How to get started with immigrant ancestors' shipping records

How to get started with immigrant ancestors' shipping records

When it comes to researching immigrant ancestors, it's possible to strike genealogy gold in shipping records. One reader recently shared this story in a discussion about useful genealogy documents:

My Grandmother came over from Poland at the age of 16 by herself. I was able to see her name on the boat's passenger list. And, the record even gave the name of the ship and the ship's flag among other things. Also, the ship's route, leaving from Germany, stopping in a port in France and then on to New York.

Can you imagine the anxiety that a young immigrant must have felt, leaving home behind and not knowing what to expect on the other side?

There are many resources available to help genealogists locate immigrant shipping records. Start with this FamilySearch blog post from 2020 which lays out the different types of shipping documents available during various periods of U.S. history. 

The FamilySearch wiki also has many resources to help genealogists locate manifests, arrival records, and other documentation relating to shipping and immigration

If you have specific records in mind, FamilySearch also has an index of passenger lists from different countries and ports, including some unusual ones ... passenger and crew lists of airplanes arriving at Brownsville, Texas from 1943-1964, anyone?

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