American Family Immigration History Center. Explore Your Family History at Ellis Island.  
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The Passenger Record
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The Passenger Record
The passenger record lists detailed information on the passenger. You can click to view the ship, the ship manifest, and any annotations for the record. To save the passenger record, click "Add to Ellis Island File."
To find out more, click one of the questions below.
Where Did Passenger Information Come From?
How Can I Use the Manifest?
What Are "Annotations"?
Where Did Passenger Information Come From?

The companies that transported immigrant passengers kept detailed passenger lists, called "ship manifests." Manifests were filled out not at Ellis Island but at the immigrants' ports of departure. Passengers were asked a series of questions; their answers were entered in the manifests. Ellis Island inspectors then used the manifests to examine immigrants.

How Can I Use the Manifest?

You can choose to view the original manifest or a "text version" of the manifest, transcribed for easy reference.

On the text version, click a different passenger's name to see that passenger's record and related materials. To save and purchase, click "Original Manifest."

On the original manifest, note your passenger's line number; then click the magnifying tools to zoom in or out. Click the left and right "page turner" arrows to find the passenger's name. You can quickly purchase a page by clicking "Add to Shopping Cart." Or, to see all available framing options, save the manifest page by clicking "Add to Ellis Island File"; then click the "Purchase Items" button in Your Ellis Island File. You can also find frames in the Gift Shop.

What Are "Annotations"?

On some passenger records, you can also click to read passenger information added to the Community Archive by members of the Foundation. (If you're a Foundation member, you'll be able to add annotations of your own.)

Annotations give expanded information about the passenger, supplementing the original record and adding information about the passenger's life in the United States.

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