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General information on passenger lists

Progress report

Databases

Important notes

Abbreviations

Translation

Instructions for Search Forms

Ships List

Curious facts

Notes about data base sources

 

Search Form

 

Passengers Data Base

 

sailing ship

 

dingGeneral Information on Passenger Lists and Sources

For general information on available passenger lists to and from Cuba and other sources of information please visit our Passenger Lists page.

 

dingProgress Report

The following checklist provides a compact summary of the months transcribed from newspaper lists. This checklist will be updated periodically as we transcribe more dates. You can see that there is a very long way still to go!!!

 

dingPassenger Data Base

We have designed our data base to allow searching the entire database for a first or second surname and/or ship number in one step.

To search the passenger data base, first read the important notes and instructions below and then go to the search form using the following button:

 

search form

 

dingImportant notes on the data:

  1. Names such as "de la Torre" or "del Sol" are listed by the surname as "Torre (de la)" or "Sol (del)" to facilitate searching and sorting. Exceptions to this rule are the german "Von" and the dutch "Van" which have been included in the surname.

  2. We have omitted the space that sometimes appears in surnames that start with "Mac" or "Mc" between this part and the rest of the surname.

  3. All accents and the diaeresis over the letter "ü", for example in the surnames "Agüero", "Argüelles" and "Güell", have been removed to facilitate searching and sorting.

  4. Spelling errors were quite common in newspaper listings and that names have been transcribed as close as possible as they appeared (without correcting errors). Be sure to search for any obvious variations and also search for only the first few letters of the surname to make sure you don't miss any variations..

  5. Many first names in the newspaper listings were published in the Spanish equivalent. Thus "John" appears as "Juan", "Joseph" appears as "Jose", "James" appears as "Santiago", "Henry" appears as "Enrique", "William" appears as "Guillermo", "Walter" appears as "Gualterio", etc.

  6. Please note that the following people are usually not named in the passenger lists:

    • accompanying children
    • accompanying family members (with some exceptions)
    • accompanying servants and assistants.
    • soldiers and sailors (with the exception of some high ranking officers).
    • asiatics and people of color.
    • prisoners and confined individuals.
    • day labourers.
    • survivors from shipwrecks picked up.
    • passengers in transit.
  7. Some passenger lists, particularly on French and British Ships, sometimes only list the surname and not the first name.

 

dingAbreviations

The following common abbreviations appear frequently in the data:

Da. Doña
Dr. Doctor
Excmo. Excelentísimo (His Excellency)
Illmo. Ilustrísimo (Illustrious)
Lcdo. Licenciado (Licensed, i.e. attorney)
Mad. Madame (Mrs.)
Miss. Miss.
Mme. Madame (Mrs.)
Mr. Mister
Mrs. Mrs. (wife)
Pbro. Presbítero (Presbiter)
Sr. Señor (Mr.)
Sra. Señora (Mrs.)
Srta. Señorita (Miss.)
   
   
   

The following abbreviations sometimes appear in the first names:

Ch. Charles
de D. de Dios
de J. de Jesus
de la C. de la Cruz (male or female), de la Caridad (female), de la Concepcion (female)
de la M. ? (male)
de la P. ? (male)
de la R. ? (male)
Ma. Maria
F. de P. Francisco de Paula
Geo. George
Ed. Eduardo / Edward
   
   
   

 

dingTranslation of Common Terms

Here is a translation of some common terms appearing in the remarks column of the data:

amigo / amiga
friend (male) / friend (female)
criado / criada
servant (male) / servant (female)
familia
family
hermano / hermana
brother / sister
hijo / hija
son/daughter
nieto / nieta
grandson / granddaughter
niño / niña
child (male) / child (female)
secretario
secretary (male)
señora
wife
sobrino / sobrina
nephew / niece

 

dingInstructions for using the search form:

The instructions are shown at the bottom of the search form.

 

dingShips List

For a listing of the transcribed ships with corresponding dates and source information visit our Ships List.

