Saturday, April 28, 2007

1819/1820 U.S. Passenger List now online

Click to find out more about

Ol' Myrt here received news from our friend Tom Kemp that has put a digital copy of the complete 1819-1820 U.S. Passenger List, free and online at: . You may have heard about it, if you subscribe Dick Eastman's column. But Ol' Myrt has decided to try and show real examples of documents in the majority of her columns. Those of you who now subscribe to DearMYRTLE's BLOG will be able to see several examples from this passenger list in your email. Others will need to click to view the graphic in question, as indicated below.

BACKGROUND: US researchers will recall that Customs Passenger Lists weren't required prior to 1820, because the federal government wasn't organized and didn't impose the guideline. This makes research on pre-1820 arrivals tricky. Some ports were very organized, and kept their own records. In some ports and for various time periods, all that have survived are baggage claim lists and other odd documents listing passengers on board ships.

ABOUT THIS PASSENGER LIST: 1819/1820 U.S. Passenger List now online at is an exact digital copy of the original document that was published by the US federal government. The document is actually a letter from the Secretary of State, with a transcript of the list of passengers who arrived in the United States from the 1st of October, 1819, to the 30th September, 1820. The list was printed on 18 February 1821, by order of the Senate of the United States. When you find an ancestor in this collection, this would be the source citation:

Washington, DC: U.S. Congress. Senate, 1821. Serial Set Vol. No. 45, Session Vol. No.4. 16th Congress, 2nd Session. S.Doc. 118. 288p.

PORTS OF ARRIVAL: At, we read this important record covers arrivals at 35 ports in 14 States and the District of Columbia.
Connecticut: Fairfield; New Haven; New London
District of Columbia
Georgia: Savannah
Maine: Belfast; Kennebunk; Portland; Waldoboro; Wiscasset
Maryland: Baltimore
Massachusetts: Barnstable; Boston; Dighton; Edgartown; Nantucket; Newbury
New York: New York City
North Carolina: Edenton; New Bern; Plymouth
Ohio: Sandusky
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
Rhode Island: Bristol; Newport; Providence
South Carolina: Beaufort; Charleston
Virginia: Alexandria; Norfolk; Petersburg; Portsmouth; Richmond

COLUMN HEADINGS: A typical entry provides info such as:
-- passenger’s name
-- age
-- sex
-- where they were coming from
-- destination
-- the name of the ship
-- ship’s captain
-- the port
Some entries also include additional notes.

IMMIGRANTS & TRAVELING US CITIZENS: This published passenger list gives the names of all passengers arriving in the US between October 1819 and September 1820. It includes not only immigrants coming to the U.S. but also a large number of U.S. citizens who were traveling by ship from one part of the country to another. For example:

-- Alfred Spooner, age 32, a farmer from Vermont D. McCall, age 33, a merchant from North Carolina were both listed as traveling on the Brig Forest that was going to Mississippi.
-- Robert Crookshanks age 60, a merchant from St. John, New Brunswick is listed as “on a visit” to Portland, Maine coming over on the Schooner Recover.
-- Francis Mitchell, age 28, a West Indies planter from St. Croix is listed as going to Ireland on the Schooner Edward and stopping at the port of New York.

-- Eugenia Virginia Stark and Charles Julius Wittell were two German children born at sea.
-- Christiana Yauch is recorded as having died at sea while coming to America from Germany.

1. Log in (for free) at , and notice you will then be able to view a split screen. Do not type your ancestor's name in the search boxes on the left. Notice that on the right side of the screen, you'll find clickable links:
-- Part 1: October 1819 - 31 March 1820, 24 pages
-- Part 2: 31 March 1820 - 30 June 1820, 26 pages
-- Part 3: 30 June 1820 - 30 June 1820, 26 pages
-- Part 4: 30 June 1820 - 30 September 1820, 26 pages
-- Part 5: 30 September 1820 – continued, 26 pages
-- Part 6: 30 September 1820 – continued, 26 pages
-- Part 7: 30 September 1820 – continued, 9 pages
Each link opens a portion of the 1819/1820 U.S. Passenger List in Adobe PDF file format. If you cannot view the page, there is a link to download the free Acrobat Reader.

2. Then it is a matter of scrolling down the typewritten document to find a listing for your ancestor.
3. Be sure to print out the page for your ancestor.
4. Make note of the page number, which is the one NOT included in square brackets. In the example above it is page 150, not [118], as shown below:

5. Also print the original document's title page, which is page 2 of Part 1.
6. Write on the title page: Viewed at
7. Be sure to include the date you were able to access the document, as shown below:

ABOUT GENEALOGY BANK: Tom Kemp writes "GenealogyBank is pleased to provide this free and valuable research tool to genealogists. It is an excellent example of the types of genealogical records preserved at GenealogyBank that you can use to fill in the details of your family tree. There is more in a passenger list than just a list of names. And there is a lot more in, too. It is packed with all types of genealogical records. For example there are more than 1,300 newspapers covering four centuries and all 50 States; digital copies of every page, all searchable. There are more than 103 Million obituaries and death records; over 114,000 government reports and books like this passenger list. All of this material is online and searchable right now."

-- Click on over to
-- Try it out and see what records it has on your ancestors.
-- You will be able to see a snippet of the original record that shows the name that you searched on the page.
-- If you would like to see the entire record, get a membership to GenealogyBank.

From all the notices Ol' Myrt receives, GenealogyBank is adding new content every day.

How about trying it right now at:

NOTE: This column will NOT broadcast via DearMYRTLE-L beginning 1 May 2007. Please switch to BLOG format, using or any other RSS feed reader. To sign up for email delivery through RSS, Ol' Myrt now recommends going to:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

(c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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