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Ships’ Passenger Lists at the Pennsylvania State Archives

The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains official ships' passenger lists on microfilm (Record Group-26), recording the arrival of Continental Europeans (chiefly German, Dutch, Swiss and French) at the Port of Philadelphia, 1727-1744, 1746-1756, 1761, 1763-1775, 1785-1808. Lists dating before the Revolution do not cover British subjects since their status remained unchanged by their removal from one part of the King's dominion to another.

There are three sets of passenger lists: The "A" lists are the Captains' Lists of passengers being imported; "B" lists are Oaths of Allegiance to the King; and "C" lists are Oaths of Abjuration from the Pope. An individual being transported may be found on one or all of the three lists. These lists have been published in Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke (Norristown: Pennsylvania German Society, 1934; reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. and Picton Press). Volume III contains indexes to the names of passengers, captains, and ships. Volume II has facsimilies of all signatures on the original lists.

To conduct a passenger list search:

  1. Consult the published volumes of Pennsylvania German Pioneers, using the name index found in Volume III. This index will give the volume and page number of the list on which individual is located. List numbers are given in brackets.
  2. Microfilm copies of the original lists are available (3 rolls). These rolls are arranged chronologically by the list number, with Lists A and B together and all of the C lists located in order on a separate roll.

RELATED RESOURCES

  • Minutes of the Provincial Council, 1727-1736. (RG 21).
  • Pennsylvania Archives
    • Second Series, Volume 17
    • Colonial Records, Volume 3, pp. 283-85, 287-88, 290, 327-29, 331-32, 367-69, 384-86, 389-90, 410, 413-17, 428-29, 431- 32, 452-59, 465-67, 515-520, 524, 568-70, 593, 597, 607.
    • Colonial Records, Volume 4, p. 58-60, 72-73, 99-100.
  • Health Officer's Account of Passenger Entries, 1789-1794 (RG 41).
  • Health Officer's Registers of Passengers' Names, 1792-1794 (RG 41).
  • Rupp, Israel D. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, and Other Immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727-1776 , 2nd ed., rev. & enl. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965.

    Dunn, Mary. Index to Pennsylvania's Colonial Records Series, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.

Ships at port 

PA State Archives - Research Guides - Ships' Passenger Lists