California, San Francisco Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States
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Flag of the United States (1891-1896).png
US Flag 1891-1896 (44 stars)
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Passenger Lists
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1893-1953
Microfilm Publication M1410. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA., 1893-1953. 429 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 4498993 414
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of lists of those arriving in San Francisco, California. It corresponds to NARA Publication M1410: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, for the years 1893 to 1953 and is part of Record Group 85 Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The collection is arranged date of arrival starting with May 1, 1893. Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival.

Arrival lists was used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States. The information was supplied by the immigrant or a traveling companion (usually a family member). Incorrect information was occasionally given, or mistakes may have been made when the clerk guessed at the spelling of foreign names. The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.

Realted Collection


To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Passenger lists

  • Name of ship
  • Port of embarkation
  • Date and seaport of entry
  • Final destination
  • Whether or not ticket to final destination
  • Name of passenger
  • Birth place
  • Age in years and months
  • Gender
  • Civil status
  • Occupation
  • Whether or not can read and write
  • Nationality
  • Last permanent residence
  • Destination
  • Who paid for passage
  • Declaration of money in possession
  • Whether or not has been in U. S. before
  • Whether or not passenger has been in prison
  • Whether or not passenger is a polygamist
  • Name and address of relative or friend passenger plans to join
  • Whether or not under contract to labor
  • General condition and statement of health
  • Description of passenger

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The age and birth place of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of immigration

If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900.

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the NARA Roll Number - Contents to view the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the record to learn the place of origin and find vital records such as birth, baptism, and marriage
  • Use the information found in the record to find land and probate records
  • Use the record to locate the family in census records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, try searching records of a nearby town or county
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived. Then look for the naturalization petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts, then in state, county, or city courts. An individual may have filed the first and final papers in different courts and sometimes in a different state if the person moved. Immigrants who were younger than 18 when they arrived did not need to file a Declaration of Intent as part of the process
  • Check other possible ports of entry

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of California.

Known Issues With This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1410. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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