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Immigration Before 1820 Quick Start

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Not all passengers were recorded before 1820. The US did not require passenger arrival lists until 1820. Most early lists of immigrants prior to 1820 have been published. Other types of records are helpful in this early period: newspaper records for names of immigrants, naturalization oaths, indenture lists, grants, church records etc.

To search for existing passenger lists, record what you already know:

Full name________________________________________________

Approximate date of arrival__________________________________

Approximate age__________________________________________


Place of settlement_________________________________________

Resources at the Mesa FamilySearch Library:

Code for location:         REF = West reference wall                S = Stacks (the book shelves)

General resources:


Passenger and Immigration Lists Index 1500s - 1900s


Most of the known arrival lists have been published and many have been indexed in P. Wm. Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists
Index 1500s - 1900s. The easiest and most complete access to this resource is on (Free at the MFSL)


Immigration CDs


Colonial Pennsylvania Naturalization Records

CD # 9000138

Scottish Immigration to North America (70,000 names)

CD # 9000046

Passenger and Immigration Records

CD # 9000001


Internet Indexes:

Cyndi's List - Immigration and Naturalization

Cyndi's List - Ships & Passenger Lists

Immigration Collection ( can be used for free at the Mesa FamilySearch Library)


Many colonists financed their voyages as indentured servants


InGeneas Canadian Passenger Records - 18th to 20th century


Irish Passenger Lists - From Ireland to the U.S. & Canada,htm


Mayflower Passenger List - Includes biographical information


Passenger Lists for emigrants, mainly from the U.K. and Continental Europe

Passenger Lists for Pictou (Nova Scotia) - 1767 to 1848


The Great Migration Begins - Immigration to New England, 1620-1633 ( can be used for free at the Mesa Family History Center)

Other sites may be found by using a search engine like Google and entering the words "immigration" and "genealogy".

Other Published Indexes

British Emigrants


Coldham, Peter W. The Complete Book of Emigrants ... 1607- 1699, 4 vol. - about 76,000 names.

973 W2col      S

Coldham, Peter W. Bonded Passengers to America,  vol 1-9.

973  W2c        S

Dobson, David. Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625 - 1825 (Vols 1-7).

941  W2dd      S                                                                   

Dobson, David. The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612 - 1783. 7,000 names.

973  W3do      S

Dobson, David. Scots - Irish Links, 1575-1725.

941  W2do      S

Germanic and others

Hocker, Edward W. ... German Settlers of Pennsylvania ... from Newspapers ... 1743 - 1800.  3,500 names.

974.8  D2h     S

Jones, Henry A., Jr.  The Palatine Families of New York ... German Immigrants Who Arrived ... in 1710,  2 vols., about 30.000 names.

974.7  D2j     S

Jones, Henry Z., Jr.  More Palatine Families.

974.7  D2ja   S


Canadian Immigrants


Smith, Leonard H., Jr.  Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867,  2 Vols.

971.6  W2s   S

Whyte, Donald.  A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada before Confederation. 30,000 names of immigrants who came before 1867.

971  F2wd    S

All  Nationalities

Bentley, Elizabeth and Tepper, Michael.  Passenger Arrivals at the Port Of  Philadelphia 1800 - 1819.

974.811  W3p

Many books are being digitized and put online - use a Google search to find Immigration books online.

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