Immigration records can fill in crucial details of your history. Start with passenger lists to understand your ancestors’ trip to America, then search for passports and naturalization documents to learn more about their lives once they arrived.

See what you can find in our immigration records:

Research Resources

TOP RESOURCE: 10 tips for tracing Americanized surnames
Changing names and spellings can be challenging. Discover how to follow a surname before and after it changed. Learn more

One ship. Very different experiences.
Where a traveler’s accommodations were on board – first class, second class or steerage – made all the difference. Learn more

Ellis Island wasn’t the end of the road
See what immigrants went through after they arrived in port. Learn more

Why did they leave?
Whether it was war, famine, persecution or just a better life, our ancestors had their own reasons for coming to America. Learn more

Immigration Stories

Mom wasn’t from
Beantown after all

See how one woman used a passenger list to discover the truth about her mother’s homeland. Read story

WATCH NOW: Researchers help you find your immigrant roots.

Find your family in
immigration records

Simply add what you know.
Even a guess can help.

Lived In
Any Event

A simple DNA test can
show you where your
immigration story began.

Immigration and Emigration Message Board

Connect with other people searching for their immigration stories.