Destination: The Americas

Immigration & Naturalization
Archivist: Jody McKim

Passenger Records

Ellis records online (search for immigrant ancestors and view original ship manifest). All you need to do in order to search is sign up at the site, however this is FREE.  If you can not find your ancestors record at the Ellis Island site, that doesn't mean the record is not there, you are at the mercy of the transcriber's interpretation of spelling.

Ellis Island Search Forms by Stephen P. Morse (3 thumbs up!)

Emigration from Banat - David Dreyer
This database is taken from US Customs & Immigration passenger ship records prior to World War I. The mostly German settled Banat area was once part of the Austrian Empire and is now divided among Romania, Yugoslavia and Hungary. 
Ship Extraction Database of the Banat & Bremen Extractions

The Hamburg Passenger Departure Records Hamburg, Germany passenger departure records how to research them online and off.

Bremen Passenger Lists 1920-1939 While most of the Bremen passenger departure records were destroyed, about 3000 of them from 1920-1939 (still incomplete) have survived and are stored at the Bremen Chamber of Commerce. A Bremen based genealogical society called Die Maus is transcribing these lists and putting them on their website.

Online German Emigration Records, Lists & Indexes

Resources for Finding New York Passenger Lists 1847-1897 (the Un-indexed Years) Castle Garden Passenger Lists

US Ports of Arrival and Their Available Passenger Lists 1820-1957 includes Canadian & Mexican Border Crossing Records

Olive Tree Ships Passenger Lists to USA 1870-1890

Gateway to America - German Ports

Immigration and Ships Passenger Lists Research Guide

Immigrant Arrivals: A Guide To Published Sources

Immigration Research Guidance & Reading Manifests

US Citizens & Immigration Services 

Alien Detention (Causes/Grounds for Exclusion Noted on BSI (Board of Special Inquiry) Lists 1903-1924)

Markings in the Manifest's Name Column - Many of the notations found in the name column relate not to the name directly but to later record checks, usually in response to an inquiry by the immigrant himself (or herself). Officials annotated almost anything in the name column, probably because it usually provided some empty space where information could be added.

Emigration From Somogy County To Slavonia & the USA
A sociological take on the disproportionate numbers of Swabians who left Somogy at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and actually provides information on individuals and villages from that area (including my own grandfather).
- Henry Fischer, 15 May 2008

Germany & America in the 20th Century A Hypertext Timeline

Immigration Articles & Stories

Ellis Island Articles - Brooklyn, Eagle

Destitute to America - 1912 Experiences by Kurt Aram

My Big Adventure: America - 1956 by Adam Martini

Remember Where You Came From by Alex Leeb

Journey from Alexanderhausen to Ottawa 'Sketch of a memoir' by Nick Tullius

Discover Your Family History In The World's Largest Newspaper Archive! They have an easy and intuitive interface and a lot of content. If you are looking for birth notices, marriage records, death notices, or any family news that might have been printed in a newspaper, check out


Passenger Records


Immigration Research & Reading Manifests

The Ships & Data

Immigration Stories

Did Your Ancestor Need a Passport?

Until 1941, American citizens were not required to have a passport for travel abroad. Exceptions to this general rule were:

  • Passports were required from August 19, 1861, to March 17, 1862, during the Civil War.

  • Passports were recommended, but not required, as of December 15, 1915, by Executive Order stating that all persons leaving the U.S. should have passports.

  • Passports were required from May 22, 1918 until the formal termination of World War I in 1921 by treaties.

  • Passports have been required since the passage of the act of June 21, 1941

What Years are Available for American Passports

The first passport issued in USA was dated July 1796. However until 1914 American citizens did not require a passport to travel abroad.

After 1888 there were separate passports for native citizens, naturalized citizens and derivative citizens.

Where to Find American Passports

NARA has passport applications from October 1795-March 1925. The U. S. Department of State has passport applications from April 1925 to the present. Passports before 1925 have been filmed by NARA and LDS church as passport records, passport registers, and passport indexes

Passports 1925 and later are found at:
Passport Office
Dept. of State
1425 K Street NY
Washington DC 20520

First Name

Last Name

Village Passenger Lists

Bremen was the major port of departure for Banaters to America, until 1905, Fiume, arriving at Ellis Island.  Below are passenger records via Ellis Island and/or Bremen, compiled by Village Coordinators (using various spellings and misspellings for the village names). Individual Village passenger lists are linked directly to the Ellis Island record, but you must be registered to access the record, (registration is free).:

The Ships & Data

Information regarding the ships your Donauschwaben ancestors journeyed on. [Details] 


Southern District Court of NY Naturalization Records Index 1906 - 1959 - Go to databases. To Search, Enter Last Name (and optional First Name, or initial)

State Emigrations: (Search by name or browse by state - some states have thousands of names listed)

Search all the DVHH hosted sites WWW

US Research Archivist: Jody McKim

DVHH < Destination: The Americas < United States Genealogical Research Aids

Last updated: Saturday April 21, 2012

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