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A Wikipedia article defines Remittance as:

A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in his or her home country.

In a city directory from New England dated 1876, an advertisement for Doyle & Finn lists them as Emigration and Exchange Agents for the White Star and Anchor Lines. The ad reads "Drafts Payable in Any Part of England, Ireland, and Scotland".

Some passenger lists offer clues as to whether tickets were bought by the passengers themselves, by remittance, or by another agency such as a government (see related question Italian Government-Paid Passage). For examples of a draft (and a staggering amount of other information about and ephemera from the steamship companies) see The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. Agencies were often associated with a particular steamship company -- for an example see this list from the GG Archives of names and addresses for the offices and agents of the The Scandinavian-American Line.

The State Library of Queensland has a portal immigration and shipping: getting started and a research guide for immigrants to Australia. The guide says:

Under what migrant schemes did people arrive? Immigrants travelled under different schemes. Assisted passengers received a government subsidy and paid a small charge or were free. Remittance or Nominated passages were arranged by a friend or relative living in Australia, who paid a warrant for their passage to the Government. Indentured immigrants were brought out as contract labourers for employers who paid the Government for their passage. Unassisted immigrants paid full fare. More information exists for assisted passengers but the amount varies according to time period and the colony or State. Check guides for each State for further information.

I am looking for research guides similar to this one and other pointers to primary sources for assisted and remittance passengers traveling from England to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. What other records might hold clues to transit, apart from the ships' own passenger lists? Do business records survive for these emigration agencies? If so, who holds these records?


For another breakdown of categories for passengers to Australia and New Zealand, see: Lloyd's Register Foundation Information Centre, Infosheet No. 38 Immigration and Emigration. This guide contains a table of Libraries, museums and other research institutions holdings records relating to immigration and emigration. including a link to the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section for Livery Company Documents.

Also of interest (for context):

Report on European Immigration to the United States of America by the United States. Immigration commission, 1891-1892 (published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893) is available via Google Books. (Discovered through a search for 'assisted passengers'.)

US incoming passenger lists ask the question Who paid passage? on these forms:

  • 22-question list [1893-1906]: Q13
  • 29-question list [1907-1918]: Q15
  • 33-question list [1919-1925]: Q16
  • 36-question list [1925- ]: Q16

The dates in the list above came from the website of the Capital Area Genealogy Society in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from their page of downloadable passenger list extract forms.

(Note: pre-1898 passenger lists for the port of New York were stored at Ellis Island and were lost in a fire in June of 1897. Earlier lists commonly offered for the Port of New York are US Customs House records, which have much less information about the passengers.)

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