Arizona Emigration and Immigration

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Arizona Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Arizona Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

There was no port of entry common to settlers of Arizona. Some came through Gulf Coast ports, others through Pacific ports, still others through East Coast ports and then overland to Arizona. For detailed information on passenger lists, see United States Emigration and Immigration.

Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


Passport Records Online[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Although many records are included in the online records listed above, there are other records available through these archives and offices. For example, there are many minor ports that have not yet been digitized. There are also records for more recent time periods. For privacy reasons, some records can only be accessed after providing proof that your ancestor is now deceased.

National Archives and Records Administration[edit | edit source]

  • You may do research in immigration records in person at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001.
Arizona Ports in NARA Records[edit | edit source]

U.S. Citizenship and and Immigration Services Genealogy Program[edit | edit source]

The USCIS Genealogy Program is a fee-for-service program that provides researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records of deceased immigrants. If the immigrant was born less than 100 years ago, you will also need to provide proof of his/her death.

Immigration Records Available[edit | edit source]
  • A-Files: Immigrant Files, (A-Files) are the individual alien case files, which became the official file for all immigration records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944.
  • Alien Registration Forms (AR-2s): Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2) are copies of approximately 5.5 million Alien Registration Forms completed by all aliens age 14 and older, residing in or entering the United States between August 1, 1940 and March 31, 1944.
  • Registry Files: Registry Files are records, which document the creation of immigrant arrival records for persons who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924, and for whom no arrival record could later be found.
  • Visa Files: Visa Files are original arrival records of immigrants admitted for permanent residence under provisions of the Immigration Act of 1924.[1]
Requesting a Record[edit | edit source]

Finding Town of Origin[edit | edit source]

Records in the countries emigrated from are kept on the local level. You must first identify the name of the town where your ancestors lived to access those records. If you do not yet know the name of the town of your ancestor's birth, there are well-known strategies for a thorough hunt for it.

Background[edit | edit source]

  • Consult Arizona county Wiki pages for available county histories. Many of these histories contain information about ethnic groups which settled that county.
  • The earliest non-Indian settlers of Arizona generally came into the Gila Valley from Sonora and Sinaloa states of Mexico.
  • During the 1840s and 1850s, prospectors from eastern United States and from Texas passed through the valley on their way to the gold fields of California. Some returned to settle.
  • Fort Defiance, established in 1852, was the only significant white outpost north of the Gila Valley until 1863, when politicians from northern states established Prescott as the first territorial capital. Phoenix, founded by an Englishman in 1867, became the territorial capital in 1889.
  • Latter-day Saint settlers from Utah established communities, such as Snowflake, on the Little Colorado River of northern Arizona in the 1870s and 1880s. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others also founded new towns and cities in the Gila and Salt River valleys in the southern part of the state. Mesa was one of these southern Arizona towns.
  • Most cities and towns of Arizona had been founded by 1900, but some mining communities experienced new growth in the 1920s when an ethnically varied population entered the state, including Italians, Mexicans, Cornishmen, and Slavs.

Immigration Records[edit | edit source]

Immigration refers to people coming into a country. Emigration refers to people leaving a country to go to another. Immigration records usually take the form of ship's passenger lists collected at the port of entry. See Online Resources.

What can I find in them?[edit | edit source]

Information in Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]

  • Before 1820 - Passenger lists before 1820 included name, departure information and arrival details. The names of wives and children were often not included.
  • 1820-1891 - Customs Passenger Lists between 1820 and 1891 asked for each immigrant’s name, their age, their sex, their occupation, and their country of origin, but not the city or town of origin.
  • 1891-1954 - Information given on passenger lists from 1891 to 1954 included:
    • name, age, sex,
    • nationality, occupation, marital status,
    • last residence, final destination in the U.S.,
    • whether they had been to the U.S. before (and if so, when, where and how long),
    • if joining a relative, who this person was, where they lived, and their relationship,
    • whether able to read and write,
    • whether in possession of a train ticket to their final destination, who paid for the passage,
    • amount of money the immigrant had in their possession,
    • whether the passenger had ever been in prison, a poorhouse, or in an institution for the insane,
    • whether the passenger was a polygamist,
    • and immigrant's state of health.
  • 1906-- - In 1906, the physical description and place of birth were included, and a year later, the name and address of the passenger’s closest living relative in the country of origin was included.

Information in Passports[edit | edit source]

Over the years, passports and passport applications contained different amounts of information about the passport applicant. The first passports that are available begin in 1795. These usually contained the individual's name, description of individual, and age. More information was required on later passport applications, such as:

  • Birthplace
  • Birth date
  • Naturalization information
  • Arrival information, if foreign born

In-country Migration[edit | edit source]

Arizona Migration Routes[edit | edit source]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch Library has additional sources listed in their catalog:

References[edit | edit source]

Arizona Research Outline]. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.

  1. "Genealogy", at USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/records/genealogy, accessed 26 March 2021.