New York Emigration and Immigration
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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]
A large number of immigrants coming to the United States landed in New York. There were three different ports in New York City from 1855 to 1954, where passengers landed: Castle Garden, the Barge Office, and Ellis Island. Regardless of whether your ancestor arrived in New York City during the Castle Garden, Barge Office, or Ellis Island period, you can search the same ship manifests.
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- 1500s-1900s All U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s at Ancestry; index only ($); Also at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- 1675-1920 New York, Genealogical Records, 1675-1920 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1820-1846 New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index
- 1820-1846 New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1820-1850 New York, Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1850 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1820-1891 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1820-1891 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1820-1929 Immigrant Ships Transcriber's Guild - New York Arrivals - Vol. 1; index only
- 1820-1957 New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 at Ancestry; index & images ($); Also at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
- 1820-1957 Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 at MyHeritage; index & images ($)
- 1846-1890 United States, Passenger and Crew Lists - New York Passenger Lists 1846-1890 at FindMyPast; index only ($)
- 1895-1960 U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960 at Ancestry - index and images ($), years vary by location
- 1881-1922 Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1887-1921 New York, New York, Soundex to Passenger and Crew Lists, 1887-1921 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1892-1924 New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1894-1954 United States, Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1894-1954 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1895-1956 United States, Border Crossings from Canada, 1895-1956 at MyHeritage; index & images ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- 1895-1964 All U.S., Border Crossings from Mexico to U.S., 1895-1964 at Ancestry; index & images ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- 1897-1902 New York, New York, Index to Passengers Lists of Vessels, 1897-1902 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1902-1956 New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1906-1942 New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images; Also at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
- 1909, 1925-1957 New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1917-1957 New York, New York, Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted, 1917-1957 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1917-1957 Port of New York, Index to Discharged or Deserted Crew, 1917-1957 at MyHeritage; index & images ($)
- 1917-1966 New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1966 at Ancestry; index & images ($)
- 1944-1948 United States, New York, Index to Passengers Arriving at New York City, compiled 1944-1948 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1948-1972 New York, Ogdensburg Passenger and Crew Lists, 1948-1972 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild at MyHeritage; index only ($)
- New York Immigration Records, statewide and by county
- United States, Passenger and Crew Lists at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]
- British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812, e-book*1624-1664 List of Early Immigrants to New Netherland. Alphabetically Arranged, With Additions and Corrections, From Manuscripts of the Late Teunis G. Bergen inThe New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 14 (see page 500) and Vol. 15 (see page 560).
- 1834-1897 Russians to America Passenger Data File, 1834 - 1897, NARA, index
- 1846-1851 Famine Irish Passenger Record Data File (FIPAS), 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851, index
- 1846-1851 United States Famine Irish Passenger Index, 1846-1851 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index only; Also at Ancestry.com; index only ($)
- 1846-1851 Passengers arriving in New York from Ireland 1846 - 1851 at MyHeritage; index only ($)
- 1850-1879 Germans to America Passenger Data File, 1850 - 1897, NARA, index
- 1855-1900 Italians to America Passenger Data File, 1855 - 1900, NARA, index
- 1881-1894 Dutch Immigrants: New York Passenger Lists, 1881-1894 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- Germans to America Passenger Data File, 1850 - 1897, NARA, index
- 1920-1939 Germany, Bremen Emigration Lists, 1920-1939 at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- Germans Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- Italians Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- Russians Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of New York
- "Origins of Some New Netherland Families," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 123
Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]
Although many records are included in the online records listed above, there are other records available through these archives and offices. For example, there are many minor ports that have not yet been digitized. There are also records for more recent time periods. For privacy reasons, some records can only be accessed after providing proof that your ancestor is now deceased.
National Archives and Records Administration[edit | edit source]
- The National Archives (NARA) has immigration records for arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982. The records are arranged by Port of Arrival (See Part 5).
- You may do research in immigration records in person at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001.
- Some National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regional facilities have selected immigration records; call to verify their availability or check the online Microfilm Catalog.
- Libraries with large genealogical collections, such as the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Allen County Piblic Library also have selected NARA microfilm publications.
