Vermont Emigration and Immigration

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United States Emigration and Immigration lists several important sources for finding information about immigrants to this country. These sources include many references to people who settled in Vermont. Tracing Immigrant Origins introduces the principles, research strategies, and additional record types you can use to identify an immigrant’s original hometown.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

People[edit | edit source]

Colonial settlers of Vermont generally came from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. During the early years of statehood until about 1808, settlers continued to come to Vermont from southern New England, but by the 1830s many Vermonters had left for developing cities in the south or for new farmlands to the west in the United States or to the north in Canada.

Before the middle of the 19th century, Irish immigrants from overseas came to build the railroads. Canadian immigrants, especially French Canadians from Quebec province, began to come to the state before the Civil War and continued to come in large numbers in the early 1900s. Smaller numbers of settlers came from Italy, Wales, Spain, and Poland to work in the mines, mills, and quarries of Vermont.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

A comprehensive list of about 140,000 immigrants to America from Britain is:

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607–1776 and Emigrants in Bondage, 1614–1775. Family Tree Maker’s Family Archives, Number 350. Brøderbund Software, Novato, Calif., 1996. (Family History Library compact disc Number 9 pt.350.) This compact disc is not circulated to Family History Centers. It includes Vermont immigrants and may show British hometown, emigration date, ship, destination, and text of the document abstract. These are also indexed in the FamilyFinder™ Index and Viewer (FamilyFinder is a trademark of Brøderbund Software, Inc.) described in Vermont Census.

The major port of entry to New England is Boston. The Family History Library and the National Archives have passenger lists for Boston for 1820 to March 1874 and 1883 to 1935. The following indexes are available:

The Massachusetts State Archives also has Boston passenger lists for 1848 to 1874 and 1883 to 1891. This includes records for the nine years missing from the National Archives records. The 1848 to 1891 index (above) is an index to the state lists but can also be used for the National Archives records.

Portland, Maine was another significant port of arrival:

  • United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Portland, Maine, 1893–1943; Index 1893–1954. National Archives Microfilm Publications, A1151, and T0524. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1944, 1986. FHL film 1412619 (first of 34 films) Index cards are grouped by time period and then by name of the head of the household, but are not in strict alphabetical order.

Also consult passenger lists of other New England ports and for ports in Canada.

Canadian Border Crossing Records (1895–1954)[edit | edit source]

Lists of passengers crossing the Canadian border to the United States, including Vermont, were collected at St. Albans, Vermont, and are called Manifest of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont District. (See the links to the index above.) This collection includes records from all over Canada and the northern United States. These are the records compiled by U.S. immigration officials who inspected travelers at all Canadian seaports, major cities, and emigration stations and at U.S. train arrival stations in all border states from Maine to Washington. These lists may include the name of the passenger, date and port or station of entry, literacy, last residence, previous visits to the United States, place of birth, and names of relatives in the United States and Canada. For a full description of the two sets of records and four indexes, see the United States Emigration and Immigration. One record pertains more to Vermont than the others:

  • United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service. St. Albans District Manifest Records of Aliens Arriving from Foreign Contiguous Territory: Records of Arrivals through Small Ports in Vermont, 1895–1924. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1462. Washington, DC: National Archives Records Service, 195–?. FHL films 1430987–92 These records are arranged first by entry station, then alphabetically by surname. They are from Vermont ports of entry only: Alburg, Beecher Falls, Canaan, Highgate Springs, Island Pond, Norton, Richford, St. Albans, and Swanton.

Where Vermont Residents Went[edit | edit source]

For information about where Vermont residents tended to move, see:

  • Davenport, David Paul. Yankee Settlement of New York 1783–1820. Crossroads (Genealogical Society of Utah: Salt Lake City, Utah) Journal 17, Number 1 & 2 (1988/1989): 63–88. (Family History Library book 973 D25gi.) This article gives a state-by-state analysis of New Yorker origins and includes several maps.
  • Darlington, James W. Peopling the Post-Revolutionary New York Frontier. New York History 74, Number 4 (Oct. 1993): 340–81. (Family History Library book 974.7 H25n.) This statistical analysis with detailed maps also discusses where people moved after settling New York.
  • Stilwell, Lewis D. Migration from Vermont. Vol. 5. Montpelier, Vermont: Vermont Historical Society, 1948. FHL book 974.3 W2s; film 873949 item 1 {WorldCat|5986084|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}} This book includes a name and locality index and charts showing migration patterns of Vermonters to other parts of the United States before 1860.

Also see United States Emigration and Immigration.