United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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US Flag 1819-1820 (21 stars)
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Card Index to Passenger Arrivals
Record Group RG 36: Records of the United States Customs Service
Collection years 1820-1874
Microfilm Publication M334. A Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Post(Excluding New York), 1820-1874. 188 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetical
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in This Collection?

This is a card index to passengers arriving at 70 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for the years 1820 to 1874. New York City is excluded from this index.

States and portscovered by this collection include:

  • Alabama:Mobile
  • Connecticut:Bridgeport,Fairfield,Hartford,New Haven,New London,Saybrook
  • Delaware:Wilmongton
  • District of Columbia:Georgetown
  • Florida:Key West,St. Augustine,St. Johns
  • Georgia:Darien,Savannah
  • Louisiana:New Orleans
  • Maine:Bangor,Bath,Belfast,Frenchmen's Bay,Kennebunk,Passamaquoddy,Penobscot,Portland,Falmouth,Waldboro,Wiscasset,Yarmouth
  • Massachusetts:Barnstable,Beverly,Boston,Charlestown,Digton,Edgartown,Fall River,Gloucester,Hingham,Marblehead,Nantucket,New Bedford,Newburyport,Plymouth,Salem
  • Maryland:Annapolis,Baltimore,Havre de Grace
  • North Carolina:Beaufort,Edenton,New Bern,
  • New Hampshire:Portsmouth
  • New Jersey:Bridgetown,Cape May,Little Egg Harbor,Newark,Perth Amboy
  • New York:Oswegatchie,Rochester,Sag Harbor
  • Ohio:Sandusky
  • Pennsylvania:Philadelphia
  • Rhode Island:Bristol,Warren,Newport,Providence
  • South Carolina:Charleston,Port Royal
  • Texas:Galveston
  • Virginia:Alexandria,East River,Hampton,Norfolk,Portsmouth,Petersburg,Richmond

Ship captains kept lists of passengers to manage their finances and prevent stowaways. Later, immigration laws increased the need for passenger lists, which grew in detail. Eventually the Federal Government began to store immigrant documentation. These lists were first created to keep track of a captain's shipment and paying passengers. Later, they became a means to document immigration to the United States. Although generally reliable, passenger lists were handwritten, causing possible spelling errors.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Passenger arrivals'

  • Passenger's name [Given and Family Name]
  • Accompanied by
  • Age in years and months
  • Occupation
  • Country of origin [Nationality]
  • Last Permanent Residence [Town,Country,etc.]
  • Destination
  • Port of Entry
  • Name of Vessel
  • Date of arrival

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your immigrant ancestor
  • The approximate age of your ancestor
  • The date of arrival
  • The port of arrival
  • The names of other family members who may have immigrated with your ancestor

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 Surname Range 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?

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

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of other ports such as New York or Boston
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

Known Issues

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
"United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M334. 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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