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Passenger ListsPassenger ship and dock

Just as many ports of arrival, especially in the United States, kept lists of newly arrived passengers, many ports of departure, especially in Europe, kept lists of emigrant passengers departing from those ports. Indeed, there may have been many other possible passenger lists created during any specific immigrantís travels. Historically, up to seven different passenger lists may have been created for some groups of passengers. These include lists made and filed with:

  • The port of departure

  • Ports of call along the route

  • The port of arrival

  • Newspapers at the port of departure

  • Newspapers at cities of arrival

  • A copy kept with or as part of the ship's manifest, (usually by the shipping company itself)

  • Notations of passengers in the ship's log

In most cases, the majority of these lists were not made in the first place, and often the lists that were made have not survived over time. However, on occasion, there may also be additional, special lists of passengers. For example, if the group was chartered by a government agency, a specific church, or an emigrant aid society, you may find a list with the official archives of the sponsoring organization. Germans arriving in Pennsylvania (from 1727 to 1808) were required to take an oath of allegiance and an oath of abjuration when they landed in Philadelphia, which created two more "copies" of the arrival list, and sometimes they are the only surviving copy.

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