3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2020 4:29 PM by Sabine Gorgas

    Seeking arrival records or records for stay in NY

    Sabine Gorgas Adventurer

      I try to put together a trip of a distant German cousin in 1914. When he and his wife arrived in the US in 1936 he gave the information to the immigration officer, that he was in the US before, in 1914 in New York. A date of departure he did not provide. So I searched records available on ancestry, familysearch or passagierlisten.de but I could not find anything. From my further search about his life I know that he just could have been in the US maybe from January to latest in June 1914, because in August 1914 he was as a German Soldier involved in fights in China to defend the German area of Kiautschou/Tsingtao against the Japanese. On the other hand I am not sure whether he was in the US in 1914 at all, because I found some instances in his life that show that he was not always a honest person and also might have invented some stories. My question is where could I still try to find whether he entered the US in 1914 to get to NY? Was it possible to arrive on a merchant ship? Where could I still search in New York when he was just a traveler in those days? I am thankful for any idea.

        • Re: Seeking arrival records or records for stay in NY
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          Could you give us the name and birth year of the person you are looking for?

          • Re: Seeking arrival records or records for stay in NY
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Ms. Gorgas,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 3 series in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that include passenger lists and the Port of New York during 1914.  For access to these series, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email 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.


            These passenger lists have been digitized and are name-searchable online at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.  There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, you may wish to contact your local library. Many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for patrons.


            We suggest that you review these Genealogy: Passenger Arrival List Research Tips and NARA’s Immigration Records website and not limit your search efforts to only the New York port.  There are numerous ways that individuals could enter the United States from Europe such as via a ship to a larger number of coastal ports or over land from Canada, etc. Ship passenger arrival lists were a requirement beginning in 1820, but it does not guarantee that a person was recorded or the list still exists.


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

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