Finding Passenger Lists Before 1820

Arrivals at US Ports from Europe

A Bibliography of Books and Online Databases - Compiled by Joe Beine

Quick Webpage Directory:

General | Boston and New England | the Carolinas | Georgia | Maryland | New Orleans

New York & New Jersey (includes Palatine Immigrants) | Philadelphia (includes Palatine Immigrants) | Virginia

England | Scotland | Ireland | Scotch-Irish | Germany | Switzerland

for German/Palatine Immigrants see the New York, Philadelphia, Georgia and Germany sections

Some of the books listed below can be ordered from Amazon. Click on the title for ordering information. You may also want to try your local library. (GPC=Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD)

Not all of the material listed here will be considered "ship passenger lists." Many early passenger records have not survived and other records documenting an immigrant's arrival are used instead.


Passenger and Immigration Lists Index a Guide to Published Arrival Records of...Passengers Who Came to the United States and Canada in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries; edited by P. William Filby; Published by Gale Research Co, Detroit, MI (1981-ongoing)

There are 3 original volumes (published in 1981), plus annual supplements (beginning with 1982); some of the later supplements are in 2 parts. These books index numerous sources (listed at the beginning of each volume) of passenger arrivals, naturalizations and other immigration records. The complete set presently indexes more than 4 million immigrants. They are sometimes referred to as "the big Filby books" or "PILI." They are carried in some libraries. The series is also available as a searchable online database at Ancestry (including the supplements through 2012)...

ONLINE DATABASE: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [at Ancestry/requires payment]

Ship Passenger Lists - edited and indexed by Carl Boyer [series/4 volumes]; Newhall, California: Boyer, 1977-80; these books index miscellaneous immigration materials.

Vol. 1: National and New England (1600-1825)
Vol. 2: New York and New Jersey (1600-1825)
Vol. 3: The South (1538-1825)
Vol. 4: Pennsylvania and Delaware (1641-1825)

New World Immigrants Vol. 1 (Amazon Link), New World Immigrants Vol. 2 (Amazon Link); Subtitle: A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from Periodical Literature, by Michael Tepper (Editor); GPC 1988 (2 Volumes)

More than 27,500 emigrants who arrived from 1618-1878. The passengers are mainly English, Irish, Scottish, German, Swiss, French, Dutch, Norwegian, and Russian-German.

Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's - Over 7100 Families and 290 Ships

Boston and New England

Port Arrivals and Immigrants to the City of Boston, 1715-1716 and 1762-1769 by William H. Whitmore; GPC 1990, reprinted 1996

In this book the name of the ship, date of arrival, and occupation is given for 3,000 passengers. The book is available for searching online from Ancestry: Port Arrivals and Immigrants to the City of Boston, 1715-1716 and 1762-1769 [requires payment].

Passengers to America: A Consolidation of Ship Passengers from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Amazon link); by Michael Tepper (Editor); GPC 1988

This book contains more than 16,000 passengers who arrived in America from 1620 to 1836 (although most are from the 17th century), beginning with the Mayflower.

The Great Migration 1620-1635

ONLINE DATABASE: The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635 [requires payment]

Includes information about a single immigrant or an immigrant family who arrived in New England 1620-1635. Searching this database requires a subscription to Ancestry's online genealogy databases. This database is from a series of books: The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vols. 1-3 by Robert Charles Anderson (editor). Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995; and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Vols. 1-6 by Robert Charles Anderson (editor). Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1999-2011.