 

dingAdditional Information on Passengers

We are often asked if there is any additional information about the passengers. Unfortunately, the newspaper lists only show the passenger names and sometimes a functional description of any acompanying person, such as "Sra." (spouse), "hijo" (son), "criado" (servant), etc. There are, however, some additinal steps you can take to search for additional information (it should be noted in passing that CubaGenWeb does not perform this type of investigations):

  • Use the passenger search form to search for the ship number (the part before the dash such as "C1234"). This will list all the passengers on the ship. Look particularly at those listed next to the passenger of interest. Many times a relative or friend who was traveling together may appear next to the passenger.
  • If the ship originates or terminates in New York, you can search for the ship's manifest at www.ellisisland.org. The manifest usually lists the person's age, occupation, country of residence and sometimes address where they will be staying in the USA. This is free of charge.
  • If the ship originates or teminates at a US port, you can search for the ship's manifest at Ancestry.com. You will need a paid subscription to do this.
  • Information from some ports, particularly in Europe, have been transcribed by the Immigrant Ancestors Project of Brigham Young University.
  • We know of no way to search the inmigration records in Cuba. They are not available on-line and they do not reply to requests from abroad. If you have a contact in Cuba, you might ask them to investigate in person.
  • You may be able to search the emigration records at the port of departure, but in general most of these are poorly kept and not available on-line.
  • Check our page of links to other web sites to check for possible additional sources.

 

dingCurious Facts

For a number of curious facts about the ships and maritime commerce of the time visit our Curious Facts page.

 

dingNotes about the various sources used in our data base

NOTE

In this page we only describe what has been transcribed to our data base. For a discussion of other available passenger list sources, please visit our page dedicated to Passenger Lists.

Our data base currently includes the following:

  • 1205 passengers who sailed form Gijon, Asturias to Habana and Matanzas in 1840-1871, contributed by Jorge Piñon Cervera and D. Eduardo Nuñez Fernandez.
  • 35 passengers who sailed from the Canary Islands to Habana in 1686, contributed by Miriam Rivera and Dave Chudleigh.
  • 706 passengers who arrived or departed Habana from/to various ports of origin in Spain, Mexico and the US in 1842-1876, contributed by Lydia Reyes.
  • 228 passengers who were authorized by the Casa de Contratación to travel to Cuba in 1567-1599.
  • 1796 passengers who arrived in Habana (and a few to other ports in Cuba) from various ports of origin in Spain, England, Mexico and the US in 1848-1891.
  • 1026 agricultural laborers and their family members who emigrated to Cuba in 1889-1890 from the Spanish provinces of: Granada, Malaga, Santander, Cadiz, Canaries, Coruña, and Madrid, taking advantage of a Royal Decree providing them with free passage and lands to work in the Island.

Please understand that the database represents only a miniscule fraction of the passengers arriving in Cuba. Only a few papers have been reviewed and only some of them carried passenger lists. Many newspapers ceased to publish passenger lists after about 1876, probably because of the advent of steamships carrying as many as 600 passengers in one trip. Please understand also that not all arriving passengers were immigrants. Many, specially after 1850, were visitors (tourists and business men) or military officers (soldiers names were usually not individually listed).

Please refer to our main Passenger Lists page for additional sources.

 

Passengers from Asturias to Cuba (ship # starting with "A")

by Jorge Piñón Cervera

Throughout the second half of the XIX century nearly one hundred thousand Asturians departed their homeland bound for America in search of a better life and employment opportunities, as well as a way of avoiding mandatory military service. Most, four out of five, were bound for Cuba.

Between 1840 and 1870 a group of small shippers ran passenger service between the port of Gijon and the Cuban ports of La Habana and Matanzas. The crossing, a 40-50 days venture, was carried out in sail power vessels such as corvettes, schooners and brigs. The brigs and schooners were two masted sailboats which transported over two hundred passengers in very difficult and crowded conditions. The two masted schooners, medium sized vessels with an average weight of around 200 tons and about 40 meters in length, have their roots in the Antillean balahú and in the North American schooners whose design migrated to Europe at the end of the XVIII century.

