New York Emigration and Immigration
. . . Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
- 1 Immigration Records
- 2 Canadian Border Crossing Records
- 3 Immigration via New York
- 4 New York City Passenger Lists
- 5 Migration Patterns
- 6 Colonial Settlers
- 7 19th and 20th Century Immigrants
- 8 Web Sites
- 9 References
New York City was the major port of entry for immigrants coming to the United States.
Colonial Lists. Passenger lists for some colonial immigrants exist. The New York State Archives has microfilmed the New York customs house records dating from about 1730, but these do not name passengers. Many early immigrants are named in:
- Filby, P. William. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1981–1996. Available at Ancestry ($); (Family History Library book Ref 973 W32p.) Most comprehensive index available of published passenger lists from 1607 to about 1900. Supplemental volumes have been issued annually. Some of the volumes are on microfilm.
A comprehensive list of about 140,000 immigrants to America from Britain is:
- Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607–1776 and Emigrants in Bondage, 1614–1775. [Novato, California]: Brøderbund Software, 1996. Available at Ancestry ($). Includes New York immigrants. May show British hometown, emigration date, ship, destination, and text of the document abstract.
Federal Immigration Lists. Few pre-1820 passenger lists exist. The National Archives does have some unmicrofilmed manifests and baggage lists for 1798–1819 that mention passengers' names.
Ellis Island opened as an immigration station in 1892. Before that period, Castle Garden served the same purpose. Immigration to the United States peaked during the first decade of the twentieth century. An estimated 12 million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. The National Archives and the Family History Library have microfilm copies of New York immigration lists as well as lists for other ports. Ellis Island records are available online at: http://www.ellisisland.org/ and the earlier Castle Garden records are at: http://castlegarden.org/, although they are not yet complete. It's a work in progress.
New York City Passenger Lists. For customs arrival lists and indexes see:
Passenger lists (1820–1942). These contain the names, ages, and countries of origin. After 1897 they usually give the last residence and final destination in the United States. The National Archives—Northeast has the lists through March 14, 1909. The New York Public Library has them on microfilm through at least 1906. The Family History Library has the lists from:
Book indexes by vessel line (1906–1926). These indexes to passengers are arranged annually by the name of the shipping line and date of arrival. They are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and the National Archives—Northeast Region:
Passenger lists at the Family History Library are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under NEW YORK, NEW YORK (CITY) - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION. If your ancestor arrived in New York between 1890 and 1930 and you know the name of the vessel, you may be able to determine the date of arrival by checking Morton Allen Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals. (1931; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980; Family History Library book 973 U3m 1980; fiche 6046854). For earlier years, see the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York from Foreign Ports, 1789–1919 (Family History Library films 1415143–69). The registers of both passenger and commercial vessels have both alphabetical and chronological lists of ships. These registers do not list passenger names.
Published Lists. Published passenger lists include:
- Glazier, Ira A., and Michael H. Tepper, editors. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846–1851. Seven Volumes. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983–86. (Family History Library book Ref 974.71 W3f.) The years 1852 through 1896 will be published later. Includes name, age, sex, occupation, arrival date, arrival port, ship, and departure date. Each volume is indexed.
- Glazier, Ira A., and P. William Filby, editors. Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports. 50 Volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, Incorporated, 1988–91. (Family History Library book Ref 973 W2ger.) This series indexes arrivals from 1850–1887. It will continue through the year 1896. Each volume is indexed. May include name, age, sex, occupation, village and province of origin, departure port, arrival port, and arrival date.
- Glazier, Ira A., and P. William Filby, editors. Italians to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports, 1880–1899. Five Volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, Incorporated, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 W2it.) This series will index passenger arrivals from 1880–1899. Currently the series has lists up to December 1891.
- Glazier, Ira A., editor. Migration from the Russian Empire: Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York. Two volumes. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 W3r 1995.) This series will index passenger arrivals from 1875–1910. Currently the series has lists from 1875 to April 1886. Includes Finns, Germans, Poles, Russians, and others who lived in Russian territories.
- Voultsos, Mary. Greek Immigrant Passengers, 1885–1910: A Guide and Index to Researching Early Greek Immigrants. Three Volumes. Worcester, Massachusetts: the author, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 W2vm.) Contains indexes and lists for Boston 1900–1910 and New York 1885–1910.
