Passenger Manifests & The Immigrant Voyage 

Phyllis Kramer, Board Member, Jewish Genealogy Society of Palm Beach County (Flordia)

In this lecture we will address many of the questions associated with this voyage, including how did the immigrants get the ticket, what was the voyage like, what ports, what immigration laws affected them, what documents did they come with, how do we find and understand manifest and their notations, and finally how do we read the handwriting. 


The Best Sources:

· – all the ports (fee)

· – most of the ports

·       Ever our Friend:

·       “What Passenger Lists are Online?”

·       JewishGen: Philadelphia Banks at

·       Glossery of Manifest terms:

·       Passenger List Notations:

·       Visas:

·       Certificates of Arrival: & Certificates of Arrival:


Early Manifests and

·       Castle Garden (1830-1892) Steve Morse &

·       NARA database for Early Manifests: Russians, Irish, Italians & Germans to America: (1830s – 1890s)

·       Boston 1848-1891

·       Galveston: 1906 to 1920

·       Other Ports via SteveMorse: Galveston, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, Phila, SanFran

·       Canadian via SteveMorse:  Passenger Lists (1865-1935), Border Crossings (1895-1956)


Boutique Sites

·       HIAS case files (Boston):

·       Ellis Island Quaranteen Deaths 1909-1911: (420)

·       Hamburg Passenger Lists: 1830-1934 (explanation):


·       Morton Allan Directory of NY Arriving Vessels 1890-1930

·       Jews Temporary Shelter (London 1896-1914)

·       U.S. & Canadian Passenger List Headings:

·       Holland American Line (1870-1960)

·       German Handwriting: and and (this last one is a great online class)

·       Miscellaneous Information about Ships, Lines & Ports:

·       Steerage Conditions in 1910:


Non-U.S. Port Manifests

·       Canadian Manifests: & (explanation)

·       Holland American: and (1870-1960)

·       Hamburg: on ancestry (fee)

·       Bremen: Cards 1920-1939, Shiplists 1907/8 and 1913 at

·       Britain Outbound:  1890-1960

·       Britain InBound: 1878-1960; (fee)

·       Jewish migration to the UK,


Great Reading

u     Irving Howe: The World of Our Fathers

u    Destination America by Charles A. Wills

u    Grunberger, Michael W., and Hasia R. Diner. From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America. New York: George Braziller, 2004.