Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists, 1890-1957 .
The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.
This collection consists of passenger and crew lists for those arriving in Seattle, Washington. It corresponds to NARA Publication M1383: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Seattle, Washington, 1890-1957.
Passenger arrival lists known as customs manifests date back to 1820. Congressional action in 1891 resulted in federal immigration officials recording the immigrants’ arrival.
This collection includes the years 1890 to 1957.
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.
For a list of records by dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Immigration and Naturalization Service. Washington, Seattle passenger lists. 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.
Passenger lists prior to 1906 generally includes the following information:
- Date of arrival
- Port of embarkation
- Name of ship
Passenger lists after 1906 generally includes the following information:
- Birth place
- Last permanent residence
- Name and address of relative or friend
- Port and date of entry
- Name of ship
How to Use the Record
To begin your search 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 the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is 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, you can 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.
You may also find these tips helpful:
- 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 of the name.
- Look for an index. Records are often indexed by local historical and genealogical societies.
- Search the passenger lists year by year.
- Search the indexes of other port cities.
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 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Washington, Seattle, Passenger Lists, 1890-1957" images, FamilySearch, (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 15 September 2011). entry for Matthew Iverson, age 23, date August 11, 1920; citing Passenger Lists, 052-29 Aug 1920-21 Sept 1920, Image 10; National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., United States.