Are there statistics on the ports of arrivals by nation? In particular, I am interested in the ports of entries of Albanians before WWI and WWII to the US.

  • Ports of arrival to what country?
    – Harry V.
    Sep 11 '19 at 15:51
  • U.S. . To be more complete I am trying to locate the arrival of certain immigrants but I have not been able to find them so far. I would like to know which cities are the most likely ports of arrivals.
    – J.J.D.
    Sep 11 '19 at 16:19
  • 1
    Please use the edit button beneath your question to revise it with any requested clarifications.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 11 '19 at 20:01

You don't say what strategies you've already tried, so I'll start with some general advice for finding passenger lists for incoming arrivals and immigrant origins.

Before you start your research, review all the records you've found in the US so far. You might find clues about the arrival or place of origin for your immigrants in records like naturalization papers, but even if you don't, you'll want to narrow down the possible date of arrival as much as possible. Don't assume that there is only one arrival with the entire family -- people sometimes went back and forth, or a father might have come first and the rest of the family came later. Gather the names of extended family, friends, associates, and neighbors (the FAN). You may be able to get clues by finding the arrivals of other family members, friends, associates, or neighbors. If that doesn't work, try looking for other passengers from Albania or from nearby countries like Greece.

For statistics, try the USCIS History Library. Enter the library catalog and click the search box for electronic resources -- that will limit the search results to documents that are available to search online. Then search for Albania. That search turned up a series of Annual Reports. Disclaimer -- I didn't read any of the reports, so I don't know if the reports have the information you want. They may only give the numbers of immigrants for each country.

Check sites like Google Scholar or JSTOR. Try not to search too narrowly. If you get lucky, a search for the US town your immigrants lived in might turn up a doctoral dissertation or master's thesis about the immigrant community.

If the community was a center of industry, researching that industry might tell you when immigrants arrived.

Historical newspapers can have ads for the steamship companies and items about ship arrivals. Try The Ancestor Hunt to locate newspapers online. Browse the newspapers to get an idea of the layout and the geographic coverage of the newspaper.

Joe Beine's site German Roots has a wealth of information about how to find immigrant ancestors. I've linked to his guide on finding passenger lists, but take a look around the entire site. His page on international sites doesn't have an entry for Albania, but try the entries for Italy and see what turns up.

Stephen P. Morse's website One-Step Web Pages allows you to do far more sophisticated searches than using the standard Ancestry search engine. He also has forms to search some free websites. Morse also has a search tool Obtaining Details about Ships and/or Fleets in One Step that facilitates searches from the website The Ships List. Other sites that have information about ships and the steamship companies are Norway Heritage and the GG Archvies. Norway Heritage concentrates on emigration from Norway, but looking at what they've been able to assemble from newspapers and other sources may give you some ideas about how to do the same for emigrants from Albania.

And finally -- think outside the box. Did your people sail to other ports and enter from Canada or Mexico? A search of the St Albans lists and the Detroit border crossings on Ancestry for people born in Abania does yield some results.

You also don't say whether your research subjects are naturalized. The agency that deals with US immigration is USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Through their genealogy program, you can request an index search to find out if your people appear in five different record sets:

  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2), August 1940 to March 1944
  • Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files, March 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • A-Files, April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951

The fee for an index search is currently $65; there is an additional charge to get copies of the files. For the people who may have arrived in the period between the wars, you might get a hit in the Visa or Registry Files.

In all your searches, try not to search too narrowly, or you might miss the information you are looking for.


  • 1
    An outlier scenario is entry to the USA using a land border. Especially after 1924, when immigration restrictions were enacted, ports in Mexico and Canada were used as entry points. Smaller numbers than U.S. ocean ports and U.S. entry covered by Border Crossing records. Possibly more popular with individuals rather than families.
    – bgwiehle
    Sep 13 '19 at 13:35
  • @bgwiehle Good point!
    – Jan Murphy
    Sep 13 '19 at 19:14

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