Other Ports of Entry. To find passenger lists for other ports, see United States, Bureau of Customs, Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820—73, under UNITED STATES - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search (on 16 Family History Library films). Other ports include Oswegatchie (1821–23), Sag Harbor (1829–34), and Rochester (1866). For indexes to these lists, see United States, Bureau of Customs, Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York [City]), 1820–1874, under:
UNITED STATES - EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION - INDEXES (on 188 Family History Library films beginning with film 418161).
Some records recently made available at the National Archives include:
- Card Manifests of Individuals Arriving in the Buffalo, New York District, 1920–1954 (166 microfilms, not at Family History Library).
- Soundex Index to Arrivals at Malone, Ogdensburg, and Rooseveltown, New York, 1929–1956 (three microfilms, not at Family History Library).
Canadian Border Crossing Records
In 1895 Canadian shipping companies agreed to keep passenger lists, or manifests, of people who were in transit to the United States. These lists allowed U.S. immigration officials to inspect passengers bound for the United States via Canada. The U.S. inspectors worked at Canadian seaports and major cities of the interior like Quebec and Winnipeg. The manifests from any seaport or emigration station in Canada were collected at St. Albans, Vermont.
In addition, U.S. immigration officials kept records of passengers arriving by train along the Canadian border in the states from Washington State to Maine. The records of Canadian border crossings into any state between Washington and Maine, including New York, were also gathered together at St. Albans, Vermont.
The Family History Library has copies of both kinds of immigration records. Since they were sent to St. Albans they are called Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District. Despite the name, the manifests are actually from ports and railroad stations all over Canada and the northern United States, not just Vermont.
Border Crossing Lists may include information about name, port or station of entry, arrival date, literacy, last residence, previous visits to the United States, and place of birth. The passenger lists are reproduced in two series:
- Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895–1954 (608 rolls; Family History Library films 1561087–499). From seaports and railroad stations all over Canada and the northern United States.
- Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929–1949 (25 rolls; Family History Library films 1549387–411). In transit to the United States from Canadian Pacific seaports only.
Manifests for Pacific and Atlantic ports provide two types of lists: the traditional passenger lists on U.S. immigration forms and monthly lists of names of aliens crossing the border on trains. These monthly lists are arranged by month, thereunder alphabetically by name of port, and thereunder by railway.
Border Crossing Indexes. In many cases, the index cards are the only record of the crossing. Two published indexes apply to New York:
- Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District, 1895–1924 (400 rolls; Family History Library films 1472801–3201).
- Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1924–1952(98 rolls; Family History Library films 1570714–811).
The Soundex is a coded surname index based on the way a name sounds rather than how it is spelled. Names like Smith and Smyth have the same code and are filed together.
Immigration via New York
From 1855 to 1890, Castle Garden, also known as Castle Clinton, was the place where immigrants were processed for entry into the country. About 7.5 million people passed through Castle Gardens by the time it closed in 1890. Until Ellis Island opened in January 1892, immigrants went through the Barge Office. Approximately 525,000 immigrants went through the Barge Office.
The passenger lists for the Castle Garden, the Barge Office, and part of the Ellis Island records are in the same record group. Regardless of whether your ancestor arrived in New York City during the Castle Garden, Barge Office, or Ellis Island period, you can search the same ship manifests. Many of the records are available on microfilm in the Family History Library. These can be viewed in the library or in a family history center. Follow these steps to find the film numbers in the library catalog.
- 1. Go to www.familysearch.org
- 2. Click Family History Library Catalog.
- 3. Click Place Search.
- 4. Type New York, and click Search.
- 5. Click New York, New York City.
- 6. Click Emigration and Immigration.
- 7. Click the title Passenger lists of vessels arriving at New York, 1820-1897.
- 8. Click View Film Notes to find the film numbers for the records.
Note: For New York harbor arrivals of 1897-1943, click on the long title: Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, June 16, 1897- June 30, 1902;Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, July 1, 1902-December 31, 1943; Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York.
The Ellis Island Foundation site at www.ellisisland.org/default.asp has indexes and images of passenger arrivals to Ellis Island in New York between 1892 and 1924.
