Massachusetts Emigration and Immigration
|Massachusetts Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 How to Find the Records
- 1.1 Online Resources
- 1.2 Offices to Contact
- 2 Finding Town of Origin
- 3 Background
- 4 Immigration Records
- 5 In-country Migration
- 6 For Further Reading
- 7 References
How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- 1500s-1900s All U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s at Ancestry; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts; Also at MyHeritage; index only ($)
- 1620 Massachusetts, Mayflower Passengers 1620 at FindMyPast - index and images ($)
- 1620 Mayflower Passengers
- 1620-1640 The Planters of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1620-1640 Seaman's Protection Certificate Register Database, 1796-1871
- 1630 The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1638-1905 Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild Boston Arrivals Vol. 1
- 1700-1775 Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775, e-book
- 1797-1934 Massachusetts, Salem and Beverly Crew Lists and Shipping Articles, 1797-1934 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1797-1934 Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts, Crew Lists and Shipping Articles, 1797-1934 at Ancestry; index & images ($)
- 1806-1910 Massachusetts, passenger lists, 1806-1910
- 1811-1921 Massachusetts, Boston, Crew Lists, 1811-1921 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1820-1870 Atlantic and Gulf Ports, Passenger List Card Index, 1820-1870 at MyHeritage - index & images ($)
- 1820-1891 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images; Also at MyHeritage; index & images ($)
- 1820-1943 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943 at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
- 1837-1965 Maine & Massachusetts Case Files of Deceased and Deserted Seamen 1837-1965 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; images only
- 1847-1851 A List of Alien Passengers Bonded from January 1, 1847, to January 1, 1851 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1848-1851 An Abstract of the list of alien passengers, bonded underthe law of May 10, 1848 : ... with their names, ages, occupation, birthplace, last residence, name of vessel in which they arrived, and where from; also, the names of obligors and their residences, images
- 1848-1891 Passenger Manifest Lists (1848-1891)
- 1848-1891 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1848-1891 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images See date range of each film
- 1848-1891 Massachusetts State Archives Passenger Manifest (1848-1891); index, incomplete
- 1882-1929 U.S, Boston Arrivals of Jewish Immigrants from HIAS Records, 1882-1929 at Ancestry - index ($)
- 1891-1943 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1891-1943 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images; Also at MyHeritage; index & images ($)
- 1895-1956 United States, Border Crossings from Canada, 1895-1956 at MyHeritge; index & images ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts
- 1899-1940 Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists Index, 1899-1940 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images; Also at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
- 1899-1940 Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-1940 at Ancestry; index & images ($)
- 1902-1943 Massachusetts, New Bedford Passenger and Crew Lists, 1902-1943 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index and images
- 1906-1943 Massachusetts, Gloucester Passenger and Crew Lists, 1906-1943 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1911-1954 United States, New England Passenger and Crew Lists, 1911-1954 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1917-1943 Massachusetts, Boston Crew Lists, 1917-1943 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1917-1943 Massachusetts Crew Lists, 1917-1943 at Ancestry; index & images ($)
- 1917-1943 Crew lists of vessels arriving in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1917-1943, images
- 1918-1920 Crew lists of vessels arriving at Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1918-1920, images
- 1921-1949 Massachusetts, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, 1921-1949 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images
- 1949-1957 Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1949-1957 at Ancestry; index & images ($)
- Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild at MyHeritge; index only ($)
- United States, Passenger and Crew Lists - New England Passenger And Crew Lists at FindMyPast; index & images ($)
Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]
- British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812, e-book
- Germans Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritge; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts
- Italians Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritge; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts
- Russians Immigrating to the United States at MyHeritage; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts
- 1882-1929 Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society card file I-96, 1882-1929
- 1920-1939 Germany, Bremen Emigration Lists, 1920-1939 at MyHeritge; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Massachusetts
Passport Records Online[edit | edit source]
- 1795-1925 - United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1795-1925 - U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 Index and images, at Ancestry ($)
Digital Books[edit | edit source]
- Planters of the Commonwealth: Emigrants to New England in Colonial Times. Second item on the roll.
