immigration information in NARA

I am searching in NARA's AAD for passenger list information for several German ancestors. I can find the names and then use the Manifest ID Number to search for more personal information. I understand that to get the ship information I need to use the Manifest ID No. and search the "Manifest Header Records" to get ship information and dates . After reading all the FAQs it is still not clear to me where to find the Manifest Header Records (is that the same as the Manifest Header Data File? -- can't find that either.)

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  • This is probably the most awkward way to look for passenger arrival information.  These databases were created when the series of books "Germans to America" was created.  Search for the person you want to find & copy the manifest identification number.  Return to the search form and click on "manifest header records" and enter the manifest ID number that you copied.  It will give you the name of the ship, departure port, date of US arrival, and US arrival port.  Use this information to find the ship on ancestry.com (or ancestryinstitution.com available free at all Family History Centers & many archives & public libraries) or familysearch.org.  In many cases it would just be easier to search directly on ancestry or familysearch. 

  • Thank you for taking the time to respond. 

    I am trying to get a better understanding of the NARA records and search system. Your response was useful to me.

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