The passenger lists from 1851 through 1891 are only partially indexed. The indexes are mostly for a few nationalities, such as German, Italian, and Russian. Follow these steps to find the film numbers for the passenger lists and indexes.
- 1. Go to www.familysearch.org
- 2. Click Family History Library Catalog.
- 3. Click Place Search.
- 4. Type United States, and click Search.
- 5. Click United States.
- 6. Click Emigration and Immigration.
- 7. Scroll through the titles, and click one of interest to you.
- 8. Click View Film Notes to find the film numbers for the records.
New York City Passenger Lists
Passenger lists show the names of those aboard the ship during its voyage but the annotations can supply important information as well. Searching through many passenger lists can be time consuming. An online index can save time and help you find an ancestor's immigration date and ship. The index to many lists of New York City arrivals from 1820 to 1892 are available on the Ancestry Web site at www.ancestry.com (a subscription website). Some of this index is also linked to online images of the original passenger manifests on paper. The index includes passengers to some other ports in various years. Follow these instructions to search the index of passenger lists.
- Go to www.ancestry.com.
- Type the name of a person's first and last name and click Search.
- Look through the list of results to see if one is the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index 1500s-1900s. If so, click on the reference.
- Click on the underlined name of the person to see more details.
Ancestry is a subscription site.
New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records) For information on using this collection, see Free online New York Passenger Lists 1820-1897.
The United States Emigration and Immigration Wiki article provides several important sources for finding information about immigrants. These nationwide sources include many references to people who settled in New York. The Tracing Immigrant Origins Wiki article introduces the principles, search strategies, and additional record types you can use to identify an immigrant ancestor's original hometown.
Pre-Revolutionary War. Before 1775 settlement in New York was confined to the Hudson, Mohawk, Schoharie, and Delaware valleys until after the Revolutionary War. During and after the war, New Yorkers loyal to the King of England emigrated to Canada and elsewhere. The Revolutionary War temporarily halted further expansion into the interior. Once the war was over and the title to western lands was obtained from the Iroquois in 1786, New Englanders flocked to all parts of the state. In the two decades after the war, 500,000 new settlers came into New York, and the state tripled its population.
Pre-Civil War. Before 1861 cities along migration routes such as Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo prospered. Natives of other states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont moved to New York in large numbers during the pre-Civil War era.
Ethnic groups. Large numbers of Irish and Germans came to New York cities in the mid-1800s. New York was the destination for millions of southern and eastern Europeans, especially Italians and Russian Jews, from about 1890–1910. The Irish tended to settle in New York and other large cities, such as Albany, and along the canal. Large numbers of Germans settled in New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester. Upstate New York Welsh Heritage hosts an interesting map depicting Where the Welsh Lived in New York State.
Orphan out-migration. From about 1854–1929, some 100,000 homeless children from New York City were "placed out" to families in upstate New York and the midwestern states. They are frequently referred to as the orphan train children. Excellent academic and universal readership book about the orphan trains and immigration: Wendinger, Renee. "Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York". http://www.theorphantrain.com book website.
New York agencies that have records are:
- New York Children's Aid Society
- Adoption and Foster Home Division
- 150 East 45th Street
- New York, NY 10017
- Telephone: 212-949-4800
- Fax: 212-682-8016
- Internet: http://www.childrensaidsociety.org/
- This society was organized in 1853.
- This society was organized in 1853.
- New York Foundling Hospital (Catholic)
- 590 Avenue of the Americas
- New Y:ork, NY 10011
- Telephone: 212-633-9300
- Fax: 212-886-4048
- Internet: http://www.orphantraindepot.com/NYFHHistory.html
- This hospital was organized in 1869 and began placing out children in 1873.
- This hospital was organized in 1869 and began placing out children in 1873.
The Dutch brought the first Blacks to New York during colonial times. Blacks composed about 10 percent of the population during the eighteenth century. The greatest migration of Blacks came from the southern states and Caribbean after World War II.
The New York Public Library has a large collection of manuscripts relating to black culture in New York. The address is:
New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 515 Lenox Avenue New York, NY 10037 Telephone: 212-491-2200
The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. has a local chapter in Greater New York. To learn more, visit their website.
The original inhabitants of New York were Algonquian (Lenni Lenape, Mohegan, and Wappinger) and Iroquoian tribes (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca). The Tuscarora tribe from North Carolina migrated to New York and joined the Iroquois Confederacy in the 1700s.
