Find your ancestors in Immigration & Travel

U.S. Immigration & Travel Records

The United States was founded by people who went out to discover, news lands, new opportunities and a better way a life. At the turn of the 20th century, almost 2 million European immigrants came to the US, despite the harrowing fact that one in seven travelers died during transatlantic voyages. Our ancestors brought with them family, friends and a wealth of culture that formed the melting pot that is today's society.

Immigration history in the US is divided into four major periods of mass migration into the country. During the Colonial period in the 17th century, about 175,000 people from England emigrated to the burgeoning New World. The mid-19th century brought immigrants from Northern Europe. Early in the 20th century most immigrants came from Southern or Eastern Europe. Then in the mid-1960's an influx of immigrants came from Latin America and Asia.

You can find many sources of Immigration and Travel Records here on findmypast, including naturalization records, ships passengers lists, and more.


What’s in Immigration & Travel Records?

The wide variety of types of records related to immigration and travel mean that they can help provide new facts to help fill in your family tree.

Information you may find in Immigration and Travel Records includes:

  • Ancestor's names
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth
  • Date of immigration
  • Port of entry
  • Occupation
  • Destination
  • Date of naturalization
  • Location of naturalization
  • Ship name
  • Names of family or friends

How to use the Immigration & Travel Records?

Begin by exploring the records from cities and ports of entry like New York, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, which are divided by immigrant’s native country for ease of use. Many of these records also provide your ancestor’s place of destination. Use these clues, to next search for your ancestor in the naturalization collections.