homeland.” To order
120 HIAS Stories ($39.95, shipping and handling included),
please mail a check to: 120 HIAS Stories, 333 Seventh Avenue, 16th
Floor, New York, NY 10001-5004.
This portion of the INS website contains information about the INS Historical Reference Library collection and services, documents concerning the history of the Service as well as of immigration law, procedure, and immigration stations, and instructions for historical and genealogical research using INS records.
Contact Marian Smith INS Historian 425 I Street NW, Room 1100 Washington, DC 20536 Fax: 1 202 305 8251
Catalog of NARA Microfilm Publications: Information and Links: the catalog lists National Archives microfilm publications of records relating to the arrival of passengers, crew members and vessels in United States ports, United States Customs records and Immigration and Naturalization records. The catalog includes complete roll listings for every microfilm publication http://www.nara.gov/publications/microfilm/immigrant/immp
The following site offers many links including: Assimilation; Destination: Canada; Hamburg & Bremen; Immigrants and Epidemics; Immigration: Not Always A One-Way Street; Journey to America; Life In Canada; Immigration Ports of Departure and Arrival; Mariyampole beginnings to Canadian Residence; Reasons For Immigrating To America; Sample of a 1909 Ship Manifest; Ellis Island; Maryland Port Administration; Port of Philadelphia and Camden; The Immigration Experience and much, much more - a real treasure http://www.tccweb.org/immigration.htm
Immigration and Naturalization (INS)
Americans encouraged relatively free and open immigration during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and did not question that policy. As the number of immigrants rose in the 1880s, and economic conditions in some areas worsened, Congress began to issue immigration legislation. Immigration records dating from July 1, 1924, remain with INS and are available only via the 'Freedom of Information Act' procedures. Records prior to 1924 are at NARA
From around 1907 - 1910, people who were naturalized had to submit a certificate from the INS documenting where, when and what ship they arrived.
The National Archives (NARA) has been publishing Soundex guides that omitted a rule found in the original instructions, and the omission has been perpetuated in genealogical 'how to' books based on the NARA guides. An updated guide to the Soundex Indexing System now appears on the NARA website at http://www.nara.gov/genealogy/coding.html
TheSoundex Index Cards For passenger arrivals atNew Yorkare printed in a number of formats. One format is especially obscure as shown by the following example.
Last Name, First Name 42m 18 39 7466 The names are understandable. 42 represents the age and the "m" is for male (only m and f appear in this field). What is does the 39 and 7466 represent?
Naturalization Passenger Lists and Ships
Alphabetical Listing and Links to ships that served Australia
and New Zealand, Canada, - Ships and Passenger Lists,
England, Scotland and Ireland - Ships and Passenger
Lists, Ellis Island, European Countries - Databases, Ships,
Passenger Lists, Immigration to American Colonies - Ships and
Passenger Lists, Individual Ships and Passenger Lists, Information
about Ships, Museums, Shipping Databases, The Mayflower, and
miscellaneous links to helpful information regarding immigration
Certificate Applications The impressments of American seamen by the British was one of
the causes of the War of 1812. The practice also resulted in
the creation of extensive records about merchant seamen that are of
value to genealogists. These Seamen's Protection Certificate
Applications for what might well be called a merchant seaman's
passport have remained virtually untouched since they were
originally file. They are now organized and preserved, and
those from the early years are already indexed according to an
article in the Spring 1992 issue of Prologue and written by Ruth
After about 1815 the
impressments of seamen ceased, but the Seamen's Protection
Certificates had proved to be a valuable form of identification and
continued to be issued until just before the Civil War. The
practice was resumed for a short time during the World War I ear.
The application records of the
Port of Philadelphia are by far the most extensive and the easiest
to use. The records for 1814, 1824-1830, 1834, 1844 and 1854
are on computer. In addition the customs collectors'
"abstracts," quarterly reports of the SPCs issued, exist for about
half the quarters for that port. Abstracts are filed
alphabetically by first letter of last name. The WPA made two
indexes of abstracts, one for New York and one for "Other Ports."
the abstracts of course are one step removed from the original and
do not contain all the information on the applications, which
apparently were destroyed, but they are useful genealogical sources
if the person you are looking for was a seaman. Some random records
exist for about fifty other ports, primarily abstracts, registers
and a few applications.
Because the purpose of the
Seaman's Protection Certificate was to identify the seaman clearly,
the application required his name, age, place of birth, physical
description "as may be," and was either attested to by a
knowledgeable person or by documentation. Boys as young as eleven
and men as old as seventy-seven are on record. The Atlantic
seaboard states are well represented, most seamen coming from
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Jersey and
Delaware. Other states are also represented and a good number
were foreign born.
Note, when using the index to the
Philadelphia applications or the WPA index to abstracts, it is
important to look for more than a single name. The index cards
often reveal what appears to be family clusters. While it is a
more time consuming task, the Philadelphia customs
inspectors' quarterly reports are a usable finding aid for
un-indexed years. Looking for seamen in other ports is less
rewarding, but the WPA indexes to New York and Other Ports
direct the researcher to the appropriate quarterly report for those
Records of the US Customs Service, 1796 - WW I,
Record Group 36; Records of the Bureau of Maritime Inspection and
Navigation, RG 41. Also see Guide to the National Archives of
the United States (1974), pp. 168-172, 484; and Guide to
Genealogical Research in the National Archives (1985) pp. 189-191
Immigration and Ships Passenger Lists Research guide
A well written guide by Arnold Lang to help in research of immigration records and ship's passenger lists, both on-line and off-line. This site is of great interest because it details how to find records before 1820, between 1820 and 1891, and after 1892. Remember that Ellis Island Records start at 1892. http://home.att.net/~arnielang/shipgide.html
"A web site that defines terms used on ships carrying immigrants offers the
following question and answer: "[Q] What does Between Decks ('tween deck)
mean? Was it the same as steerage?
[A] The Between deck or 'tween deck as it's commonly known, is the deck
below the main deck. This deck was frequently used for cargo on the homeward
voyage and given a cursory cleaning with temporary partitions erected for
steerage class passengers on the "outward bound" voyage. It was
partitioned into dormitory accommodation usually with men one side and women
the other. "
Based upon this, and without additional information, I would tentatively
conclude that the term "zwischendeck[e]" meant steerage.
From a posting by Phil Shapiro
Ship Manifests Post-1893
Were made out by the shipping company's before the immigrant embarked in Europe. Shipping agents had a questionnaire to complete before the passenger's name would be entered on the manifest. This questionnaire was the information required by the U.S. government.
Sometimes passage was booked several months in advance of the actual
trip. Sometimes passage was booked in the States for a relative in
Europe. Going to information often changed between the ticket
purchase and the actual arrival, but the manifest was not revised.
While most male passengers were discharged on their own, women and
children were "detained" until someone met them or an agent placed
them on a train to their final destination. You may note an "X" at
the far left of the name on the manifest. This means the person was
detained. You should then check the List of Detained Passengers
to see who actually met them/ who they were discharged to http://stevemorse.org/
You can get the Detained Passenger Manifests at the end of each ship's pages.
I have seen "going to" information to be incorrect with respect to relationships-- frequently they were just a landsman who was already in America. In looking at passenger lists, sometimes you will see several persons from an area, apparently unrelated, all going to the same person. My favorite from Rechitza District in the 1904-1907 period was "H. Oppenheim", on Grand Street. My suspicion was a Landsmanshaft. One woman told me that her parents were active in a Landsmanshaft and they would regularly have someone meet the ship and total strangers would be put up for a night or two until they could be placed.
JewishGen has a wonderful Info File
written by Marian Smith, the INS historian which explains the
notations that may be found on the manifest. The Info File is far
more extensive than her much earlier article in Avotaynu, and is a
must read for anyone trying to understand all the markings on a
And please, immigrants did not change the information on the manifest anymore than the inspector changed their names at Ellis Island. It was all written down in advance and merely checked off upon their arrival. The manifests listed the same language groups together, as required by the U.S. government, they were lined up according to their manifest order and place in lines with an appropriate interpreter. If a destination was changed, it would only appear on the detained list. If a name was changed, it was done by the immigrant or his parents or siblings-- or suggested by a teacher or employer. But that is another volume <grin>. (And are all the stories you tell your grandchildren, the absolute, bare truth???)
This information was obtained from a posting on the BelarusSIG by Gladys Friedman Paulin CGRS,
"The NYC 1850-1891 manifest images exist ...they are indexed ..... and online too .... and easy to use!!! That's the good news."
