The Philadelphia “baggage lists” are the oldest federal passenger lists existing. Compiled in accordance with a law made to exempt in-coming passengers from paying duty on their personal belongings, they provide proof of immigration in the first two decades of the 19th century.
In the lists are the names of the passengers, and in many cases there is data on such items as passengers’ ages, nationalities, former places of residence, occupations, destinations, and the names and relationships of accompanying family members. In all there were about 4,767 ship lists with about 40,000 passengers identified–most from Great Britain (especially Northern Ireland) and Germany. For convenience all of the passengers’ names have been arranged in a single alphabetical list.