District of Columbia Emigration and Immigration
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United States Emigration and Immigration lists several important sources for finding information about immigrants to this country.
- 1 How to Find the Records
- 2 Online Resources
- 3 Finding Town of Origin
- 4 Background
- 5 Immigration Records
- 6 In-country Migration
- 7 For Further Reading
- 8 References
How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- 1500s-1900s All U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s at Ancestry; index only ($); includes those with Destination of Iowa; Also at MyHeritage; index only ($)
- 1895-1956 United States, Border Crossings from Canada, 1895-1956 at MyHeritge; index & images ($); includes those with Destination of Iowa
- Immigrants would have initially arrived at one of the many ports on the coast. To search additional records, see United States Immigration Online Genealogy Records.
Passport Records Online[edit | edit source]
- 1795-1925 - United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1795-1925 - U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 Index and images, at Ancestry ($)
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]
- The National Archives (NARA) has immigration records for arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982. The records are arranged by Port of Arrival (See Part 5).
- You may do research in immigration records in person at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001.
- Some National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regional facilities have selected immigration records; call to verify their availability or check the online Microfilm Catalog.
- Libraries with large genealogical collections, such as the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Allen County Piblic Library also have selected NARA microfilm publications.
- Order copies of passenger arrival records with NATF Form 81.
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.
Requesting a Record[edit | edit source]
- Web Request Page allows you to request a records, pay fees, and upload supporting documents (proof of death).
- Record Requests Frequently Asked Questions
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]
- The first land grants to English settlers, in what is now the District of Columbia (then Charles County, Maryland), were made in 1663.
- Scottish immigrants founded Georgetown in 1751.
- Only a few people lived in the area when the federal government offices were moved there from Philadelphia in 1800.
- The city grew slowly until the 1860s, when the population more than doubled during and after the Civil War.
- The District of Columbia did not attract much overseas immigration during the nineteenth century, but a large transient population came from all parts of the nation to work as government officials and congressional staffers. Permanent residents also came from all of the states, but especially from the middle Atlantic region and from the upper tier of southern states.
- African Americans constituted African American. Slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia in 1862.
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]
- 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.
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:
- Birth date
- Naturalization information
- Arrival information, if foreign born
In-country Migration[edit | edit source]
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]
- "Genealogy", at USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/records/genealogy, accessed 26 March 2021.