This database contains handwritten indexes to the passenger lists of ships departing from Hamburg, Germany. The database includes images digitized from microfilm in partnership with the Hamburg State Archive. To access the original passenger lists, please refer to the database (Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934). These handwritten indexes can assist you in finding your ancestor in the original passenger lists for the years 1855-1934, and are especially helpful for locating records for those years that have not yet been electronically indexed.
How to Use These Indexes:
The indexes list all passengers alphabetically by the first letter of the surname for a range of departure dates. To find a passenger in the index, first choose the appropriate year range from the browse table below in which your ancestor departed from Hamburg. Until 1910, separate lists were kept for direct passengers and indirect passengers. Direct passengers were those who sailed on the same ship from Hamburg to their port of destination. Indirect passengers were those who transferred to another ship en route to their destination. Unless you know what type of route your ancestor took, you should check the volumes for both the direct and the indirect lists for these years.
Next, choose the volume (Band) containing the date range when the ship departed. Finally, select the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the passenger’s surname.
The alphabetical listing is arranged according to the first letter of the surname only. Therefore, individuals with the surname “Maier” may not necessarily be listed before individuals with the surname “Müller.” Likewise, “Alexander Maier” may not necessarily be listed before “Johann Maier.” Because names are arranged by the first letter of the surname only, you may need to search the entire alphabetical section in order to find the person you’re looking for.
It’s also important to note that each letter of the alphabet in the index was given a certain number of pages. When all of the pages for a particular letter were filled up, the remaining names for that letter were added to unused pages at the end of another letter. Sometimes there will be a note indicating if surnames for a letter are continued under another letter, but not always, so if you have trouble finding your ancestor, it may be necessary to search the ending pages of all the other letters.
What Information is Included:
The format of the actual index pages changed over time. Each index entry may provide the following information:
- Passenger’s name
- Name of ship
- Departure date
- Destination port
- Page number on which individual is found on actual passenger list
- Name of ship’s captain
However, some index entries, especially for later years, are not as comprehensive and may provide as little as just the passenger’s name and page number. Nevertheless, this information, combined with the year of departure, is still sufficient to find the passenger, as the pages of the original lists are numbered by year.
I Found Someone in the Index…Now What?
Once you have found your ancestor in these indexes, use that information to locate them in the actual passenger lists database (Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934). In order to quickly browse to the correct passenger list page, you will need to know at least what year they sailed and the departure date or page number. (Until 1910, you will also need to note whether you found them in a direct or indirect index).
Please note that not all of the original passenger list images have a page number listed on the page. Some passenger lists are actually several pages long. If your ancestor is not listed on the image with the page number on it, try looking for them on the next few images after it. In general, a new passenger list is starting if you come across another image with a different page number. The page numbers on the original lists are generally written by hand in the upper right corner of the page.
If your ancestor departed between 1877 and 1914, you may want to try searching the Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 database by name, as those years in that database have been electronically indexed by passenger name.
Having Trouble Finding a Passenger?
If you’re have trouble finding a passenger in these indexes, there are a few things to consider.
- As previously explained, could the passenger be listed in another alphabetical section?
- Did the emigrant depart at a different time period than the one you were searching under?
- Did you check both the Direct and Indirect indexes?
- The names in the indexes can be hard to read – did you search through the indexes carefully enough?
- Did the passenger, or the person creating the passenger list, spell the passenger’s surname wrong or differently than you expected? Try searching for the passenger under spelling variants for that name, including names that sound alike, but may be spelled completely different.
- Do you know for a fact that the passenger departed from Hamburg? Perhaps the passenger really emigrated from another port.
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