Tracking Down Your Ancestors Using the Filby Collection
June 14, 2012
Finding your ancestor’s name in a passenger list can be a challenge. The answer might be found using the collection of P. William Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index located in the Passenger List section of the Midwest Genealogy Center. The books contain thousands of passenger lists and naturalization records compiled from various sources. In fact, from 1980 to 2012, nine sets of the Filby books were published. The books are compiled yearly and then made into sets every five years.
Using the Filby books to find that elusive record of your ancestors' crossing to America does involve a little effort though. The first step is to search each set of the books for the name of your immigrant ancestor. You may need to consider several variations of the spelling of the surname (last name) in order to locate him. It might also be necessary to use the original version of the given name (first name), for example, Heinrich as well as Henry.
When you find the name you’re searching for, note the Filby reference number and look for it in the front of that volume listed in the bibliography. Most of the collection can be found within the Midwest Genealogy Center’s collection on the first floor. The reference department will tell you the exact location. Because the Filby collection includes naturalization lists as well as passenger lists, there may be more than one reference for your ancestor. So, if you are hunting for a family member who emigrated to America and have yet to find out when or where, try the Filby book collection at the Genealogy Center.
Midwest Genealogy Center