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* Date of arrival into the United States

An individual's date of arrival into the United States can usually be found on any of the documents listed below. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list.

Passenger lists

To find an individual's date of arrival into the United States on a passenger list, you must at least know the individual's full name and the approximate date of arrival. However, the more information you know, the better. For example, if you know the individual's nationality or the port of arrival, you will be able to narrow down your search.

Naturalization records

To find an individual's date of arrival into the United States on a naturalization record, you must at least know the individual's full name, approximate date of birth, and maybe the town where the individual lived at the time of naturalization, depending on when it took place. Earlier records may be in the town courthouse.

Church records

To find an individual's date of arrival into the United States in church records such as certificates of removal, letters of transfer, letters of admission, and certificates of membership, you must at least know the individual's name, and the name of the church that your ancestor belonged to in the United States or the name of the clergyman from the era.

Census records

Beginning in 1900, the census recorded the number of years that an individual had been in the United States. To find an individual's date of arrival into the United States in census records, you must at least know the individual's name, the state, and the county in which the individual lived when the census was taken.

Passport applications

To find an individual's date of arrival into the United States on a passport application, you must at least know the individual's name and the year that the application was filed.

For a description of any of the records listed above, see the topic Genealogy dictionary.

To get help finding the minimum information required to locate any of the records listed above, select one of the following items:

Finding the minimum information for passenger lists

Finding the minimum information for naturalization records

Finding the minimum information for church records

Finding the minimum information for passport applications

Finding the minimum information for census records

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