RESEARCH MATERIAL: The Great Migration Study Project from the New England Historic Genealogical Society

  • One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families, by John Osborne Austin
  • The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers, by Charles E. Banks
  • The Planters of the Commonwealth...in Massachusetts, 1620-1640, by Charles E. Banks
  • The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, by Charles E. Banks
  • Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650, by Banks
  • Soldiers in King Philip's War 1675-1677, by George M. Bodge
  • Marriage Notices, 1785-1794, by Charles K. Bolton
  • The Real Founders of New England, by Charles K. Bolton
  • Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775, by Ethel S. Bolton
  • Result of Researches...Relative to the Founders of New England, by Samuel G. Drake
  • Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New-England, by John Farmer
  • Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England, by Ernest Flagg
  • Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts, by N. Goodwin
  • Directory of Ancestral Heads of New England Families, 1620-1700, by Frank R. Holmes
  • Peirce's Colonial List, by Ebenezer Peirce
  • The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623-1660, by Charles H. Pope
  • Genealogical Notes of New York and New England Families, by Sebastian V. Talcott
  • The History of New England, by James Savage
  • The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England, by Frederick L. Weis
  • Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers of America, by Henry Whittemore
  • Chronicles of the First Planters...of Massachusetts Bay, by Alexander Young

ONLINE DATABASE: New England Immigrants, 1700-1775 (Ancestry) [requires payment]

the Carolinas

Carolinas Passenger Lists: Miscellaneous Ships, 1768, 1774 and 1781
Carolinas Passenger Lists: Miscellaneous Ships, including Several Ship Passenger Lists, 1774
  • Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Charleston (South Carolina), 1820-1829
  • Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772
  • A Compilation of the Original Lists of Protestant Immigrants to South Carolina, 1763-1773


The Germans of Colonial Georgia, 1733-1783 (Amazon link) by George F. Jones
An alphabetical listing with details of the 3500 German-speaking inhabitants of colonial Georgia


Since very few Colonial era passenger lists exist for Maryland, immigrants are traced through land and other records. For the period after 1680 you might try Filby's Passenger & Immigration Lists Index (see the first listing on this webpage). For the period 1633-1680 you might try the following sources...

BOOK: The Early Settlers of Maryland (Amazon Link); An Index of Names of Immigrants Compiled from Records of Land Patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland by Gust Skordas

This book contains an alphabetical index of over 25,000 settlers, virtually all of the immigrants to Maryland for its first fifty years. Included are names of immigrants, approximate date of emigration, the basis of the claim for land, residence, sometimes the family relationship or status, and a reference to the source of the information. Also see the book's supplement below...

ONLINE INDEX: A Supplement to The Early Settlers of Maryland compiled by Carson Gibb, Ph.D.
This index contains 8,680 entries correcting omissions and errors in the above book. It is searchable online at the Maryland State Archives. Click on the title.

New Orleans

For New Orleans arrivals pre-1820 see this website...

Resources for Finding New Orleans Passenger Lists

New York & New Jersey

Note: Also see the General Listings above.

ONLINE DATABASE: Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630-74 [requires payment]

ONLINE DATABASE: Early Germans of New Jersey [requires payment]

Palatine Families of New York (2 Vols.) by Henry Z. Jones
This award winning work documents all 847 Palatine families who came to colonial New York from Germany in 1710. Also included is the German ancestry for over 500 of the 847 families.

More Palatine Families: Some Immigrants to the Middle Colonies 1717 to 1776 by Henry Z. Jones
This book includes data on 316 Palatine families who arrived in New York and New Jersey 1717-1776, plus their European origins. It also includes some 1710 immigrants who returned to Germany, or whose destination is unknown, plus some additional material on the Palatine immigrant families of 1710.

Philadelphia & Pennsylvania (also see the Irish section below)

Pennsylvania German Pioneers - A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727-1808. Compiled by Ralph Beaver Strassburger. Edited by William John Hinke. (3 Vols.), Picton Press; Note: these lists generally contain only the names of the adult male passengers (age 16 and above).

Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers by Annette Kunselman Burgert; AKB Publications, Myerstown, PA, 2000 (573 pages)

The author of this book has done much research in the determining the town of origin of many 18th century emigrants to Pennsylvania. She has privately published her findings in numerous monographs, many of which are now collected in this resource. If you find your ancestor in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, you may find this book helpful to continue your research. But be aware that this book, as its title indicates, covers "some Pennsylvania pioneers," not all. Included is a bibliography, an appendix of Swiss origins, and indexes for ships, places and names.