Dutch and Walloons
In the 1620s and 1630s, the Dutch and Walloons (French-speaking Belgians) settled in the Hudson Valley and on western Long Island. The Dutch West India Company made settlements at New Amsterdam (New York City) and Ft. Orange (Albany) in 1624 and 1625. Later settlements were at Beverwyck (outside Fort Orange), Esopus (Kingston), and western Long Island. In 1664 the English captured New Netherland and renamed it New York.
The Holland Society of New York (est. 1885) can assist you in tracing your New York Dutch ancestry. To learn more, visit their website.
Many Dutch families of New York can be found in:
- Bergen, Van Brunt. "A List of Early Immigrants to New Netherland. Alphabetically Arranged, With Additions and Corrections, From Manuscripts of the Late Teunis G. Bergen," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct. 1883):181-190; Vol. 15, No. 1 (Jan. 1884):34-40; Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr. 1884):72-77. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 14-15. Internet Archive has digitized Vol. 15, but not Vol. 14.
- Epperson, Gwenn F. New Netherland Roots. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1994. (Family History Library book 974.7 D27e.) Discusses and quotes examples from passenger lists, early government records, marriage registers, church records, and court records of New Netherland. Also discusses early Dutch, German, Belgian, French, and Scandinavian sources.
- Macy, Harry and Elva Kathleen Lyon. "Origins of Some New Netherland Families," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 123, No. 1 (Jan. 1992):17-24; Vol. 123, No. 2 (Apr. 1992):93-96; Vol. 123, No. 3 (Jul. 1992):167-168; Vol. 127, No. 4 (Oct. 1996):202-204. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 123.
- Noord Amerika Chronologie (North American Chronology). See New York Probate Records.
- van Laer, A.J.F. "Minutes of the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch West India Company, 1635-1636," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Jul. 1918):217-228. Digital versions at Internet Archive; New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 49.
- Zabriskie, George Olin. Dutch Family Records. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987. (Family History Library films 1421759–66.) Contains family groups and correspondence from the 1550s to the 1900s.
- Zabriskie, George Olin. Early Dutch - New Netherlands - Family Correspondence. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987. (Family History Library films 1421766–6.) Contains correspondence about Dutch families from the 1500s to the 1900s. Includes information from church, military, land, and probate records.
In the 1640s New England settlers came to eastern Long Island. New Englanders continued to migrate to the lower Hudson Valley in the early and mid-1700s.
In the hundred years after the English took control in 1664, French Huguenots, German Palatines, Scots, and Irish also found their way to New York. During the next century, settlement expanded west along the Mohawk River and north along the Hudson.
Hoff's compilation is the place to start English origin studies:
- Hoff, Henry B. English Origins of American Colonists from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1991. FHL Book 973 P2ho.
Huguenots settled on Staten Island and in New Harlem, Bushwick, and Flushing in 1657 and 1658. New Paltz, Ulster County, was founded in 1677 by Huguenots. In 1688 the Huguenots established New Rochelle in Westchester County. Non-Huguenot French Catholics from Quebec later settled large areas of the northern Adirondacks.
Useful sources for Huguenot genealogy are:
- Baird, Charles W. History of the Huguenot Emigration to America. Two Volumes. 1885. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Regional Publishing, 1966. (Family History Library book 973 F2hb 1966; 1885 ed. on film 496568.) May include births, marriages, deaths, residence, and place of origin.
- Reeve, Vera. compiler. Register of Qualified Huguenot Ancestors: The National Huguenot Society. Third Edition, Washington, DC: the Society, 1983. (Family History Library book 973 D2rq.) Genealogies and sources. See also the 1995 supplement (Family History Library book 973 D2rq 1992 suppl.)
