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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Manitoba Ancestors by Laura Hanowski. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Alternate Sources to Find Immigrants to Manitoba
United States Passenger Lists and Border Crossing Records
Many immigrants coming to Manitoba lived in the United States for a number of years before coming to Canada. They likely would have landed at United States ports and are part of the United States passenger lists. Microfilm copies of these lists can be borrowed through interlibrary loan from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The list of microfilm numbers are found on the NARA website. The Family History Library also has copies of the passenger lists.
There is a database for those arriving at New York City who passed through the immigration station at Ellis Island between 1892-1924 at the Ellis Island Foundation website.
Other immigrants coming to western Canada arrived at Canadian ports but boarded trains that travelled through the United States to Winnipeg. If they came by this route between 1895 and 1954 they would be part of the Canada/United States Border Crossing Records.
These records are referred to as the St. Albans Lists. One of the pieces of information in these records is the date and port where they arrived in Canada. Microfilm copies of these lists can be borrowed through interlibrary loan from the National Archives and Records Administration. The list of microfilm numbers are found on the NARA website. The Family History Library also has a set of the St. Albans Lists.
- Eakle, Arlene and John Cerny, editors. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1984.
- Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington, D.C.: National Archives Trust Fund Board, U.S. General Service Administration, 1983.
- Smith, Marian L. “By Way of Canada: U.S. Records of Immigration Across the U.S.-Canadian Border 1895-1954 (St. Albans Lists.) Prologue 32 (Fall 2000). Available online at NARA website.
- Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, editors. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1996.
The Direct and Indirect Hamburg Passenger Lists
Before 1900 ships from the port of Hamburg did not come directly to Canada but went to United States ports. Because ships did not leave every day many immigrants would take small vessels from Hamburg to ports on the east coast of England and then travel by train to Liverpool where they boarded ships going to Canada. These people are listed on the Indirect Passenger Lists. The lists of those people who travelled to North America via Hamburg are written in German but are most valuable because they list the village and country of origin. There are indexes to the records which are arranged chronologically by the letter of the alphabet. Copies of the indexes and records are found on microfilm at the Family History Library. Check the research guide available online for more details.
The Hamburg Museum
The Hamburg Museum has a passenger list database that can be checked for free, but there is a fee for detailed information. The database expects to have an index that covers 1890-1914. The records for the direct and indirect lists are available from 1890 to the end of 1906, but are being updated regularly. The site is in German but you can find the English pages if you click on the Union Jack at the top of the page or the line “Link to Your Roots” on the left hand side of the page.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Manitoba Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.
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