This book can be purchased at Amazon: Palatine Origins of Some Pennsylvania Pioneers. You might also try your local library.

Master Index to the Emigrants Documented in the Published Works of Annette K. Burgert, F.A.S.G., F.G.S.P. (Revised & Updated) by Annette K. Burgert; AKB Publications, Myerstown, PA, 2000. (84 pages)

A name index to the 18th century (mostly) German immigrants that Annette Burgert has found the place of origin for in her various research projects, and has published in numerous monographs and books. If you are searching for the home town of an ancestor listed in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, you might find this index helpful.

A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776 by Daniel L. Rupp; GPC 2000. (583 pages)

Originally published in 1876, this book has been reprinted. It covers much of the same ground as Pennsylvania German Pioneers, which is often considered a better source (see above). However, it can be found useful as a supplementary index to this material. 319 ship passenger lists are arranged chronologically with an alphabetical surname index in the back. If your ancestor arrived in Pennsylvania in this time frame (1727-1776) and you do not find them in Pennsylvania German Pioneers, then you might check this book.

ONLINE DATABASE: A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German... and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776

ONLINE DATABASE: Immigrants in Pennsylvania, 1727-1776 (at Ancestry/requires payment)

Pennsylvania German Immigrants 1709-1786 (Amazon Link); Lists Consolidated from Yearbooks of The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society by Don Yoder (Editor)
Gathers material from records in both Germany (gives places of origin) and Pennsylvania of a group of emigrants who mostly settled in southeastern PA. Many are collated with the listings in Pennsylvania German Pioneers.

Rhineland Emigrants: Lists of German Settlers in Colonial America (Amazon Link); by Don Yoder
Similar to the above book with material drawn from articles in the magazine Pennsylvania Folklife.

Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration (Amazon Link); by Walter Allen Knittle
Lists the names of about 12,000 Palatine settlers mostly to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys of New York, with their dates of emigration.

Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index 1800-1906 (information about the online and microfilm index)

Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819 (Amazon link) transcribed by Elizabeth P. Bentley, edited by Michael H. Tepper; GPC 1986. (913 pages)

This book contains the names of about 40,000 passengers (listed alphabetically) who arrived in Philadelphia from 1800-1819. Most of the passengers were from Great Britain (especially Northern Irleand) and Germany.

Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819 (Amazon link) A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography by Michael Tepper; GPC 1999

About 6,000 passengers, most of them British and German, who arrived at the port of Philadelphia between 1682 and 1819, are included in this work. The majority are from two lists of indentured servants and apprentices.

  • William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania, by William I. Hull
  • Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750, with Their Early History in Ireland, by Albert C. Myers
  • Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia, 1682-1750. Being a List of Certificates of Removal Received at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends, by Albert C. Myers
  • Emigrants to Pennsylvania, 1641-1819. A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, ed. Michael Tepper
  • Pennsylvania German Pioneers. A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke
  • Names of Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania, 1727-1775, with the Foreign Arrivals, 1786-1808, by William Henry Egle
  • A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776, by Israel D. Rupp
  • Record of Indentures of Individuals Bound Out as Apprentices, Servants, Etc. and of German and Other Redemptioners in the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia . . . 1771 to . . . 1773
  • Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819, ed. Michael Tepper and Elizabeth P. Bentley

German Immigrant Servant Contracts: Registered at the Port of Philadelphia, 1817-1831 (Amazon link) by Farley Grubb; Clearfield Company, 1995.


ONLINE DATABASE: Early Immigrants to Virginia from the 1500s and 1600s [requires payment]
These were compiled from early land records stored in Richmond.

