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Germans to America, 1850-1874

    Germans to America, 1850-1874
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German and Swiss Settlers in America, 1700s-1800s (#267)

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About the Data

This data set contains information on approximately 2.1 million individuals who arrived in the United States between 1850 and 1874. The information was compiled from the original ship manifest schedules filed by all vessels entering United States ports in accordance with the Act of Congress of 1819. It also contains the information taken from Volumes 1 through 31 of the Germans to America series. Information from Volumes 32 through 56 is available on data set #356, "Germans to America, 1875-1888."

The information here was originally edited by Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filby and published by Scholarly Resources, Inc. as a series of book volumes. Those volumes were the first extensive, indexed source of German surname immigrants ever published. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record wrote of the original book series, "Unquestionably an essential reference for both genealogists and historians." This data set makes that valuable resource even more accessible and easy to research. An important feature of this series is that it includes individuals coming to America not only from German states or territories but also from countries such as France, Switzerland or Luxembourg.

You can learn a great deal of information about your German ancestor by researching with this data set. Most of the records list an immigrant's age, gender, occupation, province or country where the individual resided, village or town of origin, destination, the date of arrival, and the manifest ID number (to help you reference the original record). In addition, you may learn the name of the ship on which they traveled, the port from which they embarked on their journey, the port at which they debarked, the name of the ship's captain, and information on how they traveled to America (for example, stowaway, steerage).

More About this Data Set

From this data set, you can learn a great deal of valuable information about your immigrant ancestors. The primary fields are:

Name — In the first field you will find the individual's given name and surname, as well as any titles that were included in the original index. You should note that names of immigrants were often recorded as they were heard and that many immigrants could not spell their own names. Thus, spelling variations of names occur and members of the same family arriving at different times or places may be found under different spelling.

You may have difficulty locating some names for the following reasons:

    • Some given names have been abbreviated. For example, "Robert" may appear as "Robt," and "Elizabeth" as "Eliz."
    • Some given names are misspelled, contain typos, or may be spelled unusually.
    • Some given and middle names are truncated. Specifically, this happens when the name, including the spaces between the given name, middle name, and last name, is longer than twenty-three characters.
      For example, "McCormack, Annabelle Margaret" would be listed as "McCormack, Annabelle Mar."
    • Some of the given names listed in this data set may have been truncated. For example, the truncated name "Fr." could be "Friedrike," "Fritz," or "Franz." If you are unable to locate a particular given name and surname, try switching the given name to an initial, abbreviation, or possible misspelling. If the surname is not common, you may want to search only on the surname.

Age — This field indicates the immigrant's age at the time of arrival.

Country of Origin — The third field lists the country in which the individual resided.

Arrival Date — This field lists the date the immigrant arrived in the United States.

Destination — While many of immigrants listed in "Germans to America," settled in New York, many went to New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia.
This last field notes the immigrant's final destination in the United States.

      You may also find additional information about your ancestor in this record, such as:
    • The name of the ship on which your ancestor sailed
    • Your ancestor's occupation
    • Your ancestor's village or town of origin
    • Your ancestor's port of embarkation
    • Your ancestor's port of debarkation
    • The name of the ship's Captain

With this information, you should be able to determine quite a comprehensive account of your ancestor's arrival in the United States.

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