U.S. Immigration Records
Ellis Island, Passenger Lists & Naturalization Records
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This database includes more than 2 billion names in historical records including: Immigration, Birth, Death, Marriage and Military records as well as historical newspapers:

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Exploring Immigration Records
Learn how to find your ancestor's in Immigration records

What are passenger lists?
Passenger lists are among the most important of genealogical records, particularly for the wave of immigrants who arrived in America during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Partly in an effort to alleviate overcrowding of passenger ships, Congress enacted legislation (3 Stat. 489) on March 2, 1819 to regulate the transport of passengers in ships arriving in the United States from foreign ports. As a provision of this act, masters of such ships were required to submit a list of all passengers to the collector of customs in the district in which the ship arrived. The legislation required that the list note, in particular, "the age, sex, and occupation of the aid passengers, respectively, the country to which they severally belong, and that of which it is their intention to become inhabitants." Over time, passenger lists captured more information and became more uniform from port to port. Researchers can learn their ancestor’s age, occupation, port and date of departure and arrival, destination, and even the name and type of ship they traveled on in their journey to America. Armed with information about the ship’s name you can often track down photos and newspaper stories relating to the ship’s voyages and history.

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What are naturalization records?
The process of becoming a US citizen and the information required at each stage makes naturalization records an important set of documents for genealogical research. Since 1790, naturalizations in the United States have been performed according to federal law. Before 1906, any federal, state, or local court of record could naturalize aliens, so records tend to vary significantly. Under the 1906 Basic Naturalization Act, naturalization forms were standardized and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, later the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), examined petitions for naturalization.

Aliens intending to become naturalized citizens first filed a declaration of intention to become a citizen in which they renounced their allegiance to foreign sovereignties. These records typically include the applicant's name, age, place and date of birth, allegiance, and date of declaration. After 1866, the form usually gave a physical description (complexion, height, weight, eye color, and any identifying marks), current place of residence, last foreign address, name of ship, and port and date of entry. Imagine learning what your 19th century ancestors looked like—all in an era before photographs were commonplace. A declaration of intention usually preceded proof of residence or a petition to become a citizen by two or more years. After five years (except for a brief period when the laws changed) in the United States, an alien could petition a court to be naturalized, though most aliens waited more than the required five years to become naturalized (and many never completed the process by petitioning for naturalization).

Naturalization petitions are instruments by which those who had declared their intention to become a U.S. citizen and who had met the residence requirements made formal application for U.S. citizenship. Courts held hearings on the petition of an alien and took testimony from witnesses to determine whether the alien met residence and character requirements. When the petition was accepted, the alien took the oath of allegiance and the court recorded the final naturalization order or certificate.

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This Immigration Collection Includes:

•  Over 10 million names
New York Passenger Lists, 1800s
Passenger & Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
Passenger lists from all major US ports including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore & New Orleans
Naturalization records, 1700s-1900s
Immigrant records from over 100 countries

What You Can Find:

With Immigration records you can often find:
Place of origin
Destination in the US
Name of ship & registry #
Type of ship
 • Port & date of departure
Port & date of arrival
National Archives location #s
With naturalization records you can often find:
Birth date
Port & date of departure
Port & date of arrival
Last foreign address
Court location & date of petition/oath of allegiance
Person’s physical description

Additional Historical Record & Family History Resources

- www.ellisislandimmigrants.org
- www.last-names.net
- www.1891-census.co.uk
- www.1930census.net
- www.searchgenealogy.net
- www.censusrecords.net
- www.classicnewspapers.com

- www.genealogy.org
- www.allvitalrecords.com
- www.genrec.net
- www.genealogy-mormons.com
- www.free-geneology.com
- www.familymilitaryrecords.com
- www.familyhistory.com

- www.familybirthrecords.com
- www.familymarriagerecords.com
- www.familycensusrecords.com
- www.familydeathrecords.com
- www.familygenealogyrecords.com
- www.uftree.com

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