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Migration from the Russian Empire, Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York

Reviewed by Leonard F. Jakubczak, Ph.D., 9620 Shadow Oak Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20879, E-mail: LBY@drgpo.drg.nih.gov - PGSA 1996 Spring Bulletin

Ira A. Glazier, Director of the Temple-Balch Center for Immigration Research, Philadelphia, PA, has contributed again to our genealogical research by editing the first two volumes of Migration from the Russian Empire, Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York. Previously, he and his colleagues gave us lists of passengers arriving at U. S. ports from Ireland (Glazier & Tepper, 1983-1986), Germany (Glazier & Filby, 1988-1995), and Italy (Glazier & Filby, 1992-1995). At last, genealogists interested in Eastern Europe have a series of their own from this prestigious group.

Based on these inaugural volumes, this series is a must" for genealogical reference libraries, professional genealogists, historians, sociologists, and demographers who are interested in migration from the Russian Empire. At $60.00 per volume, plus postage and handling, only they, and perhaps a few others, can justify owning personal copies. Given today's costs, however, the price is not unreasonable. Still, I can hardly wait until the volumes that cover the years of my family's migration, 1890-1910, at last become available. The publisher plans to release Volumes 3 and 4 in 1996, and two volumes per year after that. I wish that someday these lists, as well as earlier ones, will be available on CD-ROM or other electromagnetic media.

The first two volumes of this new series cover January 1875 to September 1882 and October 1882 to April 1886, respectively. When finished, the entire series will contain data on passengers of Russian nationality who emigrated to the United States from Russian territories between 1875 and 1910. This includes Poles, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Jews, Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Volga Germans. These years are especially important for genealogists, since archivists did not index passenger arrivals in the Port of New York between 1847 and 1896. Thus, this series will provide twenty-one years of new indices to help us find our ancestors.

An introduction clearly summarizes the historical background and causes of migration from the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and the origins, destinations, and personal characteristics of migrants from there. Accordingly, the largest numbers of migrants from the Russian Empire between 1871 and 1910 were Poles (158,715) and Russian Jews (1,216,141). Most of the migrants came to the United States. Of the many factors that contributed to the migration from the Russian Empire, the most important was the transition from a pre-industrial to modern industrial state. Many Polish migrants to the U.S. came from lowwage agrarian districts on the Prussian border, and about

30% of them eventually returned to Poland. Russian overseas migration was similar to the Polish one, but was more a temporary labor migration. Finally, marked differences in migration patterns among Russian Jews in the Pale of Settlement depended on population densities, age, sex, and occupational background.

The date of arrival arranges the passenger lists in chronological order in the volumes. The lists give the name of the ship and the port of embarkation. Passengers appear on the printed lists in the order of appearance on the original lists. This eases location of the passenger on the microfilm of the original list, if one wishes to do so in the future. The list then gives the name of the passenger, age, sex, occupation, province, village, and destination.

You can obtain these long-awaited inaugural volumes from the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1001 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, (410) 837-8271.

References:

Glazier, 1. A. (Ed.). (1995). Migration from the Russian Empire, Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York (Volumes 1-2). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing.

Glazier, 1. A., & Filby, P. W. (Eds.). (1988-1995). Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U. S. Ports (Vols. 1 - 48). Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources.

Glazier, 1. A. & Filby, P. W. (Eds.). (1992-1995). Italians to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports, 1880-1899 (Vols. I - 5). Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources.

Glazier, 1. A., & Tepper, M. (Eds.). (1983-1986). The Famine Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 18461851 (Vols. 1 - 7). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing.

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