Using Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

Today’s post is about Using Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. Lately I’ve had some great luck using the Hamburger Passagierlisten, 1850-1934 aka the Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 at Ancestry. Germans were more thorough about completing forms, so I have found more of the all-important information about hometowns and birthplaces in these emigration records than I’ve found in the corresponding immigration arrival records in New York.

Ancestry helpfully notes that since the records are in German, so it helps to search in German. Only the years 1877-1914 have been indexed at this point. They also suggest browsing the Handwritten Indexes, 1855-1934 if your ancestors have not yet been included in the index.

The more I researched for my ancestors in these records, the more helpful I found translations for the categories in theUsing Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934. This way, I know what kind of information to expect.

using hamburg passenger lists translationHere are the broad categories for those fields in the Hamburger Passagierlisten. (Click for larger image.)

1. Surname (family members are grouped together using brackets)

2. Forename

3. Age

4. Previous residence (may or may not be birthplace)

5. State or Province

6. Occupation

7. Destination

8. Number of people

9. Children under 10

10. Children over 10

11. Children under 1 year

Using my Surname Saturday Kirschstein family, I was able to find a Residence for Bruno in the Hamburger Passagierlisten that wasn’t noted in the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. 

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”


  1. Jen 5 July 2010 at 12:13 PM - Reply

    LOL! I have “an approach-and-avoid response” to my husband’s Lithuanian ancestors. So many name variations and such. I remembered again this weekend why I avoid their lines.

    I have just started using the Hamburg lists on Ancestry and have had some luck finding the departing list where I already have a NY arrival list. I will have to do more searching in the Hamburg lists though to see what additional information I can gain.

    Great post!

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 5 July 2010 at 1:00 PM - Reply

    OK, I instantly feel better about Germany because Lithuania must present additional challenges.

    Wasn’t Danny Kaye originally a Kaminsky? Maybe you’re related!

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