This is a weblog about genealogy in and about the State of Ohio. It will feature news and views (mostly mine) about developments of interest to genealogists doing research in Ohio, no matter where they reside.--Wally Huskonen

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New FREE Castle Garden Immigrant Database

I have just explored the relatively new and FREE Castle Garden Immigrant Database--and I’m quite impressed.

Castle Garden's dates of operation were August 1, 1855 through April 18, 1890. The Barge Office then became the point of entry until Ellis Island opened in 1892.

On another mail list, listers have reported that according to David Bromwich of The Battery Conservancy, the completed database will contain twelve million records - 8.5 million people who entered through Castle Garden and 3.5 million who entered the Port of New York between 1820 and 1855 and between 1890 and 1892. The total records include not only the Castle Garden period, but the period between the closing of Castle Garden in 1890 and the opening of Ellis Island in 1892 when the Barge Office was processing records. The Barge Office was also located in the Battery. Reportedly, Ira Glazier has been coordinating the project for them, and has included a number of records from other ports that have been important in his research. This explains the presence of the New Orleans port records.

This will be a very valuable research tool for searchers for 19th century immigrants. And plans call for it to be even more valuable. From the website: “Currently the site hosts 10 million records, and support is needed to complete the digitization of the remaining 2 million records, beginning in 1820, from the original ship manifests.”

Going to , I searched for Heinrich Scheppelmann who arrived in New York from Germany in 1853. The website provided the information below:


Name: Heinrich Scheppelmann
Occupation: Unknown
Age: 25
Sex: M
Literacy: U
Arrived: 1853-10-19
Origin: Germany
Port: Bremerhaven
Last Residence: Nienburg
Destination: New York
Plan: Unknown
Ship: Matilda
Passage: Unknown

By comparison, the Ancestry.com Immigrant Database, which is available by subscription, provided only the barest information for Heinrich.

Name: Hein Scheppelmann
Year: 1853
Age: 25
Place: New York, New York

To get additional information, I am directed to consult German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1847-1854, With Places of Origin, Gary J. Zimmerman and Marion Wolfert, compilers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987. I was directed to consult p. 131 to find additional information.

Happy searching.