The Saxony Roots web site has embarked on a project of great potential value to genealogists. As stated on the site:
There seem to be "zillions" of transcribed Passenger Lists on the Internet, but they are extremely hard to find.
Our database is intended to serve as an INDEX for all FREE available Ships- and Passenger Lists on the Internet and to direct you to the proper website with just a "click." If you find any Passenger lists which are not yet in our database, PLEASE, let us know.
Indeed, the database is a great service and is easy to use. It has two means of searching. I suspect that most genealogists will use the "Search by Passenger Lists" database. It has exactly one search field: enter a passenger name, and it returns all the database entries that match. I started with a search of my own surname with no first name at all. Here is an example of one record found by that search:
Last name: Eastmann
First name: Francis M
Departure port: Hamburg, Germany
Departure date: 11-Dec-1872
Arrival Port: New York, NY
Arrival Date: 00-00-0000
I assume that the arrival date of all zeroes simply means "unknown."
The second search option is much more powerful although you need to know more details in advance to use it to full advantage. The Ships' Database has search fields for a ship's name, port of departure, departure country, date, arrival port, and arrival country. It has no provision for searching for a passenger's name. You enter as much info as you have, leave the other items blank, and click on SUBMIT. The database will return all passenger names that it can find for those on the ships that match your search criteria.
In both searches, the page that contains the search results also has a link in the NOTES field. Clicking on that link takes the user to a page that explains where the information was found. In my example above, it is a source citation that points to a reel of microfilm that is available from the LDS Family History Library.
I don't know how many records are available on this site, but it obviously contains far fewer records than the Ellis Island and Castle Garden sites. A search for my surname alone on those last two sites produces dozens of matches while a similar search on Saxony Roots' database produced exactly one match. Nonetheless, I would still recommend searching all three sites for possible matches.
Saxony Roots holds more passenger lists that need to be transcribed and then added to the database. They are looking for volunteers to help. Details can be found on the site.
To search the passenger lists and ships' database on Saxony Roots, go to http://www.saxonyroots.com/ships/