Re: Passenger arrival records #usa #general

Jx. Gx.

Gayle, I am responding to your May 4 posting about the difficulty you are having finding family members on passenger arrival records.  I had similar experiences finding my grandfather and great-grandfather and maybe what I have to say will be of help to you.  I searched in vain for my grandfather at the Ellis Island website using his Hebrew and English names setting the time frame slightly beyond the dates I gleaned from census records and his naturalization papers. I then searched the Ellis Island site by using only his surname.  That produced probably 100 or more possibilities. I went through each of those names regardless of the first name that was on the passenger list.  I finally found him using the nickname "Alter."  That appears to be a somewhat common nickname.

Finding my great-grandfather was even more difficult.  After exhausting every possibility at the Ellis Island site, I was prepared to give up the search when I came across a Canadian site.
However, my hopes were again dashed.  I then went to and under the record category "Vermont, St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings, 1895-1954," I found my great-grandfather. He had sailed from the UK to Quebec, Canada, and made his way to New York passing through the U.S. immigration station at St. Albans, Vermont.  He should have showed up on the Canadian site, but maybe their records are incomplete.

I found that some of the ship passenger records on the Ellis Island site are not as high quality as the same record on  I recommend viewing both sites to select the best copy.

Jeffrey Gee

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