01 January 2007

Hamburg Emigration Records: Update

Back in November, I told readers that the Hamburg Emigration records were moving:

The Hamburg Passenger Lists 1850-1934, which were available at Linktoyourroots.com, have moved to BallinStadt.com. The fully digitized lists will be available in December on both BallinStadt and Ancestry.com.

The records are now available on Ancestry.com.
With the exception of 1915-1919, the Hamburg outbound passenger lists cover 1850-1934. Although the index currently covers 1890-1913, all manifest images through 1934 are available, with the exception noted.

As expected, genealogy guru Steve Morse has already created a One-Step form for these records. Go to his website and scroll down under "Other Ports of Emigration," where you will find Hamburg nearly at the bottom of the list.

I investigated my research names and found some interesting new spellings and was able to view the manifest images, which could not be done on the old Link to Your Roots site. Looking at the images is the key to puzzling out some pretty strange names that may be quite obvious to you as you view the handwritten entries.

Caveat: Always look at the images if that is an option, otherwise you will be relying on what someone somewhere "thinks," and not what the name is in reality

There are still some funny transcription errors, and I'm not sure if the manifests were re-keyed by Ancestry's paleographers or are the Link to Your Roots transcriptions. For example, our male cousin Anselm is listed as Angela, and I've sent in a correction comment.

If others have already sent in corrections - listed as "alternative names" - floating your mouse over a name will bring up the suggestions. There's an icon next to names for which comments were received.

I believe many researchers would be much happier if the name were simply changed in the record when it is obviously wrong, such as in Anselm's case. Somehow, I don't think that the male (and correct) name of Anselm is an "alternate" name for the very female (and very wrong) name of Angela in this particular record. Another example reads "Tork" for the female given name of Sora. These points however are minor in comparison to the wealth of material presented in these records.

So, if you have a paid subscription, do take a look. Perhaps it's time to take advantage of the company's free 14-day trial?


  1. This is a fantastic source. I finally found my greatuncle who I left Lithuania in 1903 for England. I could not understand why he was missing from English records whe his brother and sister (my grandmother) were in the 1901 census. Uncle Leibe Quint rapparently remained in Lithuania with his grandparents until 1903, thus missing the 1901 cencus. It was so important for me to find him because he perished in the Holocaust after he went back to Lithuania to marry.

  2. I'm delighted you located your great-uncle, Chaim. As more people access this source, I'm sure more connections will be made. More importantly, as we all know, checking the record images allows us to see what is really written, instead of what someone else assumes it says.