Pennsylvania Immigration and Naturalization Records

Pennsylvania Specific Databases and Manuscripts

Free Online Databases

Pennsylvania, Crew Lists arriving at Erie, 1952-1957
This collection corresponds with NARA publication A3459: Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Erie, Pennsylvania, April 1952-March 1957 and was filmed at the NARA facility in Washington DC. The records contain full name, citizenship, position in crew, whether discharged at the port of arrival, and other information for each crew member.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1900-1923 — Images only.
Case files for Chinese immigrants arriving through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1900-1923. Data includes the name, occupation, age, birthplace, ship name, date of arrival, and many other pieces of information. This collection corresponds to NARA publication M1144: Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1895-1920, from District No. 4 (Philadelphia) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Pennsylvania, Landing Reports of Aliens, 1798-1828 — images, indexed within records
Reports of aliens arriving in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1798-1828. Information in these records typically includes the name of the immigrant, place of birth, date of birth, age upon arrival, port of departure, port of arrival, and date of arrival. This collection corresponds to NARA Publication M1639: Landing Reports of Aliens From the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1798-1828.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 — Images only
This collection consists of passenger lists for Philadelphia, 1800-1882 and corresponds to NARA publication: M425: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1882.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948
This is a Soundex card index to Philadelphia passenger lists from 1 Jan 1883 through 28 Jun 1948. Each card contains the given name, family name, place of birth, age, gender, occupation, nationality, last permanent residence, destination, name & address of relative or friend, port & date of entry, name of ship, and the volume, page, and line number in the passenger lists. The cards are filed according to the Soundex number associated with each family name and then by given names. This collection corresponds to NARA publication T526: Index (Soundex) Cards, Ship Arrivals at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1948.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945
Passenger lists for Philadelphia, 1883-1945. Corresponds to NARA publication: T840: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1945.

Subscription Based Online Databases

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s $
Updated for 2012, this data set contains listings of approximately 4,712,000 individuals who arrived in United States and Canadian ports from the 1500s through the 1900s. It was compiled by P. William Filby and published by Gale Research.

Immigration of Irish Quakers to Pennsylvania, 1682-1750, $
This database contains the results of a study of the immigration of the Irish Quakers to Pennsylvania between 1682 and 1750. The author felt that much study had already been done on the movement of the English and Welsh Quakers to Pennsylvania and wished to supplement that with a study of the Irish Quaker immigration. The work is divided into three parts. The first part contains an outline of the history of Quakerism in Ireland. Part 2 deals with the migration of the Irish Quakers to Pennsylvania and part 3 expounds upon the Irish Quakers living in Pennsylvania (their settlement, lifestyle, etc.). The appendix contains a list of certificates of removal from Ireland received at the Quaker monthly meetings in Pennsylvania, along with genealogical notes from Quaker records of Ireland and Pennsylvania, genealogies, county histories, and other books and manuscripts.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Indentures, 1771-1773, $
This index of indenture records was compiled by the city mayor’s office between 1771 and 1773. It contains information regarding individuals bound over as apprentices, servants, etc. Information provided includes, name, date of indenture, port of immigration, occupation, term of indenture and other helpful notes. It also reveals the person sponsoring the indenture. For researchers of Philadelphian ancestors, this can be an extremely valuable collection, especially if those ancestors were immigrants bound over in the service of an established city resident.

Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records, 1890-1949, $ index
Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center and Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, comp.

  • Blitzstein Steamship Company. Ticket purchase books and index, 1899-1930. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • People’s Bank. Prepaid steamship ticket record, 1906-1948. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records, 1890-1949
  • Rosenbaum Steamship Company. Ticket purchase books, 1890-1934. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Immigration Records, Special Boards of Inquiry, 1893-1909 $
This database contains transcripts of INS hearings to admit or deny immigrants entry into the United States.


Pennsylvania German Pioneers

This set of manuscripts was compiled in the 1930s by Strassburger and Hinke in order to provide the descendants of Pennsylvania German pioneers the most accurate list of immigrants. In order to do this they transcribed the hard-to-read German and American script of the passenger lists, oaths of allegiance to the Crown, and oaths of abjuration and fidelity to the proprietors. These three types of records form the basis for the Pennsylvania German Pioneers. It covers the years of immigration from 1727 to 1808.

Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Philadelphia Arrivals
17,000+ Passenger Manifests in 16 Volumes plus numerous other passengers listed in Special Projects.

Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819 $
Online digital copy of the consolidation of ship passenger lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography edited by Michael Tepper. Published in Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1979.

Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia 1682-1750 $
Being a list of certificates of removal received at Philadelphia monthly meetings of Friends by Albert Cook Myers, M. L. Published in Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1978.

A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776 $,
This book contains a variety of lists of names of early Pennsylvania immigrants, primarily those with German, French, Swiss and Dutch decent . Many are from ship passenger lists between 1727 and 1776. Some historical notes also accompany the lists. Most of the names are male but some female names are included too. Other extras include, some ages, acreage owned in certain townships, and a list of name interpretations.

  • Index $
    Koger, M. V.. Index to the names of 30,000 immigrants–German, Swiss, Dutch and French–into Pennsylvania, 1727-1776. : supplementing the I. Daniel Rupp, ship load volume. Pennington Gap, Va.: Koger, c 1935.

Pennsylvania Gleanings
“Pennsylvania Gleanings in England” are article’s from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

United States Immigration and Naturalization Records

U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 $
Passport applications from 1795–1925 are contained in this database including emergency passport applications (passports issued abroad) for the years 1877–1925; special passport applications (military, diplomats, civilian federal employees, and dependents), 1914–1925; applications for extension and amendment of passports, 1918–1925; applications for certificates of identity in Germany, 1920–1921; and applications for declarants 1907–1911 and 1914–1920. It also contains passport application registers for 1810–1817, 1830–1831, and 1834–1906. Passports issued March 4–5, 1919 (numbers 67500–67749) are missing from the NARA collection and not in this database.

Baden, Germany Emigration Index, 1866-1911 $
In 1814 the Congress of Vienna recognized Baden as a sovereign member of the German Confederation. For more than 100 years following this event, Baden would be involved in both political and economic turmoil, which led many people to leave the area. While it may take months or years to find an American document stating where an immigrant ancestor was born or resided in Germany, searching emigration records may produce that information in far less time. This index, compiled by the Badischen Generallandesarchive Karlsruhe and microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, contains the names of over 28,000 persons who left Baden between 1866 and 1911. Each entry includes the emigrant’s name, residence or place of birth, and the year of departure. Wives were not indexed separately unless they traveled alone or with their children. Children who left with one or both parents were not indexed. Some cards state that the person whose name is listed was traveling with “five persons” without naming each individual. The emigration lists were sent from district offices scattered throughout the state of Baden, to one central office. From these lists a card index was developed. This electronic index was translated and keyed from the microfilmed copy of the records. Anyone with ancestry based in this German state should find these records interesting. (A paid database)

Irish Records Extraction Database $
This 100,000 name database of Irish vital records is unique for two reasons. First, it represents one of the first major databases of records from outside the continental United States. This posting represents the beginnings of a vigorous international content acquisition effort. Second, rather than just raw data, this database is accompanied by a significant amount of contextual and historical information. This information can help researchers understand the significance and the source of the data and also extend their research beyond the names available in the database. (A paid database)

INS Historical Reference Library

INS Historical Reference Library
Chester Arthur Building (CAB)
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

Information about the INS Historical Reference Library collection and services, documents concerning the history of the Service as well as of immigration law, procedure, and immigration stations, and instructions for historical and genealogical research using INS records.

Naturalization Research

Immigration and Naturalization Records from the National Archives

Naturalization of Members of the US Armed Forces During World War I
A historical article from the INS about the reduced or waived requirements for US citizenship during WWI.

Changing Immigrant Names
A historical article from the INS about immigrants changing their names or taking assumed names upon entering the United States.

American Names / Declaring Independence
An essay at the INS website about immigrants’ tendency to change their names.

Additional Websites

Further Your Research

Pennsylvania Naturalization and Citizenship

Books for Purchase to further your Research

They Came in Ships
They Came in Ships is the first comprehensive manual to navigate the vast landscape of these ship records!
Author John Philip Colletta will guide you through the difficult task of uncovering and understanding these essential records. You’ll learn where and how to begin your search for your ancestors! Study the sample research scenarios to make your research time more effective! Colletta has even introduced a special chapter in this edition dedicated to helping you find a ship if your ancestor arrived in a year not included in National Archives! (A book for purchase)

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