Hafengeburtstag © "Photo:, M. Zapf"

Emigrants to the new world: Hamburg helps to find ancestors

Hamburg State Archive publishes passenger lists from 1850 onwards online

From 1850 to 1934, the Port of Hamburg was the gateway to the new world for some six million people. Their detailed data, registered in the Hamburg passenger lists, have now been made accessible online for the very first time.

The Hamburg State Archives started its model project in 1999 with publishing the data of all passengers that left their home via the Port of Hamburg from 1877 onwards in the Internet. Since July, the years 1850 to 1876 can be researched online. In November, the years 1920 to 1923 with additional 300,000 entries are to follow. By the end of 2013, some five million names of emigrants will be accessible on the Internet. Due to World War I, there is a gap from 1915-1919.

The original lists are stored in the Hamburg State archive in 555 large volumes. Hamburg is the only European port to boasts the complete passenger register. The Hamburg Passenger lists are a unique source for genealogical research as well as the study of the history of emigration and immigration.

Out of the five million emigrants now listed online, 80 per cent left for the United States. 475,000 travelled to South America, 214,000 to Canada, 100,000 to Africa, 54,000 to Australia, and 10,000 to Asian countries. Most of the lists include the last place of residence and often the place of birth as well. This makes them an enormously valuable source for family history research.

Internet partner of the Hamburg State archives is, the world‘s largest providers of services to genealogists. The database can also be viewed free of charge in the reading room of the Hamburg State Archives.

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