Researching your Family History at the Parkway Central Library. Handout. Social Science and History Department (SSH) Reference Desk.
Generally, there are two kinds of passenger lists: published and unpublished. Published passenger lists have appeared in books or periodicals, are indexed, and are available primarily at libraries. Unpublished passenger lists have not appeared in books or periodicals, may or may not be indexed, and are available primarily at archives.
To make FULL use of the FLP collection, you must be able to use the online catalog, especially the subject and "keyword" functions. See Subject Headings and Keywords for more information about these functions. If you have difficulties with the catalog, ask for assistance from a librarian. The books listed below are only SOME of the most important ones at FLP.
Pennsylvania German Pioneers. Shelved with 929.373 P2657ab (Room Ref). Essential for Pennsylvania research.
A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727-1776. 929 R87 (Ready Ref D). A separately published index is 929.3 R876c (Room Ref).
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index and suppls. 929.373 P2657a (Room Ref). An essential index for locating published passenger lists.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538-1900 and suppl. 016.9293 F472p (Room Ref).
Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Penn's Colony. 929 Sh49p (Room Ref).
Ship Passenger Lists Pennsylvania and Delaware, 1641-1825. 929.3748 B695s (Room Ref).
Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia, 1800-1819. 929.3748 T268p (Room Ref).
Swedish Passenger Arrivals in U.S. Ports 1820-1850 (except New York). 929.373 Ol8s (Stacks).
Passengers to America. 929.373 P266t (Room Ref).
Record of Indentures in Philadelphia 1771-1773. 929.3748 P53r (Room Ref).
Bonds of Indemnity & Memorandum & Indentures of the Poor, 1751-1796. Microfilm 929.3748 B64o. Newspaper and Microfilm Center.
The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660. 973.0042 C673c. Shelved with 929.873c (Room Ref).
The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775. 929.373 C673b2 (Room Ref).
The Original Lists of Persons of Quality. 929.3 Or4l2 (Room Ref).
Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819. 929.3 T268e (Room Ref).
"Eighteenth Century Emigrants from German-Speaking Lands to North America" in Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society, vol. XVI (The Northern Kraichgau) and vol. XIX (The Western Palatinate). 974.8 P3829p v. 16. and 974.8 P3829p v. 19. Request these at the SSH reference desk as periodicals, not as books.
One of the most common and difficult passenger list problems concerns the lack of an index to the New York passenger lists for the period 1847-1896. There is a good strategy for dealing with this problem in Genealogical Helper, Jul-Aug 1994, pp. 6-8. 929.105 G286h. On microfilm in the Newspapers and Microfilm Center.
Philadelphia Naturalization Records. 929.373 P53n. In SSH Room Ref and Govenment Publications Department with census material. Before using this very useful index, read "The WPA Index of Naturalizations: an Explanation", in Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, v. 36, No. 2, 1989, pp. 109-116.
Philadelphia (County) District Court Declarations of Intention 1818-1875 Index. 929.3748 M71p (Room Ref).
Pennsylvania Archives. 974.8 P3823a. Especially Colonial Records, vols. 1-4, 9, and 10; and Series 2, vols. 2-3, 14 and 17. (Room Ref).
The Laws of Pennsylvania & the Statutes at Large. 929.3 L749g (Room Ref). An index to the The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania and The Laws of Pennsylvania, 1682-1820 in the Government Publications Department. Naturalizations granted by Acts of the Assembly can be found here.
Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies. 929.3 G449n (Room Ref).
Bureau of Naturalization. 325.73 Sm5. Bookstacks. Gives a history of U.S. naturalization laws.
Names of Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania 1727-1775, With the Foreign Arrivals, 1786-1808. 929.3 Eg53n (Room Ref).
Names of Persons who took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the years 1777 and 1789 With a History of the "Test Laws" of Pennsylvania. 974.8 W521n (Room Ref). Shelved with 929.3 Eg53n.
Maritime Records, Port of Philadelphia. Gov Pub STATES P 38-1198, microfilm in Government Publications.
- Port Warden Minutes, 1776-1880.
- Arrivals and Clearances of Vessels.
- 1800-02, 1816-17 (Inward).
- 1801-1822 (Outward).
- Masters and Crews, 1793-1880.
- Alphabetical Lists of Crews, 1789-1880.
- Index by Name of Vessel.
- Ships, Sloops, Steamships, Misc.
- Record of Wrecks, 1874-1937.
- Slave Manifests, 1800-1841.
- Letters of Marque, 1804-1815.
An alphabetical index to images of or textual information about ships appearing in many of the books at FLP is in the Print and Picture Collection. Each entry in this one-of-a-kind card catalog gives the name of a ship, the date (if available) of the image or text, and the call number of the book in which the information appears. Researchers seeking ship images at FLP should always consult this index.
Index to Seamen's Protection Certificate Applications, Port of Philadelphia, 1796-1823. 929.3748 D646i (Room Ref).
Ships of Our Ancestors. 387.2432 An89s. Business, Science & Industry Department (BSI) Ref.
Passenger Ships of the World, Past and Present. 387.243 Sm55p. BSI Ref.
Morton Allen Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals. R387 Al5. BSI Ref.
Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States 1790-1868. 387.24 L998ms. BSI Ref.
Merchant Vessels of the United States, an annual, 1873-1981. GPD TD 5.12/2:.
Transatlantic Steamship Arrivals 1906-1925. 387.5 T687t. BSI Ref.
Adler's Directory: a Compilation of Passenger Steamships Sailing from European Ports and Arriving in the Eastern Ports of the United States from 1899 to 1929. 387 Ad5. BSI Ref.
"Locating Pictures of Ships," in Genealogical Helper, Jan-Feb 1994, p. 18. 929.105 G286h. Lists sources of ship pictures.
North America's Maritime Museums: An Annotated Guide. 387.5097 H837n. BSI (Stacks).
We Who Built America. 325.73 W786w (Stacks). Good essays on immigrant traffic in America and on the immigrant experiences of European and Asian immigrants.
The Great Migration. 325.73 G94 (Stacks).
The Atlantic Migration. 325.73 H19a (Stacks).
Bibliography of Pennsylvania History with suppls. 016.9748 P3843b (Room Ref). For material after the supplements end, see America: History and Life (Electronic Resources). A good bibliography for all aspects of early ethnic life in Pennsylvania.
The Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. 973.04 H261e (Ready Ref D). Shelved with 305.8009.
Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. 305.8009 G131e (Ready Ref D).
The Ellis Island Source Book. 325.1097 B638e (Stacks). Contains an outstanding bibliography.
The Map Collection has numerous maps and gazetteers that help identify places of origin and ports of arrival and departure.