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Germans to America & the Port of Baltimore

Why Some Baltimore Passenger Lists Are Missing & How to Find Them

by Joe Beine


Many of the original Customs (Federal) passenger lists for Baltimore were destroyed in a fire. For the period of Sept 1833-Oct 1866 the City of Baltimore kept separate lists and most of these have survived. The National Archives (NARA) borrowed the City Lists from the City of Baltimore and included them in their microfilm publication (M255). For information on this microfilm publication see...

Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1891 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M255)

However, the people who made the Germans to America series did not have access to the Baltimore City Lists when they indexed the Baltimore records. They did not use the NARA microfilm. Instead they used the original (federal) paper passenger lists. Since many of the original federal Baltimore lists did not survive you won't find them all indexed in Germans to America. For example, Volumes 9-13 of Germans to America (covering 4 Aug 1856 to 17 Jan 1860) contain no entries for Baltimore. Yet during this same time period there are 79 Baltimore City Lists on NARA Microfilm Publication M255. So if you believe your ancestor arrived in Baltimore and you can not find them in Germans to America then you should check one or both of the following Baltimore indexes...

Baltimore Passenger List Indexes 1820-1897
includes information about an online index and a microfilmed index

Baltimore City Lists Index 1833-1866
an alternate resource - use if you can't find the person you are looking for in the above index

Helpful Resources

Germans to America 1850-1897

Germans to America Series Two - the 1840s

Finding Passenger Lists 1820-1940s



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