New York, Northern Arrival Manifests (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956 .

Record Description

This collection is comprised of two record sets from the National Archives:

  • Manifests of alien arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagra Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954 (NARA M1480)
  • Soundex card manifests of alien and citizen arrivals at Hogansburg, Malone, Morristown, Nyando, Ogdensburg, Rooseveltown, and Waddington, New York, July 1929-April 1956 (NARA M1482).

These card manifests are arranged in Soundex order and document over 1,000,000 arrivals. Some citizen arrivals are also included. The bulk of the arrivals were at Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The cards are arranged by soundex code and include permanent, temporary, statistical, and nonstatistical arrivals.

The National Archives have kept lists of immigrating individuals since about 1820. Some cities or ports of immigration have kept lists since the colonial period. 

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

This collection has records for the years 1902 to 1956. 

Arrival lists was used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States.

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.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. New York, Northern arrival manifests. United States National Archives, Washington D.C.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Digital images of originals housed at various municipal archives throughout New York.

Record Content

New York Northern Arrival Manifests (10-0676) DGS 4719410 220.jpg

The cards generally include the following:

  • Name 
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Place of birth
  • Physical description
  • Occupation
  • Citizenship ("nationality")
  • Race
  • Ability to read and write and in what language
  • Place of last permanent residence
  • Port and date of arrival
  • Destination
  • Purpose for entering U.S.
  • Intention of becoming a U.S. citizen or of returning to country of previous residence
  • Name and address of nearest relative or friend in the country from which he or she came
  • If the alien had ever been in the U.S. previously
  • Dates and places of previous residence or visitation
  • The reverse side of the card manifest sometimes includes the alien`s photograph and other miscellaneous information

How to Use the Record

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select “Arrival Location” ⇒ Select “Soundex Range” that takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

These card manifests are arranged in Soundex order. For help in using the soundex refer to the wiki article: Soundex.

When searching these records it is helpful to know the full name of your ancestor and the approximate date of immigration. If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900. Compare the information in these records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if you have found the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, 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. For example:

Use these records 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.

You may also find these tips helpful:

  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
  • 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.
  • If your ancestor has an uncommon surname, you may want to obtain the passenger list of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.

If you do not find the name you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings. Realize that the indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
  • Try a different index if there is one for the years needed. You may also need to search the passenger lists year by year.
  • Search the indexes of other port cities.

Online Soundex Converters

The easiest way to obtain the Soundex code for a name is to use one of several online Soundex converter programs. Simply type a name, and at the click of a button, the converter will divulge the corresponding Soundex code. There may be subtle differences between programs:

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, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at 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.

Related Websites

Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954
Immigration Records
The Soundex Indexing System

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"New York, Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956,"  digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 21 April 2011). r Kate, E Ashworth,  October 5, 1917; citing Arrival Manifests, Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagra Falls and Rochester, Soundex: A-263 Florance to A-416 Otto H, Image 110; United States Federal Archives and Records Center, New, York.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.