- Order copies of passenger arrival records with NATF Form 81.
U.S. Citizenship and and Immigration Services Genealogy Program[edit | edit source]
The USCIS Genealogy Program is a fee-for-service program that provides researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records of deceased immigrants. If the immigrant was born less than 100 years ago, you will also need to provide proof of his/her death.
Immigration Records Available[edit | edit source]
- A-Files: Immigrant Files, (A-Files) are the individual alien case files, which became the official file for all immigration records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944.
- Alien Registration Forms (AR-2s): Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2) are copies of approximately 5.5 million Alien Registration Forms completed by all aliens age 14 and older, residing in or entering the United States between August 1, 1940 and March 31, 1944.
- Registry Files: Registry Files are records, which document the creation of immigrant arrival records for persons who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924, and for whom no arrival record could later be found.
- Visa Files: Visa Files are original arrival records of immigrants admitted for permanent residence under provisions of the Immigration Act of 1924.
Requesting a Record[edit | edit source]
- Web Request Page allows you to request a records, pay fees, and upload supporting documents (proof of death).
- Record Requests Frequently Asked Questions
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society[edit | edit source]
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society will search their indexes and files at no charge. Supply the individual ancestor's name as spelled at the time of arrival and, if known, the year and port of entry and relatives traveling with the ancestor. It also helps to give birth and last known address. Records of Jewish immigrants since 1909 are at:
United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service
200 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003
Orphan Out-migration[edit | edit source]
- From about 1854–1929, some 100,000 homeless children from New York City were "placed out" to families in upstate New York and the midwestern states. They are frequently referred to as the orphan train children.
New York agencies that have records are:
- New York Children's Aid Society
Adoption and Foster Home Division
150 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
(Organized in 1853)
- New York Foundling Hospital (Catholic)
590 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
(Organized in 1869 and began placing out children in 1873)
Societies[edit | edit source]
- The Holland Society
- Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
- German Genealogy Group
- The Hispanic Genealogical Society Of New York
- Jewish Genealogical Society of New York
- Polish Genealogical Society of New York State
Finding Town of Origin[edit | edit source]
Records in the countries emigrated from are kept on the local level. You must first identify the name of the town where your ancestors lived to access those records. If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.
Background[edit | edit source]
- During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois, and other tribes were founded in the colony of New Netherland.
- Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony; New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, South Carolina. Slavery was extensive in New York City and some agricultural areas. The state passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery soon after the Revolutionary War, but the last slave in New York was not freed until 1827.
- In the 1620s and 1630s, the Dutch and Walloons (French-speaking Belgians) settled in the Hudson Valley and on western Long Island.
- Ulster Scots, or Scotch-Irish, settled near the Hudson River in Orange and Ulster counties in the late 1600s.
- German "Palatines" came in 1709/10 to the upper Hudson Valley, near present-day Germantown, Columbia County. Many had been lured to America after reading the "Golden Book," published by British authorities, to promote the colonization of America. After arriving in New York and working in the tar and naval stores industries to pay off their passage, they found themselves landless, and in an undeveloped wilderness. The British failed to keep their promise to grant each immigrant 40 acres of land for emigrating. Many ventured to the unsettled Schoharie Valley backcountry and purchased land from Indians. They established seven villages. 
- Large numbers of Irish and Germans came to New York cities in the mid-1800s. The Irish tended to settle in New York and other large cities, such as Albany, and along the canal. Large numbers of Germans settled in New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester.
- New York was the destination for millions of southern and eastern Europeans, especially Italians and Russian Jews, from about 1890–1910.
- According to immigration statistics, the state is a leading recipient of migrants from around the globe. New York State has the second-largest international immigrant population in the country among the American states, at 4.2 million as of 2008; most reside in and around New York City, due to its size, high profile, vibrant economy, and cosmopolitan culture. New York has a pro-sanctuary city law.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York has a racial and ethnic makeup of 55.1% non-Hispanic whites, 14.2% blacks or African Americans, 0.2% American Indians or Alaska Natives, 8.6% Asians, 0.6% from some other race, 2.1% from two or more races, and 19.3% Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race. There were an estimated 3,725 Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the state in 2019. Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race were 17.6% of the population in 2010; 2.4% were of Mexican, 5.5% Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban, and 9.4% other Hispanic or Latino origin. According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry White American groups were Italian (13.0%), Irish (12.1%), German (10.3%), American (5.4%), and English (5.2%).
