TheShipsList-L ArchivesArchiver > TheShipsList > 2002-07 > 1026510004
From: "fritzh31" <>
Subject: Re: [TSL] Re: TheShipsList-D Digest V02 #416
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 16:40:04 -0500
To the extent they survived until the age of microfilming, all arriving ship
passenger lists to the Big Five of the US ports of entry (Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans) plus many of the lesser ports for
periods of time after 1820 were microfilmed by the National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA). The Mormons copied NARA's original films.
So did a commercial outfit known as Heritage Quest (HQ). Those two groups
use different numbering systems for organizing the thousands of microfilms
involved, HQ using the NARA numbering system and the Mormons using their own
system to build the films into their huge library catalogue. The Mormon
films can be accessed at your nearest Mormon Family History Center (FHC).
My local public library accesses the films I review at it from HQ. The cost
to me for renting films I want to review at either place (i.e., my local FHC
and my public library) is almost the same - $4 at the library; something
like $3.65 at my FHC.
The above is a very superficial explanation of the mass of data available.
Most of it has been indexed by passenger name, which increases the number of
total microfilms you need to learn your way around in. There is no real
uniformity as to how the passenger films are indexed, both as to ports and
as to time frames and also as to index systems used. Probably the clearest
and most concise explanation of the whole field of learning and information
is set out in Michael Tepper's marvelous little book (less than 150 pages)
entitled American Passenger Arrival Records. He tells what is available,
where, and in what form for which ports from colonial times to the 1950's.
Another excellent source telling you what is available which is on-line are
the several links reachable at this URL: http://home.att.net/~wee-monster/
Unfortunately, the New York films are not indexed from 1847 to 1897, a time
when it was the most active US port and accounted for probably 3/4ths of
American immigration. To give you some idea of the numbers involved, Mr
Tepper says that New York arriving passenger lists for the indexed period
from 1897 to 1957 "are found on a staggering 8,892 rolls of microfilm."
From that you can readily see that the total number of films for all ports
and for all time frames becomes even more 'staggering'. And so far I have
only talked about American arrivals. Many many others persons arrived at
Canadian ports, some arrivals there being destined to settle in Canada but
some surprisingly large numbers of Canadian immigrants being destined for
I urge you to see if your library can get you a copy of Mr. Tepper's book.
In the meantime, explore the wee-monster web site set out above.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 3:33 PM
Subject: [TSL] Re: TheShipsList-D Digest V02 #416
> Everyone saysTHE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO GET A SHIPS LIST IS TO USE THE
> Please tell me where and how do I seak this index. There are some of us
> really don't know how to go about this search. Please help Thank-you
> ==== TheShipsList Mailing List ====
> TheShipsList Website
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