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Finding Original passenger manifests without a "View Original Manifest" button


If you find a passenger manifest that is of interest to you but there is no "View Original Manifest" button it is usually still possible to find the manifest if it is after 1 January 1892. It appears that many manifests but not all of them after that date have been scanned and put on the Ellisislandrecords.org web site but they have not all been linked to the "text manifests". To find one of these lists:

1) Go to http://home.pacbell.net/spmorse/ellis/mm.htm. This adaptation created by Stephen Morse should now work with Netscape browsers. If it still does not work try using the old version of this page by clicking here .

2) Select the date on which the ship you are looking for arrived and click display image -or-
if you already know the roll number it in the Roll field. Sometimes the roll numbers at the Ellis Island Database are not always exactly correct. Try roll numbers that are one higher or one less. Sometimes an image may not be available. It has been discovered that some rolls were incompletely scanned and contain less than 100 frames when they should have hundreds. Once an image appears with the frame number set at 0001, just increase or decrease it to move through the roll.

3) Each roll of microfilm often contains more than one volume. At the beginning of each volume there is a page which describes the contents of the volume. It lists for each ship the arrival date, the name of steam , port(s) of clearance, and number of sheets. To see one of these pages click on the link above. When the film has been scanned in the correct direction, this page can be found within the first few frames. If you do not find it the film may be backwards and you will have to follow the instructions below (after steps A - E).

To find the second or another later volume's content page use these steps:

A) Add up the pages listed in the first volume

B) Go to the first passenger manifest you can find

C) Count the number of pages for one manifest (from any page with passenger names or information and the pages that follow it until you reach the next page with names). This number is usually 2,3, or 4. [ Using the initial roll, 454, you can do see this by going to frame 0006, 0007, and 0008. You would count two pages as there is one page with names and one page that follows it before another page with names.]

D) Multiply the sum found in step a and the number of pages found in step C and then add 1

E) Add the product found in Step D to the image number of the volume contents sheet and put it in the frame box. (This method is approximate but should get you somewhere close to what you are looking for.)

If the film has been scanned backwards follow these instructions in order to find the "beginning" of the film:


Go to http://home.pacbell.net/spmorse/ellis/mm.htm, enter the roll number, and look what the end number is. Follow the instructions above (A-E) to find second or later volume contents listings, except in step E subtract the number instead of adding it.

[The List of Boat Arrivals Project has recently been created. If you would like to volunteer click here. Some of the projects results are already available.] /p>

This process can also be used to go to the exact ship you are looking for. When you see the ship you are looking for listed on one of the volume contents sheets, add up the number of pages listed for the ships that are listed before the ship you are interested in and then follow the instructions in steps B through E (making the same changes in step E as above if the film is backwards)

If you have found the ship arrival date from only a source other than the Ellis Island Database you should keep editing the frame number and looking at each page until you find the person you are looking for.


4) Once you find a passenger manifest with the correct ship on the correct date* find a name on it that it clearly written that you feel could not have been read incorrectly. Also note the age and residence of the individual.
* For arrivals after sometime in 1907 there are two pages, the arrival date is on the second page


5) Go to http://home.pacbell.net/spmorse/ellis/ellis.html Enter in only the first letter of the first name, the complete surname, the age, and the year of arrival for the ship. Search for that person and go to the text manifest when you find them.

6) Once you are at the text manifest look at what page number the person is located on. Also search for the person that you are looking for and note his page number. Find the difference between the two numbers (i.e. 57-27=30). Double the difference and then subtract it from or add it to the current frame number that appears in the URL. The microfilms were scanned in different directions so if you do not find the list by adding try subtracting and vice versa. If you want to check if you went the correct way look to make sure the ship's name is still the same and then repeat steps 10 and 11. This will let you know if you are close to the correct image. If you are only a few off keep changing the frame number until you find the image.

Once you find what you are looking for make sure to save the image or add it to your "Ellis Island File" (this can only be done if you clicked on the second button above) so that you do not have to repeat the whole process. In addition, save or bookmark the URL where you found the image so that if something happens to your saved copy you can easily find the manifest.

Please let me know if you are able to successfully use this process to find a manifest that you are looking for. Also, if there is anything that is not clear or you feel I have left out a step please let me know and I will try to improve these instructions.

Alex Calzareth alcalz@optonline.net

Last Update: 29 July 2002 at 2:30 EDT.





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