The bad news is that you must find a nearby library with access to Ancestry's Immigration Records. I have found two in the NY area -- Stamford Ct. and the NY Public Library at 42nd St; even the Georgia State libraries have access. I'm sure there are more libraries with access... why not ask your library if they have access?" From a posting by Phyllis Kramer
The Central Office of the INS and the US Justice Department in Washington, DC, have wonderful libraries.
"For those interested in determining whether or not their ancestors who came into New York during the active years of Ellis Island as an immigration station (1892-1924) or at varying times (with breaks for many other different venues) when it served as a detention center (1924-1952).
The upper left hand corner of most manifests during the period has a class designation code which is generally as follows: (yes there were some exceptions so anyone thinking of writing a treatise about what I left out, try to remember that the people we write for here actually have real jobs, families and other interests so I try to convey the important facts as they have practical merit for our readership)
More popularly known as "ship passenger arrival records," this site may provide evidence of a person's arrival in the united States as well as foreign birthplace. The NARA has immigration records for
various ports for the years 1800-1957 http://www.nara.gov/genealogy/immigration/immigrat.html
Searching for Passenger Manifests in London is not simple. The passenger manifests are filed year-by-year, then by port. They are not indexed. There is a book of ships names etc. which might help you. http://www.pro.gov.uk/
Through the microfilms of the surviving lists. The microfilms are at the National Archives and the Regional Branches of the National Archives have those films relevant to the areas they serve, and sometimes others as well. Other genealogical libraries and archives may have some of them. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has copies of all the microfilms, and you can access them through the thousands of Family History Centers operated with volunteer labor by the Mormons. There is certainly at least one in the Ann Arbor area.
Unfortunately, there are no indexes for the New York Passenger list from 1847 to 1897, but the lists for the other ports are indexed in one way or another." From a posting by Peter Zavon
You can also access them through the Family History Centers, which borrow copies from the Family History Libraryin Salt Lake City. There are many more Family History Centers than there are Regional Branches of the National Archives, and there are FHCs in countries other than the US. So for many people the FHC is more convenient than the National Archives, even though using an FHC is slower because of the need to order films and to use them only within the Centers.
When searching databases i.e. Ellis Island, by entering an ancestor's last name (surname) and their first name as you knew it, most often you don't get a return or you get an incorrect return. One cannot assume, that the name you are searching is not held in the database, or on a manifest because you don't get a 'hit'. These are some of the reasons why this often happens.
1. Most of our ancestors were illiterate and could not even spell their own
2. The shipping company clerk put down what they 'heard' or thought they
heard when the emigrant was asked what his name was. The answer
would vary widely due to the clerk's inadequate training and language
background. Also, the name could vary based on the immigrant's
dialect. Less popular languages and dialects tended to be butchered
3. The shipping clerks had poor penmanship.
4. The shipping clerk confused the data of two passengers.
5. The thousands of volunteers encoding the manifests into a database have
introduced a second level of errors due to such factors as:
a. Variations in training and transcription methods
b. Inability to properly recognize old-style script
c. Typographical errors (mis-keyed data)
Additional errors introduced by the immigrant
a. Immigrant did not understand the question and responded with an incorrect answer
b. Immigrant was concealing information i.e. gave an incorrect age.
According to Bill Tarkulich who wrote an article published in GEN DOBRY dated May 31, 2001, and the source for this information, 'it is absolutely impossible to trust the data in the Ellis Island (AFIHC) database unless you can obtain corroborative evidence elsewhere. This is true of any data point, but especially true with the encoded AFIHC data. Don't try to construct a family tree based on the AFIHC data alone.'
Check Chronological Events A method Bill describes as being 'extremely useful' is to construct a chronological table of events for your immigrant. Include in this table the information you find suspect. With all the data placed next to each other in chronological order, patterns begin to emerge. He includes data about friends they may have traveled with - immigrants often traveled with friends and relatives. For this exercise, you hope to be able to determine movement of immigrants. By showing who bootstrapped whom to this country, indirect research can yield surprising evidence.
AFIHC Search Methodology Many folks are often surprised at how different their names appear on the manifests.
Here are some tips that are offered by Bill on how to utilize the AFIHC (American Family Immigration History Center) database at the Ellis Island site: www.ellisislandrecords.org
2. Surnames usually have the first letter correct, sometimes even the first
two or three letters. Beyond that, all bets are off.
3. Conduct a partial text search. Go to the AFIHC search screen and enter:
First name Last name
The result will locate someone, hopefully.
Now select 'Close matches only'. This feature gives you any surname that begin with the 'Last Name' you specified. You should find many matches - too many to look at individually.
Select 'Passenger Search Profile, Name & Gender' - EDIT. At the bottom of the next screen, select 'male' as a way to shorten the list. This will reduce the number of names.
Next, Select 'Passenger Search Profile, year of arrival' - EDIT. If you don't know, you will have to guess a range of years. Again the number of names will be reduced to a more manageable number.
Now look through each and every name for the last place of residence. confirm that the first name is an equivalent of the known first name. Confirm that the surname is a phonetic equivalent (or close, given spelling errors) to the surname you are searching. You MUST verify all this information by looking at the original manifest. If the original manifest image is not on-line, go to the National Archives or an LDS Family History Center to verify. This is especially critical when the expected name is wildly different. Most often, you will find that the AFIHC transcriber did not correctly convert the handwriting to the proper letters.
Here is an alternative to the above search
Redo the first search, leaving the First Name blank.
Secondly, begin to experiment with the second and third characters of the Last Name (surname). It may not be a phonetic match you are looking for here, but a handwriting (or reading error).
Try to get the subset of data down to 200 records or less and then begin the manual search process. 200 lines are 8 screen loads at 25 names per screen.
Ignore the 'sailing from' and ship name information, as most often it is incorrect and extraneous information. You will only need this if you can't find the immigrant through the AFIHC database. You will need to know this information if you want to look up the manifest by locating on microfilm, organized by date and ship.
The '%' character is a wildcard, meaning you can use the% to substitute it for one or more unknown letters in a name.
The more useful and powerful wildcarding technique is when a wildcard is embedded in the MIDDLE of a search string.
law of 1891 made it mandatory that all immigrants coming into the United
States be given a health inspection by the Public Health Service physicians.
The law stipulated the exclusion of 'all idiots, insane persons, paupers or
persons likely to become public charges, persons suffering from a loathsome
or dangerous contagious disease,' and criminals. The largest
inspection center was on Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
Glaucoma is not an infectious disease and occurs on the inside of
the eye whereas Trachoma is an infectious disease that prevented many
emigrants from entering the United States.Trachoma
occurs on the exterior of the eye. According to an Email: email@example.com I received
from Edward F. Stein, OD, and a fellow JewishGenner, 'simply stated, the
plumbing system of the eyes interior gets 'fahr blone ghit'
Marks definition as seen on Manifest Sheets. The medical inspectors apparently had a code that they used when examining immigrants. The marks were chalked on the immigrants themselves. Explanation about the marks and additional information is available at these INS web sites http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/history/MANIF/ANNOT.htm
Detained or Deported, though generally the inspectors used a rubber stamp with the word
'DEPORTED' used for this designation*
Likely Public Charge
Most likely an X
*The steamship company was responsible for the expense to return the deported passenger back to the port of embarkation
Quarantine originates from the French "quarante", meaning forty. Adding the suffix -aine to French numbers gives a degree of proximity to the figure (as -ish does in English). Quarantine, therefore, means "about forty." Originally, when a ship arriving in port was suspected of being infected with a malignant, contagious disease, its cargo and crew were obliged to forego all contact with the shore for a period of about forty days. The term came to be known as period of quarantine
They have a cross reference table to find information on ship traveling between Europe, Canada and the U.S. Generally, catalog entries are written in the same language as the original record they describe. You can order microfilms through your nearest Family History Center. You can also use the microfilms, books and other items at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
You can request a form G639 by calling the INS at 1 800 870 3676. If you need further help, call the INS help line at 1 800 375 5283. Press 1 for the English option, then wait through the first set of six options and press 9 to talk to an agent
or click on the link below to create your own information request
"At the dock" for passengers on any HAPAG ships was not on Manhattan, but in Weehawken, N.J. When a ship entered New York, it first had to anchor in a designated quarantine area off Clinton Point, Staten Island. That day, special ferry boats, run by the Immigration Service, off-loaded all of the 3rd class passengers bound for Ellis Island, unless it was during the period of June 14, 1897 to December 16, 1900, when a burned out Ellis Island was being rebuilt
During this period, they went to the "Barge Office" - a part of the Old Customs House on The Battery (located in lower Manhattan) that was used by the service before Ellis Island was opened on January 1, 1892.
