Outgoing Passengers from USA

NARA Philadelphia has lists of people who returned to their place of origin because they were deported from the US.

Register of Detained Immigrants 1904-1912. Register of Immigrants Debarred and Returned to Foreign Ports, 1891-1917. 

Immigration through Philadelphia

1. Immigrant records, 1884-1952: Microfilm of original records at the Jewish Archives in the Balch Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Records give name, sex, nativity, date, destination, and ship of arrival. Most are arrivals at Philadelphia with some at New York City. Few records exist for 1924-1941. Records are alphabetical by first letter of last name. Final destinations include locations all through the United States.

These records can be used in conjunction with the ship passenger lists listed under "Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), records, 1884-1948," which are chronological in arrangement. Many of the immigrants are the same in both records.

2. Card file of detainee immigrants, 1914-1921

Microfilm of original records at the Balch Institute, Philadelphia Jewish Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Cards are generally arranged alphabetically.

Records are for those generally arriving at Philadelphia who were detained by authorities for various reasons. Information includes name, ship and date of arrival, address of final destination, and reason held.

3. Jewish immigrant aid societies' records of Jewish arrivals, 1913-1947

Microfilm of original manuscripts at the Balch Institute, Philadelphia Jewish Archive Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Some cards are not in strict alphabetical order.

Includes records primarily of the Port of Philadelphia, Association for the Protection of Jewish Immigrants; Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of America (headquarters, New York City). Also includes a few records of the Council of Jewish Women, Department of Immigrant Aid; Port of Boston, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of Massachusetts; Port of Baltimore, Hebrew Immigrants Protective Association.

If you check the NARA catalog entries for the topic "Detention of persons" ( ), you will see that there are 27 entries...  Publication M1500 "Records of the Special Boards of Inquiry, District no. 4 (Philadelphia), 1893-1909" is the only BSI hearings collection.

Special Inquiry Cases

INS Names Index 1893-1932

Special Inquiry Cases (New York)

The National Archives at New York City's records contain details of these investigations. As part of a Habeas Corpus case filed by the immigrant's family against the Commissioner of Immigration for detaining their family member, evidence would be provided by both sides detailing the immigrant's beliefs, economic conditions, and medical status. Among these records are transcripts of testimony from the Board of Special Inquiry, medical certificates, letters from family members, and other documents.

Record Group 21.34.6 Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, Habeas Corpus Case Files, NARA in NYCMicrofilm Publications: M886, M919, M928, M933, M934, M937, M938, M965.Textual Records (in New York): Minutes, 1789-1946. Judges' opinions, 1851-1917. Dockets, 1828-1966. Case files, 1790-1966, with indexes. Records relating to bankruptcy, 1800-1945; to admiralty, equity, and law cases, 1790-1966; and to naturalization, 1824-1959. Miscellaneous records, 1900-42. Subpoenas, complaints, and search warrants, 1911-25. Records of the clerk of the court, 1791-1933, and U.S. Commissioners, 1836-1915. review:  The INS “Letters Received” (NAID 1564919) cover the years 1882-1906 and are available for research when NARA is open.  The problem is finding an index to those files.  Currently there are several indices that cover different time spans:·      INS Subject Index, ca. 1906-1957.  NAID 4490783 / Searchable on Ancestry at·      INS Name Index, May 1903-ca. 1912.  NAID 4709010 / 1st alphabet searchable in NARA Catalog·      Registers of Letters Received, 7/12/1891 - 9/11/1903, NAID 1561313.  Not digitized, available only at Archives I. 

Special Inquiry Cases (Philadelphia)

Decisions of the board of Special Inquiry 1893-1909

Special Inquiry Cases (Boston)

HAIS Special Inquiry card for Port of Boston

Immigration through Hamburg

The usual route for emigrants from Germany and northern Europe was by ship from Hamburg to Hull or Grimsby on the east coast of England, thence by train to Liverpool where they would board another ship to the US or Canada. This was in the days before passports were required and, as they were only 'passing through', no UK record was made of their arrival or departure.

