In Genealogy Roots Blog’s “Ports, Immigrants, and Passenger Records”, author Joe Beine lists the most popular ports used for immigrants arriving from overseas to American ports. He also explains how to find passenger lists and immigration lists:
Beginning in 1820 (and much later for the land border ports) their names were usually recorded on some kind of record for that port. These records are sometimes called “ship manifests” or “passenger lists” or “immigration records” or “alien arrivals” or something similar. Many of these records or copies of them have survived and they are kept at the National Archives (over the years some have been lost or destroyed). Quite a few of them have been microfilmed and some of these microfilms have been digitized and put online.
He also recommends U.S. Immigration Ports and Their Available Records or Passenger Lists 1820-1957 and Tips for Determining Your Ancestor’s Port of Arrival, articles I found extremely helpful in tracing the immigrant ancestors of my family.
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