All aliens were taken to Ellis Island for processing before anyone was allowed to meet them. Citizens of the U.S. were released at the dock and could go on their merry way. If immigrants were traveling to destinations that were a great distance from Ellis Island (e.g. to Chicago, etc.) the alien had to have a paid ticket to get there and the immigration officers check the ticket.
All aliens had to prove that they had a 'sponsor' at the 'stated' destination. Immigration officers did verify the truthfulness of this information. Sponsors were not required to travel to New York to meet immigrants after they were approved and released by the immigration officer. If the immigration inspector had any doubt about he disposition of an immigrant to a sponsor, they would release the immigrant to an immigrant aid society.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) A comprehensive explanation of the naturalization process and the location of naturalization records, depending on the state the person lived and the time period of the application; includes explanation of the two-step process as well ass the "exceptions" to the general rule http://www.nara.gov/genealogy/natural.html
Mr. Charles Reeves is the Director of Archival Operations at the Southeast Regional office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Atlanta.
The National Archives (NARA) has been publishing Soundex guides that omitted a rule found in the original instructions, and the omission has been perpetuated in genealogical 'how to' books based on the NARA guides. An updated guide to the Soundex Indexing System now appears on the NARA website at
To get information, the JewishGen FAQ suggests that you go to the NARA office that's nearest where your ancestor lived - rather than contacting the Washington, DC office. It states that the wait through Washington can be up to a year to receive your requested information, however, it most likely will be a lot less time using an alternate office. The National Office states that the first two hours of research time and the first 100 pages of reproduction are free.
There are exceptions to the rule that an immigrant must be a "legal resident" of the US for at least 6 years before he/she becomes eligible to apply for citizenship. Immigrants who fall in certain categories (i.e. those who are married to US citizens) may apply after only a 3 year residency.
Finding Passenger Lists 1820 to the 1940s arrivals at US ports from
Europe by Joe Beine, German Roots Webmaster What Passenger Lists are on-line? Internet Sources for Transcribed Passenger Records & Indexes by Joe Beine http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/emi_ref.htm
New York City: Anyone could be naturalized after they had been in the country for 6 years. Some people who did not know what ships they had arrived on, waited until the law was changed to say that you did not need to know the actual passenger manifest, but could be naturalized if you could prove that you had been in the US for at least six years. This took place around 1922 or 1924. If they did not naturalize at the Federal Court in New York City, they you can write to the local court for each borough of the City of New York. From a posting by Diane Jacobs firstname.lastname@example.org National Archives 201 Varick Street New York, NY
Passenger Lists that are on-line At the German Roots: German Genealogy Resources, there is a link entitled "What Passenger Lists are Online" which offers descriptions and links to other sites that include lists of immigration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, various U.S. States, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway and Portugal On the main page, click on 'Emigration and Immigration' on the right hand side of the page. http://home.att.net/~wee-monster/
Passenger Manifests The New York Public Library has passenger manifests up to and including 1910. It is more pleasant to do research at the NYPL then at NARA.
French Line - The French Lines
have an on-line database for passenger manifests for the period of
1864-1936. While this only covers 27 different ship's crossings, it
is still of interest. The site is in French, but is easily
navigatable. (An English-language version of the site is
clicking on a UK or USA flag)
Look at the "Listes de passager". An example of what one can find is
a listing for the SS Normandie, Le Havre - Southampton - New York,
May 29, 1935. There is a listing for Percy Trilnick, a Jewish
British dress designer in First Class. Unfortunately, there is no
further information given on each passenger. Another Jewish
passenger in First Class is Abraham Mintz, but he is not identified
by profession. Where the person is a notable personality, their
occupation is given such as Lucius Boomer, President of the
From a posting by Ann Rabinowitz email@example.com
Philadelphia Naturalization Records For information on obtaining records for Philadelphia http://www.phila.gov/phils/Docs/Inventor/natinstr.htm
U.S. Residency Requirements before becoming naturalized. Be aware that the rules for citizenship changed over the years and you may find unusual circumstances. Check the Immigration and Naturalization site, specifically the "Overview of INS History," "This Month in Immigration History," as well as "History, Genealogy and Education" sites. Anyone could be naturalized after they had been in the US for 6 years. Some people who did not know what ships they had arrive on, waited until the law was changed to say that you did not need to know the actual passenger manifest, but could be naturalized if you could prove that you had been in the US for at least six years. This took place around 1922 or 1924. http://uscis.gov
"Emperor of Germany" This standard phrase was taken from his travel document or passport where it said in full "Untertan des Kaisers Deutschland" .. i.e. a subject, as used in a feudal sense [a more modern German word isStaatsburger, i.e. citizen of a country] of the Emperor of Germany. The phrase was abbreviated by the immigration official to "Emperor of Germany". There was an exact time span in which this phrase could have been in use [1871-1918].
The Prussians were victorious in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Following this, the separate kingdoms of Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Baden and Hessejoined the North German Alliance. The latter had been founded by Bismarck in 1866 and included Prussiaand 17 northern German states. The foundation of the German Empire [Deutsches Reich] was declared in 1870 and King William I of Prussia as proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles in 1871. After the defeat of Germany in WWI, the Emperor abdicated on 28 November, 1918 - Abdication Proclamation of Wilhelm II: I herewith renounce for all time claims to the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected therewith.
I have also seen the German phrase on documents such as Russian passports [related to the Russian Czar] and in connection with other princely rulers in much earlier references.
(Nathan BOCK's) immigration in 1876 falls within the early years of the creation of the German Empire and hence the phrase is correct in the historical context given above. From a posting by Celia Male
It was not really necessary to be a citizen before Social Security, before passports were required, or before women had the right to vote. If a woman did receive citizenship through her husband or father, and then later needed to prove her citizenship to obtain a passport, etc., she had to then go to the trouble of proving that she was indeed related to her husband or father and had become a citizen through them.
North Dakota's State Archives and Historical Research Library
Naturalization records, often called "Second Papers" and the Declaration of intention records, often called the "First Papers". The early records contain very little family or personal history of the applicant; often the name of the applicant, country of origin and date of records were the only data supplied http://www.state.nd.us/hist/infnat.htm
Were preserved on microfilm and the films are available at the U.S. National Archives (NARA) in Washington, D.C. For each port, the films are also available at the National Archive Branch Archive and records Center that serves the region containing the port in question. All the films are also available at the Branch Archive in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and through the Family History Centers.
The microfilm indexes for the large ports, other than New York, are somewhat more complete than the New York indexes, so they are a bit easier to access.
Most emigrating Jews had no identity papers 100 years or more ago. They snuck out of Russia (or other countries) and got to a port. That was it! If they had money for a ticket, no one cared if they were named Itzkowitz or Jones. The US took in any immigrants who were healthy and had just a few dollars. If they had an internal Russian passport, it was not good for much outside Russia.
January 2005 I sent a letter to the US State Department
requesting my great grandfather's passport applications. I knew
he had traveled to Europe in the late 1920s but could not locate
him in the passport index (which in those days was only
available at NARA in Washington DC on microfilm.) So my
original request contained nothing more than his name.
date, address in the 1920s.
I resent the request this time having located his passport
numbers off of the passenger lists that had been published on
Ancestry. This time I was able to supply the State Department
Passport Office the dates and numbers on his passports and even
sent them copies of the appropriate passenger list pages and a
copy of my ggg f's death certificate.
In April 2007 after repeatedly calling
the State Department and the Passport Office the documents were
released to me - based on the January2007 request. Two pages each for
passports issued in
1926 and 1928. I thought that was the end
of the story.
Imagine my surprise last week when I received an envelope from
the US State Department. I opened it to find a letter saying in
response to your January 2005 request we
are mailing you the applications for your great grandfather's
passports. Enclosed were copies of the same documents I
received in 2007.
So I would say a) never give up and b) encourage you
when all else fails try the passport applications. Up to
about 1925 the applications are on Ancestry and after that still
require a written request to the US State Department. I am not
sure exactly what the rules are on releasing passports but in my
I documents that the person had died with a photocopy of
his death certificate and his obit that
showed my father's name
as one of the relatives. The State Department never asked me
for more documentation.
The applications include the country where he was born, parents'
names, date of immigration to the USA, where he lived in the
USA, date and place of naturalization, where he was going in
Europe, the name of the ship and the date he was leaving.
