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* Major ports of exit and entry

Ports of Exit from Europe and Britain

When you are searching for your ancestors' names on a passenger list, it can be helpful to know what port they left from. Before the days of airplanes, European immigrants, who came from all over Britain and Europe, couldn't just sail from any city or town. They had to go to a port where the ships made regular trips to the United States. Below is a list of major ports that ships often left from. It's likely that your ancestors sailed on a ship leaving from the port that was closest to them.

Belgium: Antwerp

Denmark: Copenhagen

England: Liverpool, Southampton

Estonia: Tallinn

Finland: Helsinki

France: Le Havre, Marseilles, Cherbourg

Germany: Bremen, Hamburg

Gibraltar: A British colony

Greece: Patras, Piraeus

Ireland: Cobh, Dublin, Galway, Queenstown

Italy: Naples, Genoa, Palermo, Trieste

Netherlands: Rotterdam

Northern Ireland: Belfast, Derry, Londonderry

Norway: Bergen, Stavanger, Oslo

Poland: Gdynia, Memel/Klaipeda, Gdansk

Portugal: Lisbon

Russia: Odessa, St. Petersburg/Leningrad, Riga, Libau/Liepaja, Memel/Klaipeda

Scotland: Glasgow

Spain: Barcelona

Sweden: Goteborg

Turkey: Constantinople/Istanbul

Yugoslavia: Rijeka, Fiume

Ports of Entry into the United States

Not all immigrants were greeted by the sight of the Statue of Liberty when they arrived in the United States. There are ports of entry all up and down the East Coast, as well as a few on the West Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Canadian border. Below is a list of U.S. ports for which the National Archives has passenger arrival records. For information about looking up passenger arrival records, see Locating Ship Passenger Lists, by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, C.G.

Alexandria, Virginia

Annapolis, Maryland

Apalachicola, Florida

Baltimore, Maryland

Bangor, Maine

Barnstable, Massachusetts

Bath, Maine

Belfast, Maine

Beaufort, North Carolina

Beverly/Salem, Massachusetts

Boca Grande, Florida

Boston, Massachusetts

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgetown, New Jersey

Bristol/Warren, Rhode Island

Brunswick, Georgia

Cape May, New Jersey

Carrabelle, Florida

Charleston, South Carolina

Darien, Georgia

Dighton, Massachusetts

East River, Virginia

Edenton, North Carolina

Edgartown, Massachusetts

Fairfield, Connecticut

Fall River, Massachusetts

Falmouth/Portland, Maine

Fernandina, Florida

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Galveston, Texas

Georgetown, District of Columbia

Georgetown, South Carolina

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gulfport, Mississippi

Hampton, Virginia

Havre de Grace, Maine

Hartford, Connecticut

Hingham, Massachusetts

Jacksonville, Florida

Kennebunk, Maine

Key West, Florida

Knights Key, Florida

Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey

Los Angeles, California

Marblehead, Massachusetts

Mayport, Florida

Miami, Florida

Middletown, Connecticut

Millville, Florida

Mobile, Alabama

Nantucket, Massachusetts

New Bedford, Massachusetts

New Burn, North Carolina

New Haven, Connecticut

New London, Connecticut

New Orleans, Louisiana

New York, New York

Newark, New Jersey

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Newport, Rhode Island

Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia

Oswegatchie, New York

Panama City, Florida

Pascagoula, Mississippi

Passamaquoddy, Maine

Penobscot, Maine

Pensacola, Florida

Perth Amboy, New Jersey

Petersburg, Virginia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, North Carolina

Port Everglades, Florida

Port Inglis, Florida

Port Royal, South Carolina

Port St. Joe, Florida

Portland/Falmouth, Maine

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth/Norfolk, Virginia

Providence, Rhode Island

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Richmond, Virginia

Rochester, New York

Sag Harbor, New York

St. Albans, Vermont

St. Andrews, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Johns, Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida

Salem/Beverly, Massachusetts

San Francisco, California

Sandusky, Ohio

Savannah, Georgia

Saybrook, Connecticut

Seattle, Washington

Tampa, Florida

Waldoboro, Maine

Warren/Bristol, Rhode Island

Washington, North Carolina

West Palm Beach, Florida

Wilmington, Delaware

Wiscasset, Maine

Yarmouth, Maine

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