Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists, 1890-1957 .
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Record Description[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of passenger and crew lists for those arriving in Seattle, Washington. It corresponds to NARA Publication M1383: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Seattle, Washington. The collection covers the years 1890 to 1957.

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists, 1890-1957.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

Passenger lists prior to 1906 generally includes the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of arrival
  • Port of embarkation
  • Name of ship

Passenger lists after 1906 generally includes the following information:

  • Date and port of embarkation
  • Name and age of immigrant
  • Birth place
  • Gender, marital status and occupation
  • Country of citizenship
  • Place of last residence in that country
  • Name and address of relative or friend in that country
  • Name and address of relative or friend in this country
  • Final destination
  • Physical description
  • Date and port of entry
  • Name of ship

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • The approximate date of immigration.

If you do not know this information, check the census records after 1900.

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number - Contents" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example, you can use passenger lists to:

  • Learn an immigrant’s place of origin
  • Confirm their date of arrival
  • Learn foreign and “Americanized” names
  • Find records in his or her country of origin such as emigrations, port records, or ship’s manifests.

Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor had a common name, be sure to look at all the entries for a name before you decide which is correct.
  • Continue to search the passenger lists to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who may have immigrated at the same time.
  • If your ancestor has an uncommon surname, you may want to obtain the passenger list of every person who shares your ancestor’s surname if they lived in the same county or nearby. You may not know how or if they are related, but the information could lead you to more information about your own ancestors.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variant spellings of the name.
  • Search the indexes of other port cities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

General Information About These Records[edit | edit source]

The passenger lists are digital copies of the original records. The earliest records are handwritten pages. Later records are usually handwritten on pre-printed pages. The records are arranged by the date of entry into port.

Arrival lists was used by legal authorities to gather personal information about immigrants prior to the person being allowed to live in the United States.

The information was supplied by the immigrant or a traveling companion (usually a family member). Incorrect information was occasionally given, or mistakes may have been made when the clerk guessed at the spelling of foreign names.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.


Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.



Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists, 1890-1957.


Image citation:
This template has been deprecated and is no longer used.

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Washington, Seattle Passenger Lists, 1890-1957.