Port of New York — Port of NY
The Port of New York — Then and Now
The Port of New York has been one of the most important points in America since the 1600s. Certainly Manhattan Island today bears little resemblance to how it would have looked more than three centuries ago, but the geographical features remain largely in tact. The harbor and rivers surrounding Manhattan were once a busy and chaotic point of arrival for dozens of ships each day. By the mid 1800s, when Castle Garden opened as an immigration processing station, the country had already seen a huge influx of German, Irish, and other immigrants.
By the time Ellis Island opened in January 1892, the Federal government had taken over responsibility for processing arrivals through the Port of New York. The peak was in April 1907 when nearly 12,000 arrivals were processed in a single day. Although a large percentage of immigrant arrivals did come through the Port of New York, those conducting family history research should be careful to also check other popular ports such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
Port of New York Passenger Arrivals
When searching Port of New York arrival records, there are many factors to consider in order to successfully locate your immigrant ancestor. The peak period of American immigration occurred between 1892-1924, with the majority of these arrivals coming through the Port of New York at Ellis Island. As the number of arrivals increased, so too did the controls imposed upon steamship companies bringing passengers to American ports.
In general, the later your ancestors arrived in America, the more detail you should be able to obtain. This will hold true for both first-time arrivals, as well as for American citizens returning home from abroad. Since many passengers made multiple trips, you should be sure to evalutate each arrival for new or different information.
Search Port of New York arrivals as transcribed by the ISTG.
Below is a listing of some other popular U.S. ports available for online searching:
Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948
Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943
California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1957
New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945
Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945
Passenger & Immigration Lists Index, 1500s - 1900s