- The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1623–1633
- The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607–1776, and Emigrants in Bondage 1614–1775
- Immigrants to New England, 1700–1775
- Passengers to America. A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.
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.
Massachusetts Ports in NARA Records[edit | edit source]
Many of these port records are included in the online records listed above.
- Barnstable, Massachusetts, 1820-1826
- Boston, Massachusetts, 1820-1891; 1891-1943; and 1820-1949
- Dighton, Massachusetts, 1820-1836
- Edgartown, Massachusetts, 1820-1870
- Fall River, Massachusetts, 1837-1865 and 1918-1954
- Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1820-1870, and 1918-1943
- Hingham, Massachusetts, 1852
- Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1820-1849
- Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1820-1862
- New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1826-1852 and 1902-1954
- Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1821-1839
- Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1821-1844
- Salem, Massachusetts, 1865-1866
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
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]
1600s. Early settlers of Massachusetts generally came from England and Scotland and the other New England states. Plymouth Colony was first settled in 1620. From 1630 to 1642, fifteen to twenty thousand people settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Up to 1880. Significant immigration from other European countries began in the 1840s, when many people came to work in the textile mills. Prior to 1880 about 95 percent of the overseas immigrants to Massachusetts came from Britain, Ireland, and northern Europe. The Irish were the largest immigrant group from the late 1840s through the rest of the 19th century. In the 1870s large numbers of Canadians, especially French Canadians, began to move overland into the state.
After 1880. A significant change in immigration patterns occurred after 1880. A wave of Italian and Portuguese immigration began in the late 1880s and reached its high point just prior to World War I. Russians, Russian Jews, and people from Poland and other Slavic countries came in large numbers in the early 20th century. In 1907, for example, 80 percent of the immigrants to Massachusetts were from southern and eastern Europe.
Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]
- As late as 1795, the population of Massachusetts was nearly 95% of English ancestry.
- During the early and mid-19th century, immigrant groups began arriving in Massachusetts in large numbers; first from Ireland in the 1840s. Today the Irish and part-Irish are the largest ancestry group in the state at nearly 25% of the total population.
- Others arrived later from Quebec, as well as places in Europe such as Italy, Portugal, and Poland.
- In the early 20th century, a number of African Americans' migrated to Massachusetts, although in somewhat fewer numbers than many other Northern states.
- Later in the 20th century, immigration from Latin America increased considerably.
- More than 156,000 Chinese Americans made their home in Massachusetts in 2014, and Boston hosts a growing Chinatown.
- Massachusetts also has large Dominican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Cape Verdean and Brazilian populations.
- Italians form the second-largest ethnic group in the state (13.5%), but form a plurality only in some suburbs north of Boston and in a few towns in the Berkshires.
- French and French Canadians also form a significant part (10.7%), with sizable populations in Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties.
- Lowell is home to the second-largest Cambodian community of the nation.
- Massachusetts is home to a small community of Greek Americans as well. According to the American Community Survey there are 83,701 of them scattered along the state (1.2% of the total state population).
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 Databases and 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]
Massachusetts Migration Routes[edit | edit source]
For Further Reading[edit | edit source]
The FamilySearch Library has additional sources listed in their catalog:
- United States, Massachusetts - Emigration and immigration
- United States, Massachusetts - Emigration and immigration - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
- United States, Massachusetts - Emigration and immigration - Indexes
- United States, Massachusetts - Emigration and immigration - Periodicals
- United States, Massachusetts - Minorities
- United States, Massachusetts - Minorities - Genealogy
- United States, Massachusetts - Minorities - Genealogy - Periodicals
- United States, Massachusetts - Minorities - Vital records
- African Americans - Massachusetts
References[edit | edit source]