Passenger lists from Galician and Asturian ports to Cuba are nearly non existent, and very difficult to locate. Hard and tedious research, along with the support of D. Eduardo Núñez Fernández, Archivist of the Archivo Municipal de Gijón, help to locate passenger lists for nine transatlantic voyages between 1858-1871 carrying over 1200 passengers. Some of the lists name the township of residence of the passenger along with his passport number; others simply list the individual’s name. There are three trips by the brig “Victoria”, two trips by the corvette “Villa de Gijón”, and a trip each by the brigs “Pepe” and “Habana”, a well as a voyage by the schooner “Casualidad”.

Once again we will like to thank the Archivo Municipal de Gijón for its support in this search, as well as the Vigil-Colunga family from Noreña in transcribing the passengers names along with interpreting the difficult calligraphy used during the period.

For the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form please visit our ships list.

To read further about the emigration from Asturias, Galicia and Cataluña to Cuba we suggest the following references (all in Spanish):

  • Anes Álvarez, Rafael; “La Emigración de Asturianos a América”. Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1993.
  • Gómez Gómez, Pedro; “De Asturias A América, Cuba. (1850-1930) La Comunidad Asturiana de Cuba”. Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1996.
  • Martínez Shaw, Carlos; “La Emigración Española a América (1492-1824)”. Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1994.
  • Rodríguez Galdo, Maria Xose; “Galicia, País de Emigración”. Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1993.
  • Segura Soriano, Isabel; “Viatgers Catalans al Carib: Cuba”. Publicacions de L’Abadia de Montserrat, Barcelona, 1997.
  • Sonesson, Birgit; “Catalanes en las Antillas; Un Estudio de Casos”. Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1995.
  • Uria González, Jorge; “Asturias y Cuba en Torno al 98”. Editorial Labor, Barcelona, 1994.
  • Villares, Ramón; “Historia da Emigración Galega a América”. Xunta de Galica, Santiago de Compostela, 1996.
  • Yáñez Gallardo, Cesar; “La Emigración Española a América (Siglos XIX y XX). Fundación Archivo de Indianos, Colombres, Asturias, 1994.
  • Duque de Estrada, Dolores y de Als, Fernando, "Emigración en el Oriente de Asturias (1845-1860) y Genealogías de Indianos", Temas de Llanes n 59, Editorial el Oriente de Asturias, Llanes 1992. (according to the author this book contains more complete information on the voyages of the ship Villa de Gijón).

 

Passengers from Canary Islands to Cuba (ship # starting with "B")

Thanks to the labor and courtesy of Miriam Rivera and Dave Chudleigh, the names of 35 passengers who sailed form the Port of Orotava (Puerto de la Cruz de Orotava), Tenerife, Canary Islands to Habana (San Cristobal de La Habana) aboard the vessel Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Juan (3 Mar 1686 to 12 Jun 1683) have been added to the passenger data base.

For the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form please visit our ships list.

Miriam Rivera has posted on her web site a list of sailing vessels that plied the route between the Canary Islands, Puerto Rico and Cuba in the years 1756-1773. She has also posted a list of trips in the years 1680-1687. You can reach these lists of ships and trips by means of this link. No passenger lists other than the above are available.

To read further about the emigration from the Canary Islands to the New World we suggest the following reference (in Spanish):

  • Manuel Hernández González; "La Emigración Canaria a América (1765-1824)", Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria, Tenerife, 1996 - ISBN: 84-7926-223-0.

 

Newspaper Passenger Lists (ship # starting with "C", "M" or "P")

During the 1800's many cargo and passenger ships arrived daily in Habana and other ports of Cuba. Ship arrivals were usually documented in various newspapers, notably the Diario de la Marina and the Gaceta de la Habana, both official newspapers of Habana. Sometimes, but not always, passenger lists were also published by the newspapers. Please keep in mind that such newspaper lists often have typographical and transcription errors, so when you search for a particular name also search for possible variations. Also be aware that first names were commonly recorded in their Spanish version (Guillermo instead of William, Juan instead of John, etc.).

Be aware also of the customary ship routes. Ships saling from Spain, particularly Cadiz, usually stopped at the Canary Islands before crossing the Atlantic Ocean and stopped at Puerto Rico before proceeding to Cuba. Ships saling from England usually stopped at Nassau and/or San Tomas (Saint Thomas) before proceeding to Cuba.

