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After the Louisiana Purchase, American citizens from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and other states poured into St. Louis. Soon German immigrants joined the community. Some docked on the east coast, migrating to St. Louis via the Ohio River and Mississippi River.

If you think your immigrant arrived in New York between 1855 and 1891, check the Castle Garden website. If your immigrant arrived in New York after 1892, check the Ellis Island website. This website is a free site with an index to original ship manifests from 1892 to 1924 and online access to scanned images of the original documents.
However, many St. Louis immigrants sailed from the old country to New Orleans and then traveled up the Mississippi River by steamboat.

The Irish followed similar patterns as did people of many other nationalities. St. Louis was the Gateway to the West. Some of the immigrants stayed in St. Louis for the rest of their lives, while others continued west along the Missouri River.

Bryan Mullanphy, who died in 1851, was an early immigrant who made his fortune in St. Louis. He established the Mullanphy Emigrant Relief Fund to assist other immigrants. The mission was to help “all poor emigrants coming to St. Louis on their way, bona fide, to settle in the West.”

An indication of the international community that immigrated to St. Louis was the number of foreign government consulates located in St. Louis in 1909. The countries represented by embassies included Argentina, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Persia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, San Salvador, and Venezuela.


Bellis, Genevieve Hoehn. German Immigrant to Missouri. Arlington, Virginia: privately printed, No date.

Colletta, John Philip. They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record, 3rd edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 2002.

Filby, P. William, editor. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: A Guide to Published Arrival Records of More than 1,775,000 Passengers Who Came to the New World between the Sixteenth and the Early Twentieth Centuries. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1981–present.

Filby, P. William. Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538–1900: Being a Guide to Published Lists of Arrivals in the United States and Canada, 2nd edition. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1988.

Glazier, Ira A., editor. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846–1851. 7 volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983–1986.

Glazier, Ira A., editor. Migration from the Russian Empire: Lists of Passengers Arriving at the Port of New York. 6 volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.

Glazier, Ira A., and P. William Filby, editors. Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1988–present.

Glazier, Ira A., editor. Italians to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports, 1880–1899. 12 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1992–present.

Newman, John J. American Naturalization Processes and Procedures, 1790–1985. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society, 1985.


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