Passenger Lists Search Tips

Use this search to find passenger lists printed for ships, stagecoaches, trains, riverboats, etc., in the historical newspaper archives. These are passenger lists as published in old newspapers for waiting friends and family at the arrival destination, or interested friends and family at the departing location.

Broad Passenger List Search

Try using only your ancestor’s surname in your initial search to get the maximum number of passenger list matches.

Narrow Your Passenger List Search

If your ancestor has a very common name put the full name in "quotation marks."


"John Smith" in the Last Name search field.

Leave the First Name search field blank. If you are using a name in quotation marks, it is particularly important to run the search with the last name first in this category. This will find the entry in the passenger list.


"Snow, Charles"

Put the location they are leaving from (country, state, county, town) and then narrow it down by adding a date range.

You can also search for passenger lists by the name of ship, country, or name of area (state, county, town) in the Include Keywords field.

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