Genealogy discussion

They Came in Ships > Discussion

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments This time round, I am not setting up a separate section for each week's reading. We'll see how this goes and if it get unwieldy, I'll add some threads as we go along. Feel free to post any comments you have on the book to this thread.

message 2: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Discussion Questions: Intro, Chapt 1 and Record Descriptions and Research Aids

John Philip Colletta talks about great discoveries he has made while reviewing ship lists. Have you found anything noteworthy?

Have you found any published sources of value on Google Books, What about Internet Archive, Any books that are no longer under copyright may be reproduced digitally on these sites.

For books not available online, are they available at your local library?

Were you able to determine the full original name of your immigrants, their ages and approximate dates of arrival? If not, were you able to identify sources where you might be able to obtain that information?

Were you able to determine the ancestor's ethnic origin? likely port of immigration and emigration? profession? What facts will be most helpful in determining that you have identified your immigrant's name correctly on a passenger list? (Same name doesn't always mean the same person.)

Will you be searching for ancestors before 1820 or after 1820?

Have you searched for passenger lists for these ancestors in the past?

message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments This past week I created a spreadsheet list of my known immigrant ancestors and as much of the additional information that I had available to me. It was a relatively easy task for recent immigrants (after 1820) but I am missing key information on some of the earlier immigrants.

Now I'm all set to explore the internet for passenger lists!

message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Discussion Questions: Internet Exploration, Lists of Ships Arriving at American Ports

This week there is no reading from the main part of the book, They Came in Ships: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record. Instead we will be exploring online sources of ship lists.

Joe Beine has a website that walks you through a search for a passenger list, . That's where I will begin my search and see where it leads me.

Were you able to find any ship lists this week?

Did you add to your knowledge of your immigrant ancestor?

What websites did you find most helpful?

Were you able to find evidence that your ancestor made multiple trips to-and-from his homeland?

Did anyone in your family return to their home permanently?

message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Here are some additional websites providing guidance or links to find passenger lists. In addition to these, don't forget to check the state archives of the state your immigrant ancestor most likely immigrated through. The more targeted your search, the more quickly you might find the list. subscription Library of Congress - Published Sources

I've already found some naturalizations but no new passenger lists yet.

message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 4 comments This is great! I have a grandfather who came over from Ukraine by ship back in 1913. With this many sources, I should be able to find the info I need. Thanks for posting this!

message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Thanks Cindy, This is just a sampling but should get you started! Keep us posted on your successes.

message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments For the next two weeks we will be reading Chapter 2, Passenger Arrival Information Prior to 1820; Chapter 3, Passenger Lists Since 1820; Select Bibliography: Published Arrival Lists and Indexes, Published Departure Lists and Indexes, Alternative Sources for Colonial Arrival Information.

Last week we explored some of the online sources of information. Since They Came in Ships: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Arrival Record by John Philip Colletta was written, a great many of the resources listed in these chapters are now available online. Thank goodness we won't be going through soundex cards on microfilm!

Always check for the availability of the records cited online. NARA has a list of records that have been digitized by, Footnote, etc. There is a link below to that list as well as the NARA article on Immigration Records. NARA Records Digitized by Partners NARA article, "Immigration Records (Ship Passenger Arrival Records and Land Border Entries)"

Also, be sure to check the descriptions of the databases in Ancestry's Immigration & Travel Collection. Many of the books referenced in Colletta's book have been indexed on So, before searching high-and-low for a specific book, check first on ancestry. Other places to check for digitized books and databases include Google Books, Internet Archive and the state and local archives for the port of interest.

Happy Hunting! Share your discoveries!

message 9: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Chapter 2

A few of the volumes (and new databases) mentioned that can be found on are listed below. Books and can be found by searching the Card Catalog for the title or keywords. Book images may or may not be included or indexed in databases.

Books (may be included in some databases):

Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I

A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776

Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806

Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871

Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819

Ships from Ireland to Early America, 1623-1850. Vol. II

Databases (may duplicate books): Pennsylvania German Pioneers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.
Original data: Strassburger, Ralph Beaver. Pennsylvania German Pioneers. Vol. I-II. Norristown, PA, USA: Pennsylvania German Society, 1934.

Gale Research. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.
Original data: Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2010.

Internet Sources mentioned:
(See also the list from Week 2. I found some great new websites on Cyndislist. There are also links to a great many how-to articles. Thanks to Cyndi for maintaining this monumental database of links!)

Note that the books on are not always indexed electronically. You will need to also search the self-index to the book itself. This list is incomplete and is based only on searches made for specific titles of interest to me. Please post books and databases you were able to locate and where so that others might benefit from your searches.

I neglected to mention HeritageQuest as another potential source of online books. And, for those not online, there is always the local library. :)

message 10: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments has added some new and unusual collections to their Immigration and Travel Collection:

Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1957 - updated 1/13,

England, Alien Arrivals 1810-1811, 1826-1869 - updated 1/11,

Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists, 1820-1873 and 1893-1959 - updated 1/18,

Many other databases have been updated in the past month so if you haven't searched on in a while, it might be worth checking back in again. By using the Ancestry Card Catalog, you can locate a specific database and search only in that database. Drilling in to the most likely database often speeds up the research.

message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments also has naturalization records. Some (maybe all? I haven't checked this) of these duplicate records found on Checking the descriptions of the collection will not only allow you to see if the database will be helpful to you but will also prevent you from conducting duplicate searches.

Here is a link to the description of their naturalization index collection:

Their image collection includes the following:
Naturalizations - CA Los Angeles

Naturalizations - CA San Diego

Naturalizations - CA Southern

Naturalizations - LA Eastern

Naturalizations - MD

Naturalizations - MA Recall the watch out regarding the Massachusetts NARA index. It contains some naturalizations that are the Massachusetts Archives and not at the NARA.

Naturalizations - NY Eastern

Naturalizations - NY Southern

Naturalizations - OH Northern

Naturalizations - PA Eastern

Naturalizations - PA Middle

Naturalization records may name the ship making your search for a ship list that much easier.

Happy hunting!

message 12: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Since there has been little activity on this book, I will restrict my comments to the minimum. This week's reading is Chapter 2, Passenger Arrival Information Prior to 1820; Chapter 3, Passenger Lists Since 1820; Select Bibliography: Published Arrival Lists and Indexes, Published Departure Lists and Indexes, Alternative Sources for Colonial Arrival Information.

I have had only limited success, but, this is my second reading of this book and I've searched many of records at different points in my research.

Have you found any passenger lists?

message 13: by Joe (new)

Joe Beine (fairangels) | 10 comments Hi Liz,
At the beginning of this blog post I talk about finding the passenger list for my Beine ancestors, who arrived in 1880...

130 Years of the Beine Family in America

Happy searching.


Liz wrote: "Have you found any passenger lists?"

message 14: by Joe (new)

Joe Beine (fairangels) | 10 comments Just yesterday I posted a list of online naturalization records that were recently added to my Directory of Online Naturalization Records and Indexes

Naturalization Records and Indexes (USA) - New Additions

I hope this is helpful.


message 15: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Thanks Joe!

back to top