Don’t overlook this port of entry when researching 19th century immigration routes. Thousands of immigrants, primarily from Germany and Eastern Europe, disembarked at the port of Galveston, Texas, between 1846 and 1948.
Beginning in the 1830s, Galveston was an increasingly popular port of entry for German immigrants. Up to 20,000 German immigrants settled in Texas after Texas Independence in March 1836 and prior to U.S. annexation in December 1845. Many settled in the Texas towns of New Braunfels and Fredericksburg.
Note: If your German ancestors passed through the port of Galveston prior to 1847, you won’t find their passenger records on Microfilm Series M575 (see below) because during that time, Texas was an independent nation and not subject to U.S. Customs Passenger statutes.
DATABASES AND ONLINE RESOURCES
- Finding Passenger Arrival Records at the Port of Galveston, Texas. Compiled by Joe Beine, German Roots Webmaster,
- Handbook of Texas Online, Jane Manaster, “The Galveston Movement,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/umg01.
- Galveston Immigration Database, Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston Historical Foundation.
- Galveston, Texas City Directories, 1888-91 (available via ancestry.com)
- German and Czech Immigration to Texas: The Bremen to Galveston Route, 1880-1886, Lawrence H. Konecny and Clinton Machann. Nebraska History, Fall/Winter 1993.
- National Archives Microfilm Collection – Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, TX, 1896–1951. M1359. 36 rolls. (PDF)
- Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820–1873. M575. 16 rolls. (PDF)
- Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, TX, 1906-1951. This is an alphabetical index to the names of passengers arriving at Galveston and the subports of Houston and Brownsville, Texas beginning in October 1906.
NARA Roll# / FHL Roll# / Covers
M1358-1 / 1402454 / Aab, Maria–Duquesne, Isidro Ariosa
M1358-2 / 1402455 / Duran, Carlos–Inglis, Elizabeth
M1358-3 / 1402456 / Ingram, Joseph–Lavitjanz, Arschak
M1358-4 / 1402457 / Lawenda, Joel–Papurlieff
M1358-5 / 1402458 / Paracheroff, Dimitar–Schriever
M1358-6 / 1402459 / Schrobenhauser, Anni–Weigert, Jacques
M1358-7 / 1402460 / Weiger, Georg–Zyzora, Wasyi
BOOKS / PRINT RESOURCES
- A New Land Beckoned: German Immigration to Texas, 1844-1847, Chester W. Geue and Ethel H. Geue; 2nd enlarged ed; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1972.
- Ships Passenger Lists, Port of Galveston, Texas, 1846-1871, the Galveston County Genealogical Society; Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
- Galveston: Ellis Island of the West (Suny Series in Modern Jewish History), Bernard Marinbach. June 30, 1984.