United States Border Crossings from Canada to United States (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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United States, Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1894-1954 and United States Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1895-1956.
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Seal of the National Archives|
|Record Type||Emigration and Immigration|
|Record Group||RG 85: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What Is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can This Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What Is in the Collection?
This article describes multiple collections. The collections consist of indexes of aliens and citizens crossing into the United States from Canada through various ports of entry along the U.S.-Canadian border between 1895 and 1956.
In many cases, the index cards are the only record of the crossing.
- Ancestry.com has indexes with image links to the index cards. A study was not done at this time to determine if all four sets of indexes are included in this collection.
- Online index is also available at Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1895-1956 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- The Family History Library has on microfilm all four sets of indexes of the records:
|Title of Collection||NARA Microfilm (# Rolls)||FHL (Starting Roll#)||Type||Special Conditions|
|Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District, 1895-1924||M1461 (400 rolls. Missing roll 218)||1472801||Index|| Soundex name index to entries at ports along the border and Great Lakes. Includes|
• ALL manifest lists from 1895-1917.
• After June 1917, includes only arrivals east of North Dakota-Montana state line. Anyone entering west of this state line after 1917 was filed in Seattle.
• 1915 to 1924 indexes cover ports east of Buffalo, New York only.
In most cases, an original manifest exists. Some index cards are the only record of crossing, with no original manifest.
|Alphabetical Index to Canadian Border Entries through Small Ports in Vermont, 1895-1924||M1462 (6 rolls)||1430987||Index||Arranged alphabetically by ports of entry, all in Vermont. Especially useful for identifying Canadians who settled in the New England area.|
|Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1924-1952||M1463 (98 rolls)||1570714||Index||Includes border crossings in New York and Vermont area.|
|Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954||M1464 (640 rolls)||1561087||Original manifests||Manifests indexed by the above Soundex indexes. These forms were completed when the immigrant entered the U.S. through a border port station. Most European immigrants will be found in these lists.|
|Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949||M1465 (25 rolls)||1549387||Original manifests||Supplement to the above manifests. These manifests list travelers to the United States from Canadian Pacific seaports only.|
|Card Manifests (Alphabetical) of Individuals Entering through the Port of Detroit, Michigan, 1906-1954||M1478, M1479 (140 rolls)||1490449||Original card manifests|| Original card manifests, arranged alphabetically, for Michigan ports of entry only: Bay City, Detroit, Port Huron, Sault Sainte Marie (117 rolls).|
An additional 23 rolls Include passenger and alien crew lists of vessels arriving in Detroit, 1946 to 1957.
A variety of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) forms were used to record information about individuals entering the United States. Types of forms used included: Primary Inspection Memorandum; Manifest; Record of Registry; and Land Border Departure Record. Due to the variety of forms, the amount of information available for an individual in this database will vary according to the form used and the questions asked on it.
What Can This Collection Tell Me?
The information in the records varies with the form used. The database generally includes the following:
- Date of birth
- Birth country
- Race or ethnicity
- Ship name
- Departure contact
- Arrival contact
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor.
- The residence of your ancestor.
- The age of your ancestor.
- The estimated immigration year.
- The names of other family members.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United States Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1895-1956. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor in the border crossings, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found Who 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 Who I'm Looking For, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the records of port cities along the border.
- 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 that may be your ancestor.
Citing This Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "United States, Border Crossings From Canada to United States, 1895-1956." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Various NARA microfilm publications, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
Record citation (or citation for the index entry):
Record citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| 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.