There also is a photo of him on each, his signature, a brief
description (height, weight, hair color, nose, chin,
complexion, etc.) and even a witness signature. Mind you it
was not the total solution to finding information but I found
the information on the form interesting." From a posting by
Letter of Reply The following letter, less the actual names mentioned, was sent to Marv Brooks
Lakebenj@aol.comand posted on LITVAKSIG
"Dear Mr. Brooks:
The passport applications in our custody were submitted by US citizens. It is most likely that ____ did not have a passport when she traveled to Russia. Passports were not required. Since 1789, the Department of State has issued passports to US citizens traveling abroad.
With two exceptions, however, there was no statutory requirement that American citizens have a passport for travel abroad until 1941. Passports were required for a short time during the Civil War (August 19, 1861 - March 17, 1862). Later, Executive Order 2285 of December 15, 1915, stated that all persons leaving the United States should have passports and an act of Congress of May 2, 1918 (40 Stat. 559), made it unlawful for U.S. citizens to travel abroad without a valid passport. This law lapsed with the formal termination of WW I in 1921. On June 21, 1941, the act of May 22, 1918, was revived (55 Stat. 252) and U.S. citizens have since been required to have passports for foreign travel.
Passport records in the custody of the National Archives include applications dated October 27, 1795, through March 31, 1925 (there are no applications for the years 1813-1829 and 1832); emergency applications submitted abroad, 1877-1925; and applications for special (diplomatic) passports, 1829-1925.
Passport records dated after March 31, 1925, remain in the custody of the Department of State. Passport applications may provide information regarding an applicant's family status, date and place of birth, naturalization, occupation or business, and physical characteristics. Each passport application series is arranged chronologically, with a number assigned to most applications to facilitate identification.
Finding aids for these records are incomplete. For the years 1810-1817 and 1834-1923 there are registers and indexes. There are also alphabetical card indexes for applications dated 1850-1852, 1860-1880, 1881 and 1906-23.
National Archives Microfilm Publications M1371, Registers and Indexes for Passport Applications, 1810-1905; M1848, Index to Passport Applications, 1850-52, 1860-8, 1881, 1906-23; M1372, Passport Applications, 1795-1905 and M1490, Passport Applications, 1906-March 31, 1925, reproduce some of these records."
Primer on Emigration, Immigration and Associated Subjects
Basic information (definitions, historical reasons for) about emigration and immigration and some advice and information on finding passenger lists http://www.pgsa.org/primer.htm
Records of the U.S. Customs Service, 1820--ca. 1891- Record Group 36
Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes Ports, Baltimore, Maryland, Boston, Massachusetts, New Orleans, Louisiana, New York, New York,, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/immigration/microfilm/customs-records-1820-1891.html
NARA RG 23, "Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
1891-1957. Despite the fact that arrival records for New York are archived at the National Archives under two different RGs, the arrival records are still considered the arrival records for the Port of New York in practical terms of research. The only difference at the LDS Family History Library is that if you use the catalog on microfiche and want to find the microfilms to use by the catalog on microfiche via the author/Title section, you would look under US Customs Service and US Immigration and Naturalization Service. This separate search is not needed on the on-line catalog of CD version since, as mentioned above, the records are found simply under the locality New York. As for Castle Garden and Ellis Island, they are still under Port of New York immigration records that you search through.
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 1891-1957 -
Record Group 85 (Index to Passenger Arrivals): Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, Baltimore, Md., Boston, MA; Detroit, MI,; Galveston, Texas; Gloucester, MA; Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; New Bedford, MA; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, Maine; Providence, Rhode Island; St. Albans, Vermont; San Francisco, California; Savannah, Georgia; Seattle, Washington and other Washington ports http://www.nara.gov/ublicatons/microfilm/immigrant/rg85
Research Guide to Immigration and Ships Passenger Lists
It is in columnar form with a number on the top right corner. At the heading appears the name of the shipping company; port; name of vessel; and emigration date. In respective columns appear (in translation from German) Surname, Personal Name, Age, Marital Status, Former Residence, Town or Province, Occupation. Below seems to be a declaration of the amount of American dollars carried by the passenger. Also, the day and date of arrival appear written in English and Yiddish. On the back is what appears to be regulations (numbered 1-15) concluding with Bremen and a date stamped on it. From a posting by Avrohom Krauss (with some modification by the webmaster)
Schifscarte - (ship card)......These
have been photocopied (1854 -
and are available through the LDS as four films 1419469 - 1419472....For 1854-
they should contain the same names as the Board of Trade registers.
Searching Passenger Lists: The Global Gazette Tips on Using the LDS Family
History Library Catalog
A clinical term which has attached to it certain symptoms which define the state. The earmarks of senility would include "confusion", "disorientation" an inability to respond to ordinary questions, etc. In a posting by Martin Kronman, he suggests that the stress of |being "processed" by the examiners at Ellis Island which might well generate these symptoms in a person who is otherwise relatively normal
Soundex Indexing System
To use the census Soundex to locate information about a person, you must
know his or her full name and the state or territory in which he or she
lived at the time of the census. It is also helpful to know the full
name of the heard of the household in which the person lived because census
takers recorded information under that name. For a complete discussion
and the Soundex Coding Guide
U.S. Citizenship and
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
has created a new and improved Genealogy
website including a page called the
-- a gateway to the history of the service, research
guidance, records requests and much more
U.S. Passenger Arrival Lists
At the very top of the ship passenger manifest sheet will be a statement as to the class of passenger which is manifested on that sheet. For example, Third Class Passengers will be manifested on a sheet that states "This Sheet Is For Steerage Passengers."
Steamship companies sold three types of tickets ... First Class (First Cabin), Second Class (Second Cabin), and Third Class (Third Cabin or Steerage). Steerage meant accommodations were deep inside the ship, not where cattle were located.
The document you get when your order a Passenger Manifest from Washington, DC is a copy from the actual ship's passenger list of the page with your ancestor's name on it. It will come as two pages (large pages) with about 29 columns of information, including full name, age, sex, occupation, able to read-write, nationality, race, last permanent residence, names and address of nearest relative in country from where they came, final destination, who paid for ticket, ever before in the US, going to relative or friend name and address ... then physical identifications such as color hair, eyes, height, birth marks, and place of birth. Most of our Jewish families purchased Third Class tickets The Steamship Companies, it is interesting to learn, made most of their money from Steerage passengers
If you are checking the Soundex for NY at the LDS, you will be looking at a microfilm containing an index of information - not the complete ship's list information. You would then need to order another microfilm for that list.
Same for the Hamburg Lists. They are a list of names and will give you the ship and date for arrival, but they are not the copy of the ships list. You can order that separately from information given in the index. http://www.ballinstadt.de/
Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, NY - 1897-1842,
June 16, 1897 to December 21, 1942 National Archives Microfilm Publication T715 - 8.892 microfilms Click on the underlined hyperlink. This guide helps clear up the confusion about leaving the Old Country and arriving in the New World
Primer on Emigration, Immigration In each arriving ship had at least a few passengers who were detained for one reason or another (no money; inspector couldn't confirm the passenger's sponsor, etc.). Some passengers were held for 'Special Inquiry' (SI) for the more serious cases. Detaining could be simply because the passenger was processed late in the day and there were no more trains leaving for the passenger's destination. There is a separate list for SIs. Many inexperienced people researching their family emigration, don't look for these SI reports (they are at the end of the ship manifest) These reports often contain additional useful information.
An article explaining in detail the "Navigating Immigration and
Naturalization Service Subject, Policy and Correspondence Files:
Board of Special Inquiry Appeal Files", authored by Zack A. Wilske
appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Avotaynu.
CR - Certificate of Registry This was issued instead of a Certificate of arrival during the naturalization process, when they didn't find the person on the manifest, but knew they'd been here long enough to apply. A copy of the CR is available by writing to:
Immigration and Naturalization Service FOIA/PA Office 425 Eye Street NW Washington, DC 20536
You need to include the immigrant's name, approximate date of birth, country of origin, date of death if known and the CR number.
LPC - Likely Public Charge. The Immigration Inspector, if he felt that the arriving passenger had either a mental or physical condition which would likely prevent the immigrant from finding employment in the U.S. would list the detained passenger as such.
Emigration Routes Some immigrants around 1917 emigrated via the "eastern" route. They went across Siberiathrough China to Japanand from Yokahama to Seattle.
This InfoFile was created by Marian Smith, Historian for the INS. It is a comprehensive InfoFile (more like a full website) that explains the many annotations that can be found on a passenger manifest, as well as provides graphical examples of the annotations described.
