Newspapers routinely published passenger lists of passengers coming to and leaving from America.
Here are just a few examples of the thousands of passenger lists published in newspapers that can be found in GenealogyBank.
Newspapers routinely published not just lists of immigrants coming to America but also regularly published passenger lists of American’s going overseas; American’s returning home to the US and American’s traveling within the United States by ship.
Notice in this example from the Irish-American newspaper, The Shamrock (17 Aug 1816) – published in New York City – that these passengers left from the port of Sligo, Ireland on board the brig Juno and landed in New London, CT. There they boarded the “sloop MacDonough” which in turn set sail for New York City – where they arrived on 16 August 1816.
This pre-1820 passenger list tells us that these immigrants landed twice on their trip to America, that they took two ships to finally reach their destination – an alert that their names will appear on two different passenger lists. Once on the passenger list for the brig Juno that landed in New London, CT and again on the passenger list for the sloop MacDonough that landed in New York City.
Notice also that this passenger list gives the hometown or county of origin of each passenger. Critical information that is almost never given in the Federal post-1820 passenger lists.
Tip: Passenger lists were not collected by the government until 1820 – these early lists can be difficult if not impossible to find. Newspapers are a terrific source for Colonial passenger lists.
Click on these links to see a few examples of the thousands of passenger lists, published in newspapers that can be found in
Passenger Lists of Columbus, GA
3 April 1894. Steamer Queen City.
Columbus (GA) Daily Inquirer. 3 April 1894.
Passenger Lists New Orleans, LA
20 February 1869.
Steamship Crescent City. From New York City.
Times Picayune. 20 February 1869.
23 October 1872. Steamship Saxonia.
Left New Orleans for Hamburg (Germany) by way of Havana (Cuba), Santander (Spain) and Havre (France).
Times Picayune. 23 October 1872. p. 1
29 April 1873. Steamship John G. Meiggs.
Left New Orleans for Aspinwall (Panama); Port Limon (Costa Rica); and Havanna (Cuba). Times Picayune. 29 April 1873. p. 8
25 August 1875. Steamship City of Merida.
Arrived in New Orleans from Vera Cruz, Tuxpan, and Tampico – all ports in Mexico. Times Picayune. 25 August 1875. p. 1
12 June 1848. Steamship Washington. From Southampton (England), by way of Halifax (Nova Scotia).
New York Herald. 16 Jan 1848. p. 2
Passenger Lists Philadelphia, PA
5 Nov 1881. Steamship City of Savannah. Departed for Savannah (Georgia).
Philadelphia Inquirer. 7 Nov 1881. p. 2
13 July 1883. Steamship Niagara. Marine Disaster. Burned off the coast of Florida.
Philadelphia Inquirer. 14 July 1883. p. 1
23 June 1891. Steamship Polynesia. Enroute from Hamburg, Germany.
Philadelphia Inquirer. 23 June 1891. p. 4
10 September 1901. Steamship Alleghany. Enroute from the South.
Philadelphia Inquirer. 10 September 1901. p. 16
Passenger Lists San Francisco, CA
6 September 1871. San Francisco Bulletin. 6 September 1871. p. 3
Click here to download and search the complete 1819/1820 Passenger List for all US ports.
This free resource is a good example of the genealogical content in the historical newspapers, books and documents that can be found in GenealogyBank.