Emigrants from southern Europe to the US and Canada usually travelled through Cherbourg (France) and Southampton (England), although other departure ports on the mainland of Europe were sometimes used.

 check out Hull and Liverpool Universities for their info on Jewish immigration by sea, both cross Baltic and cross Atlantic. Note there is very little in the way of passenger documentation from the Baltic to Hull - but Hull Uni has info on the boats and ship lines that plied this trade, and the ports they used - the majority of ships manifests are cross Atlantic

Holland-America Line:

Open Archives which is a Dutch genealogical website announced they have placed the passenger lists of the Holland-America Line 1900-1920 online.  Go to:

Type in the name you are researching in the search box. You may not get the actual manifest but a listing of what is on the manifest. When you click on the manifest a list of passengers names appears. Click on the name you are searching then a new window appears with the source listed a passenger registers.

The Holland America Line (HAL) transported about one million Eastern Europeans t America from Rotterdam between 1880 and 1920.  The HAL had offices in Bulgaria, Latvia and Russia where tickets could be purchased for the train to Rotterdam, the boat to America.

HAIS Special Inquiry card for Port of Boston

HIAS - Boston

Liverpool as a transmigration hub:  

Using Hamburg passenger lists, 1850 - 1934:

The British Board of Trade outbound passenger lists: Transmigration via England 

Germans to America/using Hamburg passenger lists: (Also on

The St. Albans lists on FamilySearch

Notations on Ship Manifests

The annotations relate to applications for naturalization, but the numbers are NOT the petition numbers (they are application for a certificate of arrival numbers).  These annotations have three pieces of information, two of which can help you.  The three data points are the prefix number, the application number, and the date.  

The first (prefix) number indicates the US naturalization district where the application was filed.  You can translate the number into a geographic district (as of the date in the annotation).

The date annotated is the date the manifest record was checked, telling you (approximately) when their application was processed.  The actual date of naturalization can be weeks, months, or even years later.

If you do later find the naturalization petition, it should include a blank for "Certificate of Arrival No. ____ filed" and that certificate of arrival (c/a) number should match the application number annotated on the manifest.  Matching those numbers tells you the US Gov't believed the person listed on the manifest and the person named on the naturalization petition were one and the same person.  

Naturalization Document History

When naturalization was federalized in September 1906, the paperwork became standardized, as did the process. Local and county courts still provided naturalization, as well as federal courts, but they were to all use the same forms and process. If an immigrant completed the naturalization process, they would receive an original certificate, and a duplicate would be sent to INS, and kept as a C-file (the duplicate copy of the Petition would be filed with the C-file, if the petition was granted, in other words, if the naturalization was completed). With very few exceptions, no duplicate certificate of naturalization would be at NARA, they were INS records, and remain today custody of USCIS. The majority of the documents we see online or at NARA regarding the naturalization process are from court records.

There is no such thing as a "Naturalization File" Naturalized immigrants were not tracked by name, because of course that would be impossible to distinguish same-named people. Paperwork regarding a naturalized immigrant would be filed by their Certificate for Naturalization number, or later by an A-number.

Please see here for more general information on the forms and steps for naturalization: and while this FAQ is geared for those seeking documents for dual citizenship, readers of this post will find it useful:

The Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University: Immigration to the United States 1789-1930

Dmytro Bratush Collection

Harvard Library has a collection on voluntary immigration to the United States 1789-1930. This period covers from the signing of the US Constitution to the start of the Great Depression.  The digital collection of historical documents emanates from Harvard's libraries, archives and museums. The collection includes over 400,000 pages from 2,200 books, pamphlets and serials; 7,800 photographs and over 9,600 pages from manuscript and archival collections. You can view the articles directly. To access the collection go to: Original url: By placing the word "Jewish" in the search field there were many hits, including correspondence, a list of old Jewish cemeteries in South Carolina, reports from United Hebrew Charities of New York City, Jewish musicians, evidence of pogroms in Poland and Ukraine, Jewish Immigration to the United States from 1881 to 1910 and many more. Please read the terms of use about copyright and public domain content beforeusing any of the materials. From: "Jan Meisels Allen" <> Fri, 1 Mar 2019 10:43:06 -0800