Getting Started with Ship Manifests for Researching Your Ancestry
Let's say you have a date when one of your ancestors entered the United States. It may have come from a census record, a naturalization record, an obituary, or a family story. You now want to search for a ship manifest to see if it provides any more information.
Using Ship Manifests to Add to Your Family Story
I have found ship manifests for most of my ancestors, their siblings, and other family members who came to the United States. Sometimes the manifests can add to your family story. For example, my great-grandparents moved to North Dakota from Sweden in 1880. In 1888, my great-grandmother's brother moved to the U.S. The Swedish Emigration Record for him listed his destination as "Christine, Dak." Christine, North Dakota is near the farm where his sister and brother-in-law lived. So, he was joining his sister. Then in 1894, his younger sister moved to the U.S. Her ship manifest said she was joining her brother in North Dakota. That helped me find an 1895 Minnesota Territorial Census Record that showed brother and sister living in Wolverton, Minnesota, which is about four miles from the farm near Christine North Dakota. I did not know the family members that came to the U.S. had lived so near each other. It was nice to add that to the family story.
Details on Using Ship Manifests for Researching Your Ancestry
See how to search for ship manifests along with a ship manifests search example at the links below.
Not Sure, Try Our Free Online Genealogy Search Advisor
If you are not sure that searching for a ship manifest is the next best option for your research, consider using the advice feature of this site. This will help you pick your next best steps in your research. Go to the Free Online Genealogy Search Advisor.
Ship Manifests Search Guide Context
Other Genealogy Search Guides
- Using Birth Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Marriage Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Death Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Obituaries for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Census Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Naturalization Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Historical Societies for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Church Records for Researching Your Ancestry
- Using Family Trees for Researching Your Ancestry
- Record Keeping for Researching Your Ancestry