Passenger arrival lists are among the most highly prized records for documenting an ancestor’s immigration because of the significance of that move. Lists
were not kept for every ship and some have been lost, but most of those that survive are here.
There is no single, standard format for passenger lists. Some record only minimal detail, others include a wealth of information down to exact address and
ultimate destination. Details often found are the passenger’s age, relationships and occupation.
Each passenger list varies in size and length and most changed format over time. They span from pre-printed templates to handmade forms, from beautifully
decorated to mostly functional, typed and handwritten. A typical passenger list can be divided into three parts : A header, providing details about the ship and
its voyage; the body of the list, giving details of the passengers travelling on board; and the summary section, statistical detail on the number of passengers and
usually a signature and stamp from the Board of Trade (BT).