us who conduct research about our family's immigration history often
find information about their transatlantic voyages by searching
databases such as those provided by New York's former Castle Garden
and of course the Ellis Island Foundation. However, the ability to find information
about later immigrations, i.e. after they closed Ellis Island, is
us assume that during the years the Ellis Island Immigration Center
was opened, most every immigrant passed through there to become an
immigrant. However, when Ellis Island stopped becoming the center
where immigrants entered the U.S. in 1924, where did they enter New
York? Generally, they didn't enter through Ellis Island, but
disembarked at a pier somewhere in New York, most likely in
Manhattan or Brooklyn, or even in New Jersey, e.g. at a Hoboken Pier
(across the Hudson River from Manhattan), or at one in Jersey City
researchers who might want information on such immigrations, e.g.
during the late 1930s or 1940s, we need to know what resources are
available to us.
resource is the "Shipping News" that was generally published in
local newspapers. Some newspapers only list the ships that are
arriving that day or the next, as well as those departing. However,
the Brooklyn Daily Eagle often published the "shipping news" within
their Classified section.
important question to ask is what information does the table with
the "shipping news" provide?
1. The name of the vessel.
2. The name of the shipping line.
3. The port from which the arriving vessel sailed.
4. The month and day when the vessel departed the port.
5. The location where the vessel will arrive, most often the number
of the port and the street where the pier is located.
6. The hour the vessel is scheduled to arrive.
departing vessels, similar information is available (except in
may gain more information by using this resource. Not only will it
confirm (or deny) what information we might have been given
previously, but it will tell us where particular immigrants
disembarked and when--not only the day but the time too!
resource for finding the copy of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that
contains the information we want can be found at
a wonderful resource not only for the topic at hand, but also to
find information from old newspapers that have been published in New
search field, to locate the newspaper page you seek, you may enter
"shipping news" "January" "1939" if you are interested in a vessel
that either arrived or departed from a pier in the New York metro
area sometime in January 1939. Be sure to place quotation marks
around these words and select the "all of the words" option from the
drop down box. You might not find the information you're looking
for, but it's worth a shot!
an example of a Shipping News table from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
from January 20, 1939. Note too that the table gives you tidal
information as well as sunrise and sunset (just in case you're