One of the people I am researching claims in his naturalization form to have arrived in Boston, Mass on 8 Jun 1891. No ship name is given. A naive search on Ancestry.com does not turn up any ship arriving on that date. Searching on his name (Lewis Axel) and on the names of his parents and siblings also failed to turn up any relevant records.

Where do I find a list of ships that arrived in Boston?

  • Do you know the port of departure? Nov 14 '12 at 14:51
  • No. The family was from St. Petersburg, Russia, so they would have probably traveled through Germany or England. Nov 14 '12 at 16:18

The Massachusetts Archives have a list of arrivals in Boston from 1848 to 1891.

Massachusetts officials started recording the names of immigrants who arrived by ship in January of 1848, a procedure which continued until July of 1891, when federal records-keeping programs superseded those of the state. Although immigrants arrived at numerous Massachusetts ports, the Archives holds manifests for BOSTON ONLY. These are arranged chronologically according to the date when the ship arrived in port.

The Carroll was the only ship to arrive that date, but it doesn't appear to have anybody who is a likely match. The index is a work in progress, not yet complete.

  • yeah, I searched all records & no luck. Tried first & last name searches independently. I wonder if the info is wrong or if the index is incomplete. Nov 14 '12 at 5:43

If you aren't able to locate an arrival in the state records and/or database mentioned by Robert Hoare, consider checking the Boston area newspapers. Some papers routinely published lists of ships/steamers arriving.

In particular, check the Boston Daily Advertiser for select entries reporting about arrivals at Boston, New York, etc. (a column titled "Marine Journal"; and separate entries for keyword "arrived" "ship"; "shipping news"; "port"; "steamer").

Periodic tables of scheduled arrivals / departures. Apparently occasional tables of scheduled arrivals/departures were published. Entries are arranged by the date sailed. Click the link below for an example of such a table that published on Tuesday, June 9, 1891 (the day after your man was said to have arrived).

More common daily entries including but not limited to daily entries in a column "Marine Journal." The daily entries contain quite a bit of information, too. I don't know customary reporting practices for these reports about arrivals nor do I fully appreciate the nomenclature used. You may want to track down still later (or earlier) issues for information about ships arriving at this time.

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