  • Virginia's Colonial Soldiers by Lloyd Bockstruck
  • Virginia's Colonial Militia, 1651-1776 by William Armstrong Crozier
  • List of the Colonial Soldiers of Virginia by Hamilton J. Eckenrode
  • Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666 by Nell Marion Nugent
  • Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 by George Cabell Greer
  • Virginia Colonial Abstracts by Beverly Fleet
  • Virginia Gleanings in England by Lothrop Withington
  • Personal Names in Hening's Statutes at Large of Virginia by Joseph J. Casey
  • English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records by Louis Des Cognets, Jr.
  • The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704 by Annie. L. W. Smith
  • Some Emigrants to Virginia by William G. Stanard
  • The Colonial Virginia Register by William G. and Mary N. Stanard
  • Colonial Records of Virginia Committee of the Virginia State Library


Complete Book of Emigrants by Peter Wilson Coldham, 4 volumes; GPC 1988-1993
Derived from English sources, each book is arranged chronologically with an alphabetical index of names in the back. Each volume lists approximately 20,000-30,000 emigrants to the new world. Emigrants from England to the American Colonies, 1773-1776 by Peter W. Coldham (at Ancestry/requires payment) online searchable book; lists every emigrant officially recorded leaving from an English port to the American Colonies from 1773-1776, about 6,000 total.


Books by David Dobson...
  • The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783
  • The Original Scots Colonists . . . Supplement, 1607-1707
  • The Original Scots Colonists . . . Caribbean Supplement, 1611-1707
  • Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625-1825. 7 vols.
  • Scots on the Chesapeake, 1607-1830
  • Scots in the Carolinas, 1680-1830
  • Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations, 1650-1775
  • Scottish Soldiers in Colonial America
  • Scots in the West Indies, 1707-1857
  • Scots in the USA and Canada, 1825-1875
David Dobson's books are also available at many libraries. Ask about inter-library loan if your library doesn't carry them.


The Irish section has moved to its own webpage...


  • Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America by Charles Knowles Bolton
  • The Scotch-Irish. Or the Scot in North Britain, North Ireland and North America, 2 Volumes by Charles A. Hanna
  • Scots-Irish Links, 1575-1725. 2 Volumes by David Dobson
  • The Scotch-Irish in America by Henry Jones Ford
  • Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800, 3 Volumes by Lyman Chalkley
  • The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania by Wayland F. Dunaway
  • Pennsylvania Genealogies, Chiefly Scotch-Irish and German (2nd edition) by William Henry Egle
  • Vital Records of Londonderry, New Hampshire, 1719-1910 by Daniel Gage Annis
  • Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772: Rev. William Martin and His Five Shiploads of Settlers by Jean Stephenson


For more Germany/Palatinate resources see the Georgia, New York and Philadelphia sections above.

Even More Palatine Families: 18th Century Immigrants to the American Colonies and their German, Swiss, and Austrian Origins (Amazon link) 3 volume set by Henry Z. Jones

Contains the following material...
  • New discoveries on German origins of many Palatines emigrating in 1709
  • The full 1709 Rotterdam embarkation lists and the 1710-12 NY Hunter Rolls
  • 650+ pages on Swiss and German families settled in North Carolina 1710-11
  • Lists of Palatines returning from England to Holland in 1710 and 1717
  • 800+ pages on later Palatine arrivals in Colonial New York 1717-76
  • Emigration data from German archives on Pennsylvania Settlers 1727-1760
  • Data on immigrants to America from Canton Zürich in the 1730s
  • Lists of Salzburgers going to America and passing through Schwäbisch Hall, 1750s
  • Nova Scotia Palatine passenger lists 1750-52
  • 125,000 Name Index

Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration by Walter Allen Knittle
Lists the names of about 12,000 Palatine settlers mostly to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys of New York, with their dates of emigration.

More Books and Resources...


ONLINE DATABASE: Swiss Emigrants in the 18th Century [requires payment]

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