This collection contains both transcripts and images of indexes and passenger manifests from the Canadian border entries into the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954. Passage to Canada was generally less expensive than traveling directly to the United States. If you have been unable to discover how your ancestors made it into the United States, it may be that they came in through Canada.
Depending on the type of document, you may be able to discover the following information:
Birth state and country
Event year and date
Images will often provide additional details. Some forms include two pages. Use the arrows on the right side of the image viewer to see all fields related to your ancestor. Depending on the form used, you may be able to learn the following details:
Calling or occupation
Literacy and language
Race or people
Birth city or town
Immigration number and where and when issued
Address in United States
Last permanent residence (city and country)
The name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came – here you may be able to learn the name of your ancestor’s parent, spouse, or sibling.
Final destination in the United States
Ship name and departure and arriving port
Who paid passage
Whether in possession of $50, and if less, how much?
If previously in the United States, when and where?
If joining a relative or friend, the name and address of such individual
Purpose of coming to the United States
Whether ever in prison, a polygamist, or an anarchist
Condition of health, mental and physical
Deformed or crippled – nature, length of time, and cause
Height, in feet and inches
Color of hair and eyes
Marks of identification
Please note that for some, only a family name was recorded. You may also see names crossed off the passenger manifest with a note that the individual did not embark.
United States, Canadian Border Crossings comprises four collections from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which includes both indexes and passenger manifests of entries from Canada into the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954. The collections are as follows:
Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District,1895-1924, M1461
Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports,1924-1952, M1463
Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports,1895-1954, M1464
Manifest of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949, M1465
The passenger manifests from those passing into the United States from Canadian ports will include details about the ship they traveled on (ship name, port of departure, and port of arrival). A surgeon’s affidavit was required by immigration in such cases, declaring that all immigrants aboard could safely enter the country. In creating such an affidavit, the surgeon would examine both the physical and mental states of each immigrant aboard: "Under the authority of sections 12 and 13 of the act of Congress of February 5, 1917, it is hereby directed that on the arrival of a ship bringing passengers from a foreign port to any port of the United States the ship’s surgeon or, if no surgeon, the master shall deliver in person to the United States Immigration and Naturalization officer in charge, or his authorized representative, a complete report […] with respect to all alien passengers, of all injuries, diseases, and illnesses, and births and deaths developing or occurring during the voyage."
Finding your ancestor in these records is easier if you know the general time frame in which your ancestor immigrated. If you are unsure, check out our US Census records to find when they were first recorded, thus providing you with a time range in which to search. The relevant census records are linked to in the Useful links and resources section.
Sometimes only a family name was recorded. If you cannot find your ancestor searching by their full given name, try searching only by last name.