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Source Information

Jackson, Ron, comp.. Boston, Massachusetts Passenger Lists, 1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: Boston, Massachusetts. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, MA, 1884. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Micropublication M277. Roll # 95.

About Boston, Massachusetts Passenger Lists, 1884

This database is an index to passengers arriving at the port of Boston, Massachusetts between September and December of 1884. The index was compiled from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm series M277, roll 95. Information that may be found in this index includes the name of the passenger, date of arrival, port of departure, and list number.

Please note that just because information is not included as part of an individual's record in this database does not mean that it is not part of the original record. It is important that you use this index to help you locate your ancestor in the original records in order to find additional information or verify the information listed here. These records are also located at the Family History Library (FHL) on microfilm #0419989. Both the NARA and FHL microfilms may be available through your local National Archives branch or Family History Center.

Partly in an effort to alleviate overcrowding of passenger ships, Congress enacted legislation (3 Stat. 489) on March 2, 1819 to regulate the transport of passengers in ships arriving from foreign ports. As a provision of this act, masters of such ships were required to submit a list of all passengers to the collector of customs in the district in which the ship arrived. The legislation also provided that the collector of customs submit quarterly passenger list reports to the Secretary of State, who was, in turn, required to submit the information to Congress. The information was then published in the form of Congressional documents. A further Congressional act passed on May 7, 1874 repealed the legislative provision requiring collectors to send copies of passenger lists to the Secretary of State. Thereafter, collectors of customs were to send only statistical reports on passenger arrivals to the Department of Treasury.

These passenger lists are important primary sources of arrival data for the vast majority of immigrants to the United States in the nineteenth century. With the single exception of federal census records they are the largest, the most continuous, and the most uniform body of records of the entire country. (Michael Tepper. American Passenger Arrival Records Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. 1993. Page 64.)

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