Immigration Records[edit | edit source]
Immigration refers to people coming into a country. Emigration refers to people leaving a country to go to another. Immigration records usually take the form of ship's passenger lists collected at the port of entry. See Online Resources.
What can I find in them?[edit | edit source]
- Before 1820 - Passenger lists before 1820 included name, departure information and arrival details. The names of wives and children were often not included.
- 1820-1891 - Customs Passenger Lists between 1820 and 1891 asked for each immigrant’s name, their age, their sex, their occupation, and their country of origin, but not the city or town of origin.
- 1891-1954 - Information given on passenger lists from 1891 to 1954 included:
- name, age, sex,
- nationality, occupation, marital status,
- last residence, final destination in the U.S.,
- whether they had been to the U.S. before (and if so, when, where and how long),
- if joining a relative, who this person was, where they lived, and their relationship,
- whether able to read and write,
- whether in possession of a train ticket to their final destination, who paid for the passage,
- amount of money the immigrant had in their possession,
- whether the passenger had ever been in prison, a poorhouse, or in an institution for the insane,
- whether the passenger was a polygamist,
- and immigrant's state of health.
- 1906-- - In 1906, the physical description and place of birth were included, and a year later, the name and address of the passenger’s closest living relative in the country of origin was included.
Over the years, passports and passport applications contained different amounts of information about the passport applicant. The first passports that are available begin in 1795. These usually contained the individual's name, description of individual, and age. More information was required on later passport applications, such as:
- Birth date
- Naturalization information
- Arrival information, if foreign born
In-Country Migration[edit | edit source]
- Before 1775, settlement in New York was confined to the Hudson, Mohawk, Schoharie, and Delaware valleys until after the Revolutionary War.
- During and after the war, New Yorkers loyal to the King of England emigrated to Canada and elsewhere.
- The Revolutionary War temporarily halted further expansion into the interior. Once the war was over, and the title to western lands was obtained from the Iroquois in 1786, New Englanders flocked to all parts of the state.
- In the two decades after the war, 500,000 new settlers came into New York, and the state tripled its population.
- Before 1861, cities along migration routes such as Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo prospered.
- Natives of other states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont moved to New York in large numbers during the pre-Civil War era.
New York Migration Routes[edit | edit source]
Ellis Island, Castle Garden, etc. · Atlantic Coast Ports · Lake Champlain · Lake Erie · Lake Ontario · Long Island Sound · Hudson River · Mohawk River · St. Lawrence River · Chambly Canal · Champlain Canal · Delaware and Raritan Canal ·  · Albany Post Road · Catskill Turnpike · Forbidden Path · Great Genesee Road · Great Shamokin Path · Greenwood Road · Hudson River Path · King's Highway · Boston Post Road · Lake Champlain Trail · Lake Shore Path · Lehigh and Lackawanna Paths · Minsi Path · Mohawk or Iroquois Trail · New York Turnpikes · Old Connecticut Path
For Further Reading[edit | edit source]
- Palatine Records in the United States
- United States, New York - Emigration and immigration
- United States, New York - Emigration and immigration - Indexes
- United States, New York - Jewish records
- United States, New York - Minorities
- United States, New York - Minorities - Biography
- United States, New York - Minorities - Genealogy
- United States, New York - Minorities - History
References[edit | edit source]
- Emma Lazarus, excerpt from The New Colossus in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 21 March 2012).
- "Genealogy", at USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/records/genealogy, accessed 26 March 2021.
- Henry Z. Jones, Ralph Connor, and Klaus Wust, German Origins of Jost Hite, Virginia Pioneer, 1685-1761 (Edinburg, Va.: Shenandoah History, c1979). FHL Book 929.273 H637j.
- "New York (state)", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_(state), accessed 8 April 2021.