2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2021 10:26 AM by Lisha Penn

    Seeking when great grandfather came to US via Canada

    Hanna Dunn Newbie

      How do I understand the date on the passenger manifest card?  My great-grandfather or great-great grandfather has two passenger manifests, one from somewhere to Canada, and one a couple of days later from Canada to NY. Both say November 1904. However, both cards also refer to the Act of 1924 in the print. Can anyone tell me how this is possible and how I can work out the year he arrived (and then pin down if it is my great or great-great grandfather!)? The ship which arrived into Canada was the Buchanan.

        • Re: Seeking when great grandfather came to US via Canada
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          It would help us in trying to find information for you, if we had the name and approximate birth year of your ancestor, so that we could look at the records you are referring to.

          • Re: Seeking when great grandfather came to US via Canada
            Lisha Penn Pioneer

            Dear Ms. Dunn,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            It is possible that the ship arrived in Canada, and then departed a few days later for the United States and arrived in New York which may explain the November 1904 date on both cards. This was a common occurrence. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 6/16/1897 - 7/3/1957 (T715) in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that may include the lists of SS Buchanan (or a vessel with a similar name) for 1904. Some of these records have been digitized and are available using the Catalog. For information about the non-digitized records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            We suggest that you search Passenger Lists, 1865-1922 at the Library and Archives of Canada using the information indicated on your ancestor’s manifest card.


            Also, if you know the country of origin of your ancestor, then we suggest that you seek the ship’s passenger departure records from that country’s archives.


            The Act of 1924 specifically related to those who could enter the United States as well as those from certain countries who were essentially barred from entering, and quotas were set for visa issuances across the board. Unfortunately, we were unable to ascertain from your request as to why a 1904 card would refer to the 1924 Act, twenty years before it was enacted unless the cards were compiled at a later date. In a related note, the biggest change to passenger records after the Act went into effect was that columns were added to gather visa information.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!