How did they get to the Midwest from New York?
From the Hudson River, they sailed up the Erie (not the Welland Canal), then via the Detroit Creek and Lake St. Claire into Lake Huron and from there to Lake Michigan and Chicago. Others continued through the Soo Canal to Duluth, and then headed south through Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The above information related to German Jews in the mid-century. The routes changed later in the century as the network of railroads was constructed, offering faster and more comfortable access to the American heartland.
Some Ukrainian Jews disembarked in Nova Scotia and made their way across Canada to Winnipeg. Some Jewish settlers in Minnesota had come from Winnipeg. From a posting by Michael Bernet
Ports of Immigration
There is a wonderful (and little-known) list showing arrivals to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, for 1890-1924. Allen County Public Library has it (Fort Wayne, Indiana USA) Phine: 219-421-1200; http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/
On these microfilms, I found 5 different crossings for my ALHADEF family. All of this material is on a collection of under 10 microfilms. Daniel Kazez
or you can send an inquiry to their Genealogy Unit and they will search the indexes on your behalf. The Canadian Archives has both passenger arrival lists and immigration cards for each immigrant. NARA has some indexes of crossings from Canada to Detroit. Manifests indexed for all ports for the years 1925-1935. Free. http://www.archives.ca/02/02011802_e.html
Manifests indexed for the period of 1869-1908. Archives has records through 1940, but it is unclear whether all will be indexed on-line. Free. http://www.emiarch.dk/home
"X" at far left, before or in name column = Subject was temporarily detained, see list of detained aliens at end of manifest.
"USB" = US-Born, sometimes found on records of returning citizens
"USC" = United States Citizen, sometimes found on records of returning citizens
C-###### = Naturalization certificate number, sometimes found on records of returning
Annotations made after arrival
"435/621" (or numbers in similar form) with no date given = NY file number (file does not survive). Indicates early verification/record check.
"432731/435765" (or similar format) = Subject was a permanent resident, returning from a visit abroad with a Reentry Permit.
Number in Occupation column (ex: 11-54678 or 2-x-237694) = Verification for naturalization purposes, usually after 1926. First number is naturalization district number, second is either application number or the Certificate of Arrival number. An "x" dividing the number indicates no fee was required for the Certificate of Arrival. Indicates activity in response to filing of a Declaration of Intention or Petition for Naturalization.
"C/A or c/a" = Certificate of Arrival." Indicates activity in response to filing of a Declaration of Intention or Petition for Naturalization.
"404" or "505" = Verification form used to transmit manifest information to requesting INS office, thus indicating a verification/record check.
Name (only)crossed out with line, or completely x'd out, with another name written in = name officially amended - additional records may survive
"W/A or w/a" = Warrant of arrest, additional records may survive
Shown below is the
brochure cover from the European Emigration From Bremen/Bremerhaven
to Ellis Island September 11 - November 11, 1992. Ellis
Island was the major federal immigration facility in America and was
located just a few hundred yards north of the Statue of Liberty in
New York Harbor.
Between 1892 and 1954,
seventeen million immigrants were processed at Ellis. Today,
more than forty percent, or over 100 million, of all living
Americans can trace their roots to an ancestor who came through
Ellis Island. The Ellis Island
Immigration Museum helps tell the inspiring story of the largest
human migration in modern history. In the various rooms of the
museum building, new arrivals came - many fearful of rejection -
were processed, inspected and ultimately granted permission to enter
the country legally.
On November 12,1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to
America, shut its doors after processing more than 12
million immigrants since opening in 1892. First and
second class passengers had easily passed through customs,
but those in third class underwent medical inspections to
ensure they didn't have a contagious disease.
Ellis Island Database JewishGen® and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. have a working relationship to provide enhanced search capabilities for the Ellis Island Database. It covers the period from 1892 through 1924, so arrivals prior to 1892 will not be found, and the amount of information included varies with the year of arrival as more data was collected in later years.
Dr. Stephen Morse, with the assistance from Michael Tobias and Erik S. Steinmetz, serve as a valuable aid to the thousands of individuals researching their families who came through the Port of new York and Ellis Island between 1892-1924. Over 40% of Americans have ancestral records in the Ellis Island Database located at the American Family Immigration History Center™ at Ellis Island and on-line at www.ellisisland.org
This same web site also contains links to Ellis Island Database; Ellis Island Database (Jewish Passengers); Ellis Island Database (Short Form) and Missing Manifests. This site features the ability to search for any passenger by town of origin and/or by similar sounding names. This information obtained from a News Release dated October 20, 2002. The full text of the news release can be found at the archives of JewishGen of this date. "The Ellis Island Data Base is riddled with spelling errors. The German spelling for Warsaw, Poland, is Warschau. The letter "u" and "n" look alike in script, so the person extracting the information, knowing nothing about the geography of Eastern Europe, misinterpreted the name and produced the name "Warschan"
From a posting by Gary Mokotoff
The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes nearly 40 web-based tools divided into eight separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to Israeli phonebook lookups.
Improvements have been made and the database now includes phonetic (Soundex) alternatives. Should you not find a record on the first try, click the Edit Name and Gender option. The question mark (?) in the database is treated like a wildcard character.
"An approach to using the EIDB script:
- only specify Last Name as criterion, using 'sounds
- high number of hits per page, to try and get all
results at once
- save the resulting file (.htm) for future reference
from there on, open the file in Excel or another spreadsheet, so that you can sort by place of residence or arrival date in combination with the last name. Age is a bit more tricky, as the year/month indication skews the sort method (e.g. '2 y 6 m' will come between '19y' and '20 y'. And so children below 10 will be scattered all over - only way out would be for the script to add a 0 in front for all such cases." Posted by Yves Goulnik
"When the Ellis Island Foundation prepared what is now known as the Ellis Island Database (EIDB), they used the microfilms held by the National Archives. But, depending on the years of immigration, you might be able to find additional information if you too go to the original microfilms yourself. This is especially true right now while we wait to learn if we were able to view all the original manifest pages again via Stephen Morse's or (now) Avotaynu's search site on the web."
"After about 1900 or so, manifests contained two additional sections at their ends: "Detained Aliens", and "Aliens Held for Special Inquiry". In the "Detained Aliens" section, many people were listed again if the person they were to join in the U.S. had not yet appeared at Ellis Island to pick them up. (The was especially true for immigrant women and children.) Most often, this would be the same person that had been listed on the manifest as the person they were joining, but not always. In some cases, I've found that the person who picked them up was different, thus giving a lead to an additional family member or friend. Also, the most current address would be given by the person picking them up and this was often different than what had appeared on the manifest. This might be of use if you're interested in going further and finding/confirming them all in a census or city directory."
"The "Aliens Held for Special Inquiry" section details legal proceedings on anyone whose admission the U.S. was in question. This could go either way: "admitted" or "deported". Again, this could be of importance in any ancestor search." From a posting by Dr. Howard Relles.
FAQs - Frequent Asked Questions - Steven Morse offers a number of links to Ellis Island and Ship Arrivals; Census and Soundex; Births and Deaths; Calendar, Sunrise/Sunset, Maps; i at this web site http://www.stevenmorse.org
Austro-Hungarian Empire (Galicia) Jews most likely departed via these routes:
1. a. Hamburg 'direct to' US ports b. Hamburg'indirect' - Hamburg to Grimsby/Hull, England - rail to Liverpool - ocean liner from Liverpool to US port. This 'indirect' route was both cheaper and faster, and quite popular. 2. Bremen 3. Antwerp
"For all of those readers who may be confused about when ancestors used Galicia or Austriaon immigration, US birth, death, marriage and census documents versus when they used Polandwhen they were from the same town:
Before 1772, all of Galicia was Poland. As a broad sweeping generalization, the territory that Austria incorporated as Galicia and Lodmeria in 1772 remained intact until the peace agreement following WWI in late 1918, except for Bukowina, which twice became an independent Austrian territory. However, Bukowina was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empireuntil 1918. For 15 years after the third partition of Poland in 1795, Austria and then Napoleon tussled over additional Polish territory that subsequently became part of Russia after Napoleon was gone from the scene. Cracow/Krakow was a special case. It was an independent city-state off and on; was semi-officially part of Russia for a time; and then became part of Austria's Galician holdings. But, in the big picture, except for Bukowina, the borders of Galicia remained intact from 1772-1918.
Thus, when you see a ship record for a person who came from Galicia or Bukowina from any date up to late 1918, expect to see the country as Austria.
