What if my Ancestor isn't in the Database?
Don't panic, this just means that you will have to do a little research
on your own. It turns out that you now know two important facts. First,
your ancestor is not listed on any index for the major U.S. ports, so you
can assume that they entered through New York between 1847 and 1897, the
time period for which there is no index. Second, your ancestor was not on
board any of the ships indexed by Filby and Glazier which covers about 90%
of the ships from German ports that landed at New York in this time period.
If you want to try searching the New York Passenger Lists on your own,
here is the recomended way to do it.
- Estimate the year of arrival based on census returns, naturalization
records, year of marriage, age of their children, whatever information
you have available.
- Go to a major library that has a copy of the German Immigrants to
- Make a list of all the ships from Germanic ports (Bremen, Hamburg,
Stettin, Rotterdam, LeHarve) that are in Filby and Glazier for that
year. This list will be quite long, but remember, these are all the
passenger lists that you DON'T have to research.
- Go to a genealogical research center that has a copy of the New York
passenger lists (national archives, national archives regional branch,
LDS at Salt Lake, local LDS family history center, Newberry Library,
Allen County library, etc).
- Look at the New York passenger lists for the year that you identified.
Pick out the ships sailing from German ports that are NOT on your list.
There will be approximately 1 - 2 rolls of microfilm per month depending
on the year you are researching. Each roll will contain several hundred
passenger lists. However, most of these are for ships that came from
ports that are either not of concern (such as England, Australia, South
America) OR they are already on your list and don't need to be searched.
There are typically only about 5 ships per month that you will meet
your search criteria.
- Scan for the name Bauerschmidt in the passenger lists of ships that
meet your criteria. Bauerschmidt is a long and distinct name and is
pretty easy to spot. Since most of the passenger lists on your roll of
microfilm are not of concern to you, the search will not take as long
as you think.
- Do others a favor, If you find a Bauerschmidt name, write it down.
Even if it is not your ancestor. Send that information in and it will
be added to the immigrant database, once verified. That way, no one
else will have to repeat your research.
What If I Am Still Stuck?
- First, double check your estimated year of entry. Try expanding your
search by 6 months either side. Try this a few times in case you were
off by a few years.
- If you are positive about the year, expand your list of ports. Sometimes
German immigrants crossed the channel and sailed to the U.S. from England.
For a first cut you were told to ignore those ports. But, if you didn't find
your ancestors, and you are sure of the year of immigration, try repeating
the method above looking at ships from British ports (Liverpool, Glasgow,
Remember you still don't have to look through every passenger list, only the
ones that are not indexed by Filby and Glazier.
- If that doesn't work, try posting a query over email. Perhaps another
Bauerschmidt researcher has a better lead for you to follow.
- Expand your search of U.S. ports. Try looking at passengers who landed
at New York but traveled on to Baltimore, or the Erie Canal or even the
Great Lakes ports of Buffalo or Sandusky. Not many German immigrants
used these, but if you are stuck, give it a try.
- Don't panic. Sooner or later your ancestor will show up on a passenger
list somewhere. One thing is for sure, they had to sail to the U.S.
They certainly didn't walk, swim or fly!