Ancestry.com has announced that they’ve added “all readily available” passenger lists that span 1820 to 1960. This collection represents information on millions and millions of passengers.
To celebrate, Ancestry.com is making the information freely searchable and available now through November 30th at Ancestry.com.
You can run your search by name, by passenger detail, or by voyage details (port name, ship name, etc.) You can also do a keyword search. Ancestry.com, in their announcement of the lists, mentions a number of celebrities found on the lists, including Bob Hope and Albert Einstein. I went looking for a few celebrities as well.
Louisa May Alcott shows up a few times going back and forth to England (as well as one “Louise M Alcott”, which I think is also her — unless you have to, don’t do exact name searching with this resource.) I think I found David Ogilvy’s arrival in New York in 1938, where he is noted as an advertising agent and there is a penciled note over his name, “To Study.” And though I looked through several pages of results, I couldn’t find a passenger I was sure was “Buffalo Bill” (William Frederick) Cody.
The passenger lists for the most part are pretty easy to read, though the more recent they are the easier (typed being easier to read than handwritten.) The passenger lists vary a bit by what information they offer, and some entries (like Ogilvy’s) have handwritten notes with them. Definitely worth checking out, especially for the free access through November 30th.