But, if your relative came to the US after WWI from the same town, say Zurawno, expect to see Poland. This was because between WWI and WWII, virtually all of what had been Galicia came under Polish rule. Things changed after WWII when Poland lost its territory east of the Bug River to Ukraine.
If you are looking at a 1910 US census, expect to see the birthplace of your relative as Austriaor Galicia (you may occasionally see Poland because by then some Galician Jews were Polish nationalists and thought of themselves as being from Poland). But, in the 1920 census, the same individual will likely be listed as being born in Poland because by then, the town was, indeed, in Poland. I've seen some 1920 entries styled as Pol-Gal or Pol-Aus as well, but by the 1930 census, the birthplace is invariably given as Poland.
This is also true of US naturalization documents and post 1918 passport applications. If the person was naturalized after 1918, the birthplace will probably be reported as Poland, not Galicia or Austria and the country of former allegiance will be Poland." From a posting by Suzan Wynne
"The boundaries changed in the late 1700's with the three Partitions of Poland, and remained fluid until the Congress of Vienna in 1814 at the close of the Napoleonic Wars.
Then they were essentially stable for a century, until after WWI.
Then there were changes following WWII.
After the eastern block disintegrated circa 1989, it was not so much that boundaries changed as that some internal boundaries became international boundaries.
I don't think that constitutes "back and forth a lot." But it does suggest that people researching the region ought to have some understanding of the geo-political history of the area. But that is not much different from someone studying US history needing to understand that France once held Quebec and New Orleans, Spain once heldFlorida, and Mexico once held Texas and California." From a posting by Peter Zavon
The busiest emigration port in Europe and handled about 30% of the emigrant traffic. Unfortunately, the passenger lists from this port were destroyed in WW II bombings. However, the Bremen Chamber of Commerce, has the following lists available:
The Combined Efforts of Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild and
Die Maus Genealogical Society of Bremen, Germany Brings you transcribed Ships Manifest departing from Bremen and Bremerhaven. You cansearch by year of departure 1820s to 1950s or by name of Ship http://istg.rootsweb.com/bremenproj/bremenproject.html
Most Bremenlists were destroyed when the U.S. 8th Army Air Corps, 487th Bombardment Group (Heavy) bombed Bremen on September 26th, 1944 and again on February 24, 1945 during WW II.
Bremen 1920 - 1939 Passenger search links These saved lists had been stowed away in a salt mine at Bernburg an der Saaale in 1942 together with other archives for the purpose of protection, and were transferred into the custody of Moscow Archives at the end of WW II. In 1987 and 1990 those lists were given back to the Bremen Chamber of Commerce. Request on unpublished passenger lists will be replied when the name of the ship or the departure date is known
German Migration Resource Center Research tools at this site include a selected list of books about German Genealogy and German migration and links to other sites http://www.germanmigration.com/
German Roots An especially helpful web site for the beginning or intermediate genealogist is this site which offers links to the 'best of' on-line resources for census records, emigration, databases, history and maps
Hamburg Hamburgis about 75 miles inland and on the River Elbe; Cuxhavenis where the Elbe joins the North Sea. It was the second busiest emigration port in Europe, the busiest was Bremen, Germany which handled about 30% of the emigrant traffic. Passengers departing fromHamburg and Bremen, as well as other major European ports, came from all over Europe. The passengers lists from Bremen, were unfortunately, destroyed, most of the Hamburg lists have survived and are available on loan to local LDS Family History Centers.
Hamburg passenger lists Include the ports ofBuenos Aires and La Plata. Most FHL volunteers do not know thatArgentina is included in those list. http://www.hamburg.de/ The site is available in German and in Englishand you can do an initial search for free. If you find the person you are seeking, then you can choose to obtain more details for a nominal cost. Having the exact date from the Hamburg database will also allow you to pinpoint the manifest on EIDB or on microfilm.
BallinStadt Between 1850 and 1934 the Port of Hamburg was the "Gateway to the World" for some 5 million emigrants seeking a new life across the Atlantic to escape famine as well as political and religious persecution. The BallinStadt Museum is dedicated to these people. http://www.ballinstadt.com/en/index.htm
Hamburg City Archives The index to emigrants who departed from this port city during the period of 1890 to 1899 (over 640,000 people) has been expanded. This index offers: approximate age and date of departure. The Archives can provide (for a nominal fee) an abstract of the entry information from the ship's manifest. The fee charges are: 1 to 3 persons $20; for 4 to 10 people $30 and for 21 to 30 is $50. Since the form is an abstract rather than the actual manifest, a family of three on a specific page would each have their own abstract and, therefore, would count as three persons if you requested information all three.
This database has a built-in search engine which includes 'wildcard' ability (use of a special character to replace an unknown letter if you do not know the exact spelling) http://www.hamburg.de/
Hamburg Emigration Lists
The Hamburg Emigration web site now offers passenger information on ALL ships that departed Hamburg from 1890 to 1898. The Hamburg Emigration Lists are a databank which includes the personal data of 5 million people who emigrated via Hamburg from 1850 to 1934. The lists are available starting with the years 1890 to 1914 and will then grow year by year.
It has also become a fee-based site. You can search by passenger names. As this is an important site for Jewish researchers, it is a good idea to keep up-to-date on what's happening at the site - especially in view of the charge http://globalgazette.net/gazed/gazed56.htm
You can do an initial search for free, and if you find the person you are seeking, you can then choose to obtain more detail for a price ($20 fee for a text file listing the details of up to 3 individuals). Having the exact date from the Hamburg database will also allow you to pinpoint the manifest on EIDB or on microfilm. This site offers the pages in German, English, Spanish, Polish, Cyrillic and Swedish.
Jewish Returnees 1905 to 1907;Returnees listed for 1906 - 1913; Emigrants from Kovno 1897 - 1899; Emigrants not on emigrant ships 1871 - 1887 and Emigrants sent by rail to other ports because of WW I, 1913 - 1914.
Manifests indexed for the period 1890-1898. Plans are to complete indexing, first through 1914 and then from 1850-1934. Fee based http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/germanstousa.shtml Some sailings from Hamburg, Germany stopped in Dover or Folkstone. At both ports, passengers embarked and disembarked.
State Archive - Link To Your Roots There is a fee charged to use this database. Because of the size of the URL address, you may need to do a cut and paste of the following http://tinyurl.com/6b8hrp
Tips: Family Name - first letter must always be upper case. remainder in lower case. If the first letter is entered in lower case, nothing is returned.
Searching for a name verbatim is usually futile - name spellings changed often. Use wildcards Tark% returns Tark, Tarka, Tarkowski, Tarkon, etc.
Use a sounds like strategy. Put wildcards in for the vowels. usually the constantans remain correct, with exceptions, of course.
'Ungam' in the State of residence for the period prior to 1918, is the Kingdom of Hungary. This would include present day Slovakia and parts of Poland. Bohemia is listed separately.
1890 to 1894 (partial) are the only years on-line thus far.
The Russian Volunteer Fleetand theRussian East Asiatic Steamship Linesboth started sailing from Libau toNew Yorkin 1906. By 1910, there was also aRussian-American Line running from Libau to New York. Libau was the only all-weather port that did not ice over in winter. Some Jews went through Riga.
Many Jews from Lithuania and Latvia embarked at the Port of Libau. For a discussion, see SHEMOT (Journal of JGS Great Britain - Summer 1993, Vol. 1 Number 3, page 29): Poor Jews Temporary Shelter by Professor Aubrey Newman firstname.lastname@example.org
Memel (Klapedia) A port city that some Lithuanian and Latvian Jews shipped out of for England and US ports.
Most of the Jews went via Germany or through Libau in Latvia,
sailing on cargo ships first to London. History records the care
that was offered to the young emigrants by the British community n
the London Jewish Shelter in Leman Street in Whitechapel. From
there, the emigrants boarded larger ships which brought them to
South Africa. The emigrants who went to America sailed mostly
from German ports to New York direct.
Passenger Arrival Records (1882 to 1926) Available from the Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA). They house arrival records similar to Ellis Island. However, they do not issue actual manifests. Instead, they can give you a list of all the similar names (you have to request this specifically) or a Certificate of Arrival. They do not use a Daitch-Mokotoff system for the names so you should suggest alternative spellings. The web site is in Spanish. They charge $15 a search and $15 for a certificate (whether or not they find anything). Email: email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.orgFrom a posting by Rob Weisskirch email@example.com http://www.guiasolidaria.pccp.net.ar/migrantes/04-cemla.htm
Note that Lloyd's List is separate from (and actually published by a different organization) Lloyd's Register which has information about ships. Both offer barebones information about their subjects. The Guildhall Library in London has Lloyd's List from 1827 on and a separate index to it from 1838 to 1937; this film is a copy of the handwritten index. Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland also has holdings.
