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Content by
Linda Jonas 2006

Finding the Date of Arrival

U.S. Passenger lists were required by law starting in 1820. Some Canadian passenger lists start in 1865, but most of them are not indexed. A large number of Irish, primarily Catholic, immigrated to America during the Famine years (approx. 1846-1851). Many Protestant Irish, (especially Presbyterian) came to America much earlier, most of them coming between the years 1715-1775. You may be able to locate the approximate time of arrival and often the exact date by using the following:

New York Passenger Lists   The vast majority of immigrants arrived at the port of New York. For the years 1820-1850, the names of passengers are indexed on compact disc (see list below). From 1851-1891, the New York Passenger Lists are indexed on Ancestry.com, and you can see the actual passenger list. From 1892-1924 the passenger lists are indexed on ellisisland.org. Again, you can see not only the index on this site but also the actual passenger manifests.

For immigrants who arrived at other ports, see the following indexes on compact disc.

Filby, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index   This index is the best source for finding information about immigrants. The Passenger and Immigration Lists index is not an index to original passenger lists. It is an index to a wide variety of published records that include names of immigrants. These published records can include census records, land records, cemetery records, passenger lists, naturalization records, and much more. The index gives the name of the person, the place where he was residing at the date of the record, and the name and page number of the published source. Please note that the date may not be the date of your ancestor's arrival in America. The Passenger and Immigration Lists Index is on compact disc.
Passenger and Immigration Lists: Irish to America 1846-1865   is an index to Irish names found on passenger lists of New York 1846-1851 and Boston 1846-1865.
Passenger and Immigration Lists: Irish to America, Volume 2, 1846-1886   indexes Irish names found on passenger lists of Boston and New York.
Passenger and Immigration Lists: Irish Immigrants to North America 1803-1871   The stated dates are misleading. The information was taken from sources in the British Isles and America that identify 18th and 19th-century Irish immigrants.
Passenger and Immigration Lists, Boston 1821-1850   is an index to Boston passenger lists, National Archives Microfilm Series M277.
Passenger and Immigration Lists, Baltimore 1820-1850   Index to Baltimore passenger lists, National Archives Microfilm Series M255.
Passenger and Immigration Lists, New York 1820-1850   indexes New York passenger lists, National Archives Microfilm Series M237.
Passenger and Immigration Lists, New Orleans, 1820-1850   indexes New Orleans passenger lists, National Archives Microfilm Series M259.
Passenger and Immigration Lists, Philadelphia 1800-1850   is an index to Philadelphia passenger lists, National Archives Microfilm Series M425.
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