Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Card Manifest of Arrivals
Record Group RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Collection years 1906-1954
Microfilm Publication M1478. Card Manifests (Alphabetical) of Entries through the Port of Detroit, MI, 1905-1954. 117 rolls.
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National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This is an alphabetical card file manifest of individuals entering the United States through the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954. Includes a few records of persons entering at Port Huron, Sault St. Marie, and other Michigan ports. Corresponds to NARA Publication M1478: Card Manifests (Alphabetical) of Individuals Entering Through the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954

Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival. 

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index cards may contain all or part of the following information:

  • Port and date of departure
  • Port and date of entry
  • Name of ship
  • Country of citizenship
  • Name of passenger, including maiden name of women
  • Names of persons accompanying passenger
  • Age, gender, marital status and occupation of passenger
  • Date and place of birth of passenger
  • Address of last permanent residence
  • Name and address of friend or relative at last address
  • Final destination
  • Name and address of friend or relative in U.S.
  • Physical description and distinguishing marks
  • Who paid for passage
  • Purpose of visit

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of immigration.

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

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Name Range" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor on a manifest, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found What I was Looking for, What Now?

Use passenger lists to:

  • Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
  • Confirm their date of arrival
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests.
  • Continue to search the passenger lists to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have immigrated at the same time.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the name.
  • Look for other indexes. Records are often indexed by local historical and genealogical societies.
  • Search the passenger lists year by year.
  • Search the indexes of other port cities.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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
"Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1478. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954.

Image citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954.

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We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.