On The Way to America, South America, South Africa, etc. Once a ticket was purchased, it would cover the first leg to the UK, often Grimsby, Hull or London, including assistance and lodging in the Jews Temporary Shelter* on Leman Street in the East End, or in other shelters in Hull and other places. The next leg of the journey (South Africa for instance) was on a Union or Castle Line. If the journey were to taken them to America, it was often on Cunard or other lines. http://www.le.ac.uk/hi/teaching/papers/jewspap.html
"I had given up on receiving anything better than a shoddy copy of a ship manifest stamped "best available copy" until I referenced it in relation to other information and was sent a much better copy from the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore." If you know, or suspect, your relatives came though the Port of Baltimore, you'll find the library's reference department helpful whether you're needing photocopies of city directory pages, better copies of ship manifests, or whatever." From a posting by Stacy Harris http://www.pratt.lib.md.us/
The historic Galveston Movement took place between 1907 and 1913. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum created a traveling exhibition exploring the history of Galveston Island as a significant port of immigration into Texasand Americafrom 1845 to 1914. The exhibit opened in 2008 and traveled to other museums in 2009-2010.
The Galveston Movement - an internationally organized movement of over 10,000 Jews who were recruited in eastern Europe to come to America through the port city of Galveston. They settled in one of a dozen cities in the American West. Agents and representatives from the Movement helped them with jobs, places to stay, and connections for school, language study and other necessities to help getting adjusted to the new land. Further information can be obtained from Anya Rous, Project Intern, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas
"Galveston: Ellis Island of the West" Authored by Bernard Marinbach
This is the nation's only computerized listing of immigrants to Galveston, Texas. The museum's immigration exhibit features text and historic photographs illustrating
Galveston's roll in immigration history and the major organized immigration movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The database includes names of passengers and members of their traveling parties, age, gender, occupation, country of origin, ship name, dates of departure and arrival and destination in the United States. Searches are based on surnames - the family's last name.
There is a brief description of the Galveston plan in a section called "The Other Ellis Island" in "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy," edited by Arthur Kurzweil and Miriam Weiner. She refers to "Galveston: Ellis Island of the West," by Bernard Marinbach and published in 1983. It is out of print but should be available by interlibrary loan. The actual passenger manifests are at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and copies can be ordered from the National Archives on Form NATF 81; The Rosenberg Library 2310 Sealy Ave. Galveston, Texas 77550 and the Houston Public Library 500 McKinney Houston, TX. 77002
The State of New York opened the New York Immigration Station at Castle Garden on April 1, 1855 New York then collected the 'Head Tax' to support this facility. In 1882, Congress passed the Immigration and Passenger Actswhich made the federal Government solely responsible for regulating immigration, Castle Garden was placed under a joint State/Federal system administered by the Secretary of the Treasury and the NY State Commission of Immigration.
On April 1, 1890, the Secretary of the Treasury terminated the contract with New York and assumed full control of the New York harbor. New York officials became upset with this decision and refused to allow the federal government to use Castle Garden. Therefore, on April 19, 1890, the U.S. government established a temporary processing center for immigrants at the old Barge Office, which was located at the southern foot of Manhattan, near the Custom House. This facility was then used until Ellis Island facility was opened on January 1, 1892.
TheBarge Office Was also used as the New York Immigration Facility from June 14, 1897 until December 17, 1900 during the time of reconstruction of the Ellis Island buildings after they were destroyed by fire.
Great Hall at Ellis Island
Ellis Island was named after Samuel Ellis, a New York merchant who at some point during the American Revolution became the owner of a muddy little island in New York's bay. Native American had named it Gull Islandafter the seabirds that flocked there. The governors of Nieuw Amsterdam bought it in 1630, renamed it Little Oyster Island and proceeded to harvest shellfish. When pirates were executed there it became Gibbet Island. In 1808, when it was still owned by the Ellises the defense conscious federal government bought if for $10,000 and it became a fort. But the Ellis name remained.
After the War of 1812, the island was used for munitions storage until 1890 when the House Committee on Immigration decided that it offered the perfect alternative to Castle Garden immigration station. More information can be obtained from an article authored by Elin Schoen Brockman in the March, 2004 issue of Hadassah Magazine.
Port of New York has for centuries been the most used portal to the United States for immigrants from around the world. While there were many other important entries into the country, it is estimated that more than 100 million Americans are directly related to immigrants who passed through Ellis Island during its tenures as a federal immigration station. Ellis Island records only start with the 1892 immigration. While you are seeking information, remember that that New York was not the only port of arrival in the US. Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Galveston, San Francisco and Canada are some other ports where you can search for more information. A perfect example was when I started my search for my father, who all along, I had assumed had come through Ellis Island. I even placed a brass plaque on the 'Wall' at Ellis Island, only to learn later, that he came through Baltimore.
Many immigrants coming through New York, before 1892, may have been processed through the Barge Office. Here, your avenues are the Ships Manifests which can be found through the Family History Library. You can also try the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild.
Some knew the Island as the "Isle of Hope". Others knew it as the "Isle of Tears".
The New York Ships' Passenger Manifest Records List the arrival of more than 22 million immigrants, passengers and crew members who entered through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. They are now available on the Internet and include the following categories: Immigrant's given and surname, Ethnicity, |Last Residence (Town and Country), Date of Arrival, Age at Arrival, Gender, Marital Status, Ship of Travel, Port of Departure, Line number on which they appear on the Manifest.
Access to the database is also available while visiting the Visitors Center at Ellis Island.
"Patterns of Migration 1850 - 1914" Edited by Aubrey Newman and Stephen W. Massil - published by International Academic Conference of the Jewish Historical Society of England and the Institute of Jewish Studies by the University College of London in 1995. Copies may be available from the JHSE offices ISBN 0- 902528-31-9 http://www.jhse.org/
A relatively new wing of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum which opened in
2001. There is an exhibit consisting of a series of short documentary
films about people researching their families' histories.
Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892. It is estimated that
40 percent or more of Americans can trace their roots back to an ancestor
who came through Ellis Island, millions may now be able to find their
immigrant ancestors in their database.
TheDatabase Consists of 22 million immigrants (
5 million were other travelers and crew members) who came through
Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. This site now allows
access to the passenger information for the un-indexed years before 1897 at
Ellis Island. If someone arrived 1892-1897, you will find them in
the new database. Telephone: 1 212 883 1986
EIDB (Ellis Island Database) About 70%
complete as of late 2001. Thirty percent of 22 million
emigrants equals 6,600,000 people who entered through
Ellis Island and are not on that database yet.
This 30% would include those who arrived during the 1925 to
195x period. That is a lot of people still not listed.
I have not heard when the 30% additional names will be
listed in this database.
"So much of what is in the EIDB depends on what the indexers
saw as they tried to read the cursive writing on the
manifests. As those who have poured over numerous
manifest could testify, very few of the ships' pursers would
have won penmanship contests. But to be fair,
the difficulty of reading many records was also compounded
by fading or damage to the pages during the many years prior
to their being photographed." Howard Relles
Neither the EIDB, nor the INS indexes include alien passengers that arrived
in 1890. The EIDB starts with 1892 and the INS index starts with 1897
arrivals (to New York)
"Page through the original manifests and you will find at the very end of
the ship's manifests, several pages of "detained aliens". You cannot
get to this by searching for a person's name, but they are, in fact, scanned
and present in the EIDB. You then must manually scan the pages to find
your immigrant. Most people neglect to review this information
although it oftentimes contains additional useful information. From a
posting by Bill Tarkulich
Explore Ellis Island in an unforgettable first-hand testimony
from those who risked everything for a chance at the American dream.
The History Channel offers a CD Catalog #AAE-40075 for $49.95
"If all else fails in locating a manifest on the Ellis Island Database,
you can always obtain the microfilm containing that manifest from the Family
History Library in Salt Lake City. You need to know the date of
arrival, the name of the ship, the line on the ship manifest, and the
spelling of the name you are searching for. Given that amount of
information, you can easily locate the microfilm number for that ship in
their on-line catalog, order it through your local Family History Center for
$4.00, and scroll through to locate the individual you are searching.