German "Palatines" came in 1709/10 to the upper Hudson Valley, near present-day Germantown, Columbia County. Many had been lured to America after reading the "Golden Book," published by British authorities, to promote the colonization of America. It portrayed the New World as a paradise. Some lived in England for a few years. Reconstructed passenger lists are available online as part of ProGenealogists' Palatine Project. After arriving in New York and working in the tar and naval stores industries to pay off their passage, they found themselves landless, and in an undeveloped wilderness. The British failed to keep their promise to grant each immigrant 40 acres of land for emigrating. Many ventured to the unsettled Schoharie Valley backcountry and purchased land from Indians. They established seven villages. 1709ers include Valentin Bresseler (ancestor of Elvis Presley) and Jost Hite "Baron of the Shenandoah." The "Tim McGraw" episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC) brings this immigration story to life. McGraw descends from Hite. DNA has been collected from descendants of many 1709ers, see The Palatine DNA Project.
Henry "Hank" Jones, FASG, is the leading authority on these immigrants. To contact him, visit his website: http://www.hankjones.com. He has identified the origins of 600 of the 847 Palatine families involved in this migration. Three principal sources documenting the identities of individuals involved in this large migration are: (1) The Rotterdam Sailing Lists of 1709 (Holland), (2) The London Census of Palatines of 1709 (England), (3) The Hunter Subsistence Lists 1710-1712 (New York). His chief German researcher, Carla Mittelstaedt-Kubaseck literally went village to village searching old church books seeking 1709ers origins. Despite the term "Palatine," Jones discovered that many of the families did not originate in the area of Germany known as the "Palatinate" (Pfalz in German). "Palatine" was a term applied to Germans in general. Many of the migrants who lived near each other in New York, came from the same hometowns in Germany. His findings, which include beautiful photographs of the villages where immigrants originated, and the old churches where they worshipped, have been published:
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. "Emigrants from Laubenheim, Germany, to New York in 1709/10," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 1982):97-102. Digital version at National Genealogical Society website ($); FHL Book 973 B2ng v. 70 (1982).
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. The Palatine Families of New York: A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710. Two Volumes. Universal City, Calif.: Henry Z. Jones, 1985. FHL Book 974.7 D2j. Includes births, marriages, deaths, and source citations.
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. "Some Additional Discoveries on the German Origins of the Palatine Families of New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 117, No. 4 (Oct. 1986):193-198. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 117.
- Jones, Henry Z. Jr. and Annette Kunselman Burgert. Westerwald to America: Some 18th Century German Immigrants. Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1989. FHL Book 943.42 W2b.
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. More Palatine Families: Some Immigrants to the Middle Colonies, 1717–1776, and Their European Origins, Plus New Discoveries on German Families Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710. Universal City, Calif.: Henry Z. Jones, 1991. FHL Book 973 W2jo.
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. and Lewis Bunker Rohrbach. Even More Palatine Families: 18th Century Immigrants to the American Colonies and Their German, Swiss, and American Origins. 3 vols. Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2002. FHL Books 974.7 D2je v. 1-v. 3.
- Jones, Henry Z., Jr. "Some Newly-Discovered German Origins for the Palatine Families of New York-1710," The American Genealogist, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan. 2011):46-62.
Jones shares the following strategies, learned from experience, for genealogists who wish to trace the German origins of Colonial Americans:
- Study the neighbors
- Study the sponsors
- Use original sources
- Remember even original sources may be wrong
- Study naming and spelling patterns
- Use family traditions as guides, never gospel
- Use indices with caution
- Follow your intuition as well as your intellect in genealogical searches
Many of these families appear in Reformed and Lutheran church books in New York. Jones notes the religious flexibility of these early German immigrants. Many switched from Catholicism to Protestantism in the New World.
The 1709 London Census of Palatines was published by The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Their publication is available online:
- "List of Germans from the Palatinate Who Came to England in 1709," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jan. 1909):49-54; Vol. 40, No. 2 (Apr. 1909):93-100; Vol. 40, No. 3 (Jul. 1909):160-167; Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct. 1909):241-248; Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan. 1910):10-19. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 40-41. Internet Archive has digitized Vol. 40 and Vol. 41 - free.
Dr. Marianne S. Wokeck created a detailed list of "German Immigrant Voyages, 1683-1775" to Colonial America. Destinations include New York (1708-1766). She published the list in an Appendix to:
- Wokeck, Marianne S. Trade in Strangers: The Beginnings of Mass Migration to North America. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. FHL Book 970 W2w.
Frank Diffenderffer extensively documented the origins, reasons for leaving, escape routes and living conditions of these Palatine refugees throughout their journey:
- Diffenderffer, Frank Reid. The German Exodus to England in 1709. Lancaster, Pa.: The Pennsylvania-German Society, 1897. Digital version available through Open Library.
