Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Passenger Lists
Record Group RG 36: Records of the United States Customs Service
Collection years 1820-1948
Microfilm Publication M255. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore,Maryland, 1820-1891. 50 rolls.
  M596. Quarterly Abstracts of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1820-1869. 6 rolls.
  T844. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1891-1948 (RG 85). 150 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 4329528
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of the index and images of passenger arrivals in Baltimore, Maryland. This collection contains records from three NARA publication including M255 (Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1820-1891); M596 (Quarterly Abstracts of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1820-1869); and T844 (Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, 1891-1948). Passenger arrival lists from July 1, 1948 to November 30, 1954 do not exist.

The passenger arrival list was used by legal inspectors to cross-examine each immigrant during a legal inspection prior to the person being allowed to live in America. Only two percent of the prospective immigrants were denied entry.

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

See also Baltimore Passenger List Index, 1820 -1897

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

A ship manifest of alien immigrants includes the following information:

  • Ship's name with port and date of departure
  • Date of arrival and U. S. port of entry
  • Name of immigrant and nationality
  • Age, gender, marital status and occupation of immigrant
  • Birth place, and last permanent residence
  • Who paid for passage
  • Intended final destination
  • Able to read and write?
  • Any physical impairments?

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date and place of naturalization

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 Date Range
  2. Select Roll Number - Date Range

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.


What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Use the information to find other records such as emigrations, port records, and ship’s manifests.
  • Look for the Declaration of Intent soon after the immigrant arrived, and then look for the Naturalization Petition five years later, when the residency requirement would have been met. Look for naturalization records in federal courts and 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.
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Learn the place of origin and find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for military, land and probate records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Maryland, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog

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

"Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publications M255, M596 and T844. 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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