Thursday, November 16, 2006

Detroit Border Crossings 1905-1957 Online Database

There's a new database online at that likely will be of interest to those doing genealogy research in Detroit/Michigan area. It's a collection of card manifests of aliens entering the U.S. from Canada for the years 1905-1957. Information from the web site about this database:
About Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1957

This database is an index to card manifests of aliens crossing from Canada and entering the U.S. through the port of Detroit, Michigan from 1905 to 1954. It also includes passenger and alien crew lists of vessels arriving at the port of Detroit, Michigan, from 1946 to 1957. In addition, the names found in the index are linked to actual images of the passenger lists, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm M1478 and M1479.

A variety of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) forms may have been used to record information about the passengers, crew members, or aliens. Different forms could be used depending on whether the individual was a passenger on a plane, passenger on a vessel, crew member, citizen, alien, etc. Forms may have simply changed over time as well. Due to the variety of forms, the amount of information available for an individual in this database will vary according to the form used and the questions asked on it. The type of information that is generally contained in this database though, includes:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity/nationality
  • Last residence
  • Vessel or airline name
  • Port of departure
  • Port of arrival
  • Date of arrival

Additional information about an individual may be recorded on the original document and may be obtained by viewing the corresponding image.

The card manifests are arranged alphabetically by surname and the passenger and crew lists are arranged chronologically by arrival date.

This is a very valuable resource for researchers and a welcomed addition to the collection of databases. So nice to see new databases for Michigan genealogy researchers!!!


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  2. Having problems locating information about a family members voage to the states. I have located this particular document for my Great-Grandfather along wtih Border Crossing Canada to US 1895-1956... both show he and his wife. however one of them shows his date of birth as 1880 and the other 1883. Also, both have different arrival times. Please explain the difference in these documents. I cant read part of the info on the document and says something about 1906 in NY. Please help me. My Family migrated from Sparta Greece, not sure exactly when and cant find anything other than their arrival to US.

  3. Conflicting information is the nature of the beast when it comes to genealogy research. It's the norm not the exception. The challenge is to find enough more supporting documents to be able to determine which is the correct date of your grandfather's birth. You may have to look up or request his birth record from Greece to know for sure. Start with information about your grandfather that you are sure about and work backwards. I suggest you request his death certificate and see if his birth date and place are listed there.