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Dear Ms. Brackman,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 20,848 file units from Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, 1820-1902 in the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36). These records are digitized and available for you to view on the Catalog.
Moreover, these New Orleans passenger arrival records (with some gaps) are also digitized and available on Family Search and Ancestry for you to review. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. However, you may view these records online at one NARA's facilities for free via a NARA PC. For the nearest NARA location, please consult our web page at https://www.archives.gov/locations/. Also, some of the images from Ancestry are available for free on Family Search at https://www.familysearch.org/en/.
We suggest that you consult this website https://www.germanroots.com/neworleans.html for additional resources for locating New Orleans arrival records from the 1840s.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]