Last month, staff from the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center listened in to the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair. One of the things we learned is that NARA’s Access to Archival Databases has indexed passenger lists available to search from home for FREE.
There are currently 4 passenger list databases on AAD:
- Russians to America (1834 – 1897)
- Famine Irish Passenger Record (1846 – 1851)
- Germans to America (1850 – 1897)
- Italians to America (1855-1900)
We looked at the Germans to America database, to see if it had the same info as the book series on our shelves.
Tip: Click on “show more fields” and select what info you would like to view or search for. You can search by name, age, country of origin, sex, occupation, literacy, city/town of last residence, destination city/county, transit and/or travel compartment and manifest identification number. You can chose up to 10 fields to display on the search results.
We thought it would be fun to look under occupations and see if any librarians came from Germany to America during that time.
We entered the code for “Librarian” and got 2 results: Mr. John Fiske and J. H. Gades. We clicked on “View Record” to see more info.
You will notice that the record does not mention the name of the ship or arrival dates. To view that information, you will need to search the “Manifest Header Data File“.
Note the “Manifest Identification Number” from the Full Record and use it to search the “Manifest Header Data File“.
The results will show the ship name, port of departure and arrival date. That means you could also search by ship name, if you already have that information and wanted to see who else was on the same ship.
Because Mr. Fiske was an American, he is not listed in the Germans to America book series on our shelves. But that means that the list on AAD is more complete than the books. If you go back to the Passenger Data File and search by the Manifest Identification Number, you will get a list of everyone on the ship, including the 4 Americans that are not listed in the book version of Germans to America.
You will have to try any and all alternate spellings and abbreviations of your ancestors names, since the AAD does not use the same kind of “smart” searching as Ancestry or other genealogy sites you might be used to searching. But we think this will be a useful resource for our genealogy researchers.
(posted by Cristina)