Genealogy Q&A: Passenger Departure Records

Genealogy Q&A: Passenger Departure Records

Q. Are there American records on immigrants who left US ports to go back to their native countries?   A. The United States didn’t require passenger records for ships departing from American ports, only for arriving vessels. A handful of such records do exist, primarily in private hands, and...

Q. Are there American records on immigrants who left US ports to go back to their native countries?
 
A. The United States didn’t require passenger records for ships departing from American ports, only for arriving vessels. A handful of such records do exist, primarily in private hands, and the free ShipsListsOnline site has a special project to transcribe them all. You also can check old newspapers, which sometimes published names of outbound passengers. []
 
Many foreign countries did maintain records of arriving passengers, much as the United States did, so you might find records of outbound Americans in the country where they landed. For example, Ancestry.com has a database of UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960  from the UK National Archives; it indexes the Board of Trade’s passenger lists of ships arriving from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean, including the United States. Another database, England, Alien Arrivals, 1810-1811, 1826-1869, lists non-British citizens arriving in England. Not all nations’ arrival records are as complete or readily accessible as the United Kingdom’s, but this is likely the best avenue to explore.
 
If you believe your ancestor returned to the United States after a sojourn back in the old country, keep in mind that those non-immigrant passenger list entries can be found just like any other arriving passenger records. Many of the arrivals recorded in the Ellis Island database, for instance, are for persons already living in America.
 
From the January/February 2014 Family Tree Magazine 

Related Products

No Comments

Leave a Reply