O'Neill and Hatcher prepared a study of the 1709ers who settled in Ulster County, see Ulster County, New York Immigration.
Before 1776 Germans and Dutch settled the Mohawk Valley.
Scots and Irish
In the early 1770s Scottish and Irish immigrants settled in the upper Hudson and Delaware valleys. Ulster Scots, or Scotch-Irish, settled near the Hudson River in Orange and Ulster counties in the late 1600s. Millions (approximately 3 million) Irish (mostly Catholic) immigrated to the United States. Hundreds of thousands settled in New York City in especially the mid to late 19th Century. Some stayed for a few years and then migrated into the rest of the United States. Their migration fanned out into the midwest, i.e. Chicago St. Louis, south (Alabama and Georgia) and out west. Visit the Famine Emigrants 1846-1851 database at the NARA website for an online search of nearly 700,000 Irish Famine Immigrants, representing one of the most significant immigration epics of all time in America's history. In 1855, one in every four, or 54 percent of New York City's foreign-born population were Irish with over 200,000 registered as "born in Ireland". The largest New York immigrant passenger-list index, available for the first time for the years 1820 to 1957, is now online at Ancestry.com with 68 million names. Here is an enlarged List of Irish Emigration websites for locating Irish ancestors on ships.
A helpful publication listing immigrants from Scotland is
- Dobson, David. Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625–1825 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1984–, Volumes 1–7. Family History Library book 970 W2d). Each volume has its own index. Often the town or city of origin in Scotland is mentioned. About a quarter of the families settled in New York.
Passengers Aboard the "Buchannon", Newry to New York August 1765. A list of 43 passengers who travelled from Newry Co. Ireland to New York in August 1765 aboard the ship "Buchannon". Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol. XII. no. 1-2, 1980, page 52, Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i
Records of major ethnic groups, including Dutch, Swedes, German, French Huguenots, Quakers, and Jews, are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Locality Search under:
NEW YORK - MINORITIES.
19th and 20th Century Immigrants
One of the largest waves of British migrants to the United States occurred in the nineteenth century.
The German Genealogy Group can help you trace your New York German ancestors. Their website offers many free resources to help you in your quest.
The Hispanic Genealogy Center of New York can help you discover your New York Hispanic ancestry. To learn more, visit their website.
Moorhouse wrote a very useful guide for tracing Irish immigrants in New York City:
- Moorhouse, Ann. "Researching the Irish-Born of New York City," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 112, No. 2 (Apr. 1981):65-71. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 112.
Potato famine passenger lists are available online:
- Records for Passengers Who Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine, documenting the period 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851 - free, courtesy: NARA.
The Italian Genealogical Group can help you discover your New York Italian ancestry. Their website offers many free resources to help you in your quest.
Italians followed strict naming patterns in the home country. Carmack discusses the effect immigration had on this practice for Italian-Americans:
- Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo. "Italian Naming Patterns and Necronyms: Six Generations of the Vallarelli Family as an Example of the Effect of Immigration," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 133, No. 3 (Jul. 2002):177-181. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 133.
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society will search their indexes and files at no charge. Supply the individual ancestor's name as spelled at the time of arrival and, if known, the year and port of entry and relatives traveling with the ancestor. It also helps to give birth and last known address. Records of Jewish immigrants since 1909 are at:
United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service 200 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10003 Telephone: 212-967-4100
The Jewish Genealogical Society can help you discover your New York Jewish ancestry. To learn more, visit their website.
The Polish Genealogical Society of New York State can help you discover your New York Polish ancestry. To learn more, visit their website.
http://www.migrations.org/county.php3?migcounty=NY - Site lists names, lifespan,origin, notes and migration steps, of persons migrating to or through New York. Names submitted by individuals.
Online FamilySearch Historical Record Collections are described at:
- New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1942 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- New York, New York, Index to passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- New York, Northern Arrival Manifests (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- New York, Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- New York Passenger Arrival Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Emma Lazarus, excerpt from The New Colossus in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 21 March 2012).
- WeRelate contributors, "Source:New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society)," in WeRelate, http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Record_%28New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Society%29, accessed 17 February 2012.
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