the American Revolutionary War persons coming to the colonies from Great
Britain were not considered immigrants. However various passenger lists do
exist. It was not until 1819 that the U.S. government required documents on
incoming ship passengers. The information contained in passenger lists varied
greatly. An excellent index to early records can be found in P. William Filby's
series "Passenger and Immigration
Lists Index" which can be found in many large research libraries.
These indexes cover persons in the 18th and 19th century coming to the U.S. and
Canada and refer the researcher to a journal or book in which an individual's
name appears in a passenger list. There are other excellent indexes in print
and on the Internet.
is the process by which an alien becomes a United States' citizen. The process,
as well as the methods of record keeping, has varied over the years.
September 27, 1906, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization in
Washington D.C. has maintained copies of naturalization records. Prior to 1906
the records might be found in an individual county's Court of Common Pleas,
Quarter Sessions, or other county courts, the State Supreme Court, and the U.S.
Circuit and District Courts. County records were usually maintained by the
Prothonotary of the County Court. The National Archives and State
copies of some naturalization records.
persons entered the country they often continued their migration until they
found a place to settle. The sites on the right offer some facts on where
our ancestors came from and where they may have gone.