Dear Mr. Stassi,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The National Archives holds numerous record series pertaining to passenger ships that arrived in New Orleans in the early 20th century.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, 1820 - 1902 (M259) in the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36). A few of these records have been digitized and are available using the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Fort Worth (RM-FW) at email@example.com.
Additionally, we located Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1/8/1903 - 12/31/1945 (T905) in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85). For more information about these non-digitzed records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, we located the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Italians to the United States, documenting the period 1855 - 1900 in the Records of the Center for Immigration Research (Collection CIR) that includes many records pertaining to Italian immigrants in the United States.
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 and RM-FW. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
For more background and research tips, please see the National Archives Immigration Records web page.
It may be difficult from these passenger records to identify individuals who entered the country specifically to work as contract laborers on the sugarcane plantations. State and local libraries and museums may contain additional records and information pertaining to Italian immigrant laborers that arrived in New Orleans. We suggest you contact the staff at the New Orleans Public Library City Archive and Special Collections, the Historic New Orleans Collection, or the American Italian Cultural Center in New Orleans who may hold additional records and information pertaining to Italian/Sicilian immigration into Louisiana.
Finally, we searched the Library of Congress catalog and located the research guide Sugar and Sugarcane: Historical Resources for a Sweet Industry with a list of resources and readings dedicated to Louisiana & the South.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Thank you, Mr. Bacher. I look forward into digging into some of these resources. I am interested in two of my ancestors: grandfather Giovanni Stassi, who arrived in around 1906; and great-grandfather Luciano (John) Calderotta who might have arrived by this entry port around 1903.
On Ancestry Italian Passengers to Louisiana, 1905-1910
Many immigrants traveling from the city of Palermo entered the United States at the port of New Orleans, Louisiana.
This database contains a series of transcribed passenger lists of Italian vessels arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana between 1905 and 1910. Included in the lists are names, ages, occupations, native countries or towns, and destinations for more than 7,000 Italian immigrants.
Thank you, Mr. McGoldrick. A search on this database turned up the name of one of the ancestors I am interested in, my grandfather Giovanni Stassi. I will be looking forward to getting to a library with access to Ancestry to see the details. He would have been around 16 years old and may have been travelling with cousins.