You can then get a print from the microfilm." From a posting by
Lester Smith on BelarusSIG
Island informational sites Designated an immigration station on April 11, 1890
Opened as an immigration station on January 1, 1892
Buildings destroyed by fire, but all persons safely
evacuated on June 14, 1897
Reopened as an immigration station, on a larger scale on
December 17, 1900
From 19919 to 1954, served as a deportation center as well
as an immigration station. Mass immigration ended.
Immigrants now were inspected in countries of origin in 1924
Ellis Island closed on November 29, 1954. Reopened with
extensive museum exhibits and facilities on September 10,
The Wall of Honor Honor your family name - Prior
to the celebration on July 4, 1976, I was honored to be able to submit my
father's name to this 'wall of honor'. It was engraved on a
brass plaque, and placed on this wall that runs along one side of Ellis
Island and is seen by the thousands who come to Ellis Island each
year. Unfortunately for me, later on, I discovered that my father, Sam
Margulis came through Baltimore. His panel is #275.
But my $100 was a mitzvah!
Philadelphia Information Locator Service (PILS)
Naturalizations: Researching Philadelphia Records, Declaration of Intention,
Exceptions to Filing A Declaration, Minors, Petitions for Naturalization,
Un-naturalized Aliens, The 5-Year & 2 Year Rules, Interpreting Data From
The Port of Philadelphia has alphabetical indexes
for passenger arrivals that cover 1800-1906 (151 rolls of microfilm)
and Soundex indexes that cover 1883-1948 (61 rolls of microfilm).
These are available through the LDS Family History Centers, NARA in
Washington, D.C. and the NARA branch in Philadelphia
St. Albans List St. Alban's is a town in Vermont, but this
list nonetheless includes all entries into the US from
Canada via Atlantic and Pacific ports and everything in between. A large
number of immigrants came to the United States via Canada
during the mid- and late nineteenth century, and for them there is no U.S.
immigration record. They landed in Canada where no U.S. officer met
them or recorded information about their arrival in the United States.
The always-growing number of immigrants who chose this route in the late
1800s finally convinced the United States, in 1894, to build and
operate the bureaucratic machinery necessary to document the many thousands
who each year entered at points along its northern border.
Emigrants who found themselves in Canada and decided they wanted to
move on to the United States (and went through legally), may
be on the St Albans list. The records of those who crossed into
the US from Canada, were often kept on 3 x 5 cards which are
now microfilmed. Check out the information available on the NARA website
Also see the New York link on that page. Be aware that a search with
the INS can take several months.
He describes how more than 200 Jewish communities suffered pogroms and along with the desire to find better opportunities, more than 650,000 Russian Jews arrived in the US, two million by 1914. Two hundred and thirty Jews died in the sinking, and the book contains photos, letters and documents.
Most books, CDs, etc. can be ordered through my link to Amazon.com See also my
page byclicking here for more books relating to Genealogy
There is a large collection of books about passenger
ships and the shipping industry. Included are both the
"Morton Allan Directory" and "Adler's Directory", which is an
alternative to Morton Allan. Adler's is not in a lot of libraries (HE
945 A2 M6 1987 and HE 945 A2A2); also books containing descriptions,
histories and photographs of ships such as
"Passenger Liners of the
Authored by C. R. Vernon Gibbs (VM 18 G35p)
Ships of the World Past and Present"
Authored by Eugene W. Smith (HE 565 A3
or other book sources - 268 pp., (1931), 2001. ISBN 0806308303
"Shores of Refuge A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration"
Authored by Ronald Sanders and published by Henry Holt & Co., New York in 1988. He describes Fusgeyers - men and women traveling by foot, sometimes quite organized into groups and putting on performances for their host community as they made their way to coastal cities. ISBN 0-8050-0563-3
"Special Sorrows: The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish, and
Jewish Immigrants in the United States"
Birth, Marriage and Death Procedures on British Ships
"The procedures for BMDs on British registered ships are well known (whether they were always followed is a different question) . They vary with date, with type of ship (merchant or Royal Navy), status of person (passenger, crew, military), and residence of person (England, Scotland, Ireland)."
"A birth on a merchant ship would have been recorded in the ships log. Children were often not named so it would be helpful to know his father's name and his mother's unmarried names, as these were often listed."
"When a ship returned to it's home port, the log entry of the birth was reported to the Registrar of Shipping. These entries were collected in a handwritten register. These have been photocopied (1854 - 1890) and are available through the LDS as four films 1419469 - 1419472. These (microfilms) are not user-friendly. They are sometimes illegible and the indexes are only alphabetical by the first letter (i.e. all M surnames are together). They do, however, make fascinating browsing. These are the Board of Trade registers."
"At the end of each year, the entries were passed to the General Registry Office who prepared a series of Births and a series of Deaths at sea. These were split by residence (England, Scotland, Ireland). These are available from 1837 - 2000) on microfiche. For 1854- 1890 they should contain the same names as the Board of Trade registers. These are indexes and do not have the extra information in
the Board of Trade registers."
"So the first place to look is the Board of Trade films (the LDS has those) next the General Registry Office Births at Sea (England) series, and if both those fail, there is a problem. Births and deaths on the Australia run were common and the ships were familiar with the procedures." From a posting by Harry Dodsworth on 12/20/00 with some slight modifications
CIMO - Cimorelli Immigration Manifests Online by Tony Cimorelli - this is an on-line collection of databases comprised of the Morton Allan Directory, M1066 Microfilm series from NARA, various newspapers articles, Internet sources, and personal contributions http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/emi_ref.htm
Morton Allen Directory Includes an online version of the Morton Allen Directory which is used to locate ship arrivals by port, date, by ship's name; Magellan Ship Biographies between 1890 and 1930 http://www.cimorelli.com/safe/shipmenu.htm
"The passenger lists show the name of the ship, its destination, the date it left port and the amounts paid for first, second and third class, sea and train fees. The passenger's name is included along with the details of passage arrangements. The indexes are grouped by the first letter of the passenger's surname and begin December 6, 1900. They include departure date and the name of the ship" Without knowing the date of arrival, it is nearly impossible to find any desired passenger or which ship. http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/hollandam.html
A British publication that gives details of vessel movements, marine casualties, and other information of interest to the merchant shipping community by Michael Palmer http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/ref_emi.htm
Lloyd's Register of(British and Foreign)Shipping
A British publication that describes classifies and registers vessels
according to certain criteria of physical structure and equipment, to enable
underwriters, shipbrokers, and ship owners more easily to assess commercial
risk and to negotiate marine insurance rates - by Michael Palmer
"So, for any of you who feel like going to the actual manifest, I went back and found the exact URL
(it is long!)" To go to the 2nd page of the manifest, it is "previous" and not "next". Sorry! I should have added that it is entry line 18, WOHL. From a posting by Alicia Jensen http://tinyurl.com/5uc276
S.S. Thetis Landed in Haifa with a shipload of immigrants
from Russia and Romania. They were mostly members of
the Hovevei Zion, the First Aliya and they founded settlements such as
Rosh Pinah and Zicron Yaakov. A photograph of the ship and a
list of the immigrants including their place of origin appears in a
comprehensive history of Zichron Yaakov called "Zichron Yaakov",
written by Arye Samsonov.
Established to assist those seeking information on the vessels which
brought their ancestors to their new home, be that the US, Canada,
Australia, or another part of the world. Some ships passenger
lists, schedules, wreck data and other information which is not readily
available, has been collected, along with links to other sites of
They have over 200,000 prints, slides and negatives. Just give them the name
of the ship you are interested in. There is a charge for the copy.
They have the largest archive for ship photos that I am aware of in the
Steamship Historical Society University of
Baltimore Library 1420 Maryland Avenue Baltimore, MD 21201-5779
One of the last boats to leave Nazi Germany. On May 13 1939 the St Louis
set sail from Hamburg for Havana. The United States
refused to let the ship dock. Of the nine hundred and thirty six
passengers, 930 had landing certificates for Havana, but only 29
passengers were |allowed to land in Cuba. Ultimately, 460
emigrated to the US, dozens to other countries. The rest
were deported to Sobibor
Many immigration stations were set up along the Canadian borders as well as
other seaports on the east, west and Texas coast. Passenger
manifest information for these ports have been archived and are available on
microfilm at the National Archives as well as the Family History Centers.
There were other ports of entry to the US that were used by people who ended
up in short order in New York City. Some of those ports of
entry were elsewhere in New York State. In addition to
Rousse's Point (for trains from Montreal), Buffalo, Niagara
Falls, even Rochester, were ports of entry at various times -
including the period around 1903