This week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced that it has made available for the first time online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. The records can be accessed through NARA’s online Access to Archival Databases (AAD).
The records were transcribed from original ship manifests into electronic databases by Temple University’s Center for Immigration Research at The Balch Institute. The Center donated the digital records to the National Archives. The records are known as Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, 1850-1897; Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Italians to the United States, 1855-1900; and Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Russians to the United States, 1834-1897.
This series consists of records of 527,394 passengers who arrived at the United States between 1834 through 1897 and identified their country of origin or nationality as Armenia, Finland, Galicia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Russian Poles, or Ukraine. There are records of passengers who were U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens planning to continue their travels, returning to the U.S., or staying in the U.S. There are records of passengers arriving at the following ports: Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia; the bulk of the records are for passengers arriving at the Port of New York. Each of the passenger records may include name, age, town of last residence, destination, and codes for passenger's sex, occupation, literacy, country of origin, transit and/or travel compartment, and the identification number for the ship manifest. Information on each ship is in the manifest header file and includes the ship manifest identification number, the name of the ship, the code for its port of departure, and date of arrival. The ship manifest identification number indicates the port of arrival.
The new databases may be found at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/index.jsp.