Thursday, September 18, 2008

Immigration Passenger Lists Post #3 ~ Markings for Passenger Lists

(Notes from a study group I attended)

When an immigrant was detained or held for a special hearing there would be letters noted on the manifest prior to their names. Here are some of those letters you may see and what they mean. Take a look at a manifest and see if you notice any of these markings.

"D" ~ In New York this would mean temporarily detained. In Philadelphia it would mean that the person was held for a Board of Special Inquiry.

"X", "D" and the word "Held" ~ This could either mean they were temporarily detained or had a Special Inquiry Hearing.

"S.I." and "B.S.I." ~ Meant that the immigrant was held for a hearing.

Most passenger lists didn't give information regarding what happened at those hearings. The New York and Philadelphia ports do have some other records regarding these detentions and hearings, but they are limited. Philadelphia's records for hearings and detainment cover 1882-1909. New York has less extensive records but after 1903 their records were attached to the end of the passenger lists. So if you notice a passenger was detained after 1903, be sure to check the end of the manifest for additional information.

If you find an immigrant in Philadelphia that was detained between 1882-1909 you should check the Regional Archives in Philadelphia, most hard copies of these records are kept there.

Some records from 1893-1909 can be found on microfilm as National Archives Publication M1500.

Jewish immigrants should look at the HIAS records at the Philadelphia Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies located in the Jewish archives.

This study group followed the article "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations" by Marion L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. With Assistance of Elise Freedman, Flora Gursky and Eleanor Bien.)

Look for future posts regarding these lists to find out what else I learned!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri






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