The bulk of the newspaper transcriptions have been done with the valuable help of Mariela Fernandez and Lourdes del Pino, both active members of the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, who have generously taken much of their time to scan the microfilms of the newspapers into computer readable form at the libraries of the University of Miami and Florida International University. The transcription from the computer files to our data base has been done primarily by your Webmaster (it's amazing how you start recognizing names of ships and of the "frequent flyers").

Thanks to the efforrts of the prolific Lydia Reyes, the names of 706 passengers who arrived in La Habana in 1842-1876, aboard 27 ships, are also included in the passenger data base.

Most of the newspaper sources are microfilms in special library collections at the University of Miami and Florida International University. A few of the newspapers form part of various dossiers in the Spain On-Line Archives (Archivos Españoles en la Red).

For the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form please visit our ships list.

The date shown on the ship list and on the entry in the database is the date of publication of the newspaper containing the passenger list. Actual ship arrival was either on the same date (usually for vapores or steamships) or 1 or 2 days before the publication of the passenger list (usually for sailing vessels). We have elected to list the publication date, rather than the arrival date, to facilitate the researcher retrieving the published information.

 

Libros de Asientos (Books of Seats) - (ship # starting with "D")

On 20 Nov 1503, only 9 years after the discovery of America, the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella, created in Seville, by Royal Decree the "Casa de Contratacion" (House of Contracting). To this organization was given the exclusive right to control all movement of people and goods to and from the new territories. Along with the selection of Seville as the home of the new organization, all ships were required to sail from and terminate their travel in the port of Seville (on the Guadalquivir river) as the only authorized point to transact shipping to and from the Indies (as the territories of America were known). Seville was home to this monopoly for more than 200 years (1503-1717). There was only one period (1529-1573) where 8 spanish ports were authorized to send ships directly ot the Indies, although still under the supervision of the Casa and still with the obligation of terminating the return voyage in Seville. The relatively shallow depth of the Guadalquivir river did not permit all the ships to sail with all their cargo all the way to Seville and, because of this reason, ships were eventually authorized to load and unload cargo in the port of Cadiz. The Casa was eventually moved to Cadiz in 1717 and the commerce laws were gradually opened until in 1790 the Casa was terminated. For a good article on the Casa de Contratacion (in Spanish) visit the web site of Julio Dominguez Arjona.

During the period when the Casa was active, all persons wishing to travel to and/or to settle in these overseas territories were required to apply for and be granted a license. Sometimes these licenses were granted for a limited period of time, perhaps a few years. All surviving correspondence and records related to the Indies, including the licenses and passenger lists, called "Libros de Asientos" (Books of Seats) are now kept in the Archivo General de Indias (AGI or General Archive of the Indies) in Seville. The AGI has published several books which are compilations of the passenger lists in the Libro de Asientos. We are fortunate in having three of these volumes and have transcribed all the names of passengers whose destination is listed as either Cuba or Habana. Note that there very few people travelling to Cuba in those early years (only 228 out of 15,999 entries)

Please note that the actual lists do not include the name of the ship or the port of departure, as the list just indicates that a permit to travel was granted. The entries in the books sometimes have some limited additional data, such as the names of the parents, spouse, children or other accompanying persons. If you are really interestd in a particular individual, please drop us an e-mail and we will try to provide you with any additional information that appears in the entry (please be sure to mention our complete reference number that appears in the first column of the search form and note that this offer is limited only to entries with a refernce number starting with "D05", "D06" or "D07", which are the only ones in our possession.).

The following is the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form:

number
ship
date
from
to
D01-xxx not specified 1514-1534 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D02-xxx not specified 1535-1538 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D03-xxx not specified 1539-1559 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D04-xxx not specified 1560-1566 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D05-xxx not specified 1567-1577 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D06-xxx not specified 1578-1585 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba
D07-xxx not specified 1586-1599 not specified (probably Seville) Habana or Cuba

 

The names in the above lists have been extracted from the following references:

  • The data correponding to the years 1514-1566 (References D01, D02, D03 and D04) were extracted by Miguel Angel Fernandez Gonzalez from Volumes I, II, III and IV of the "Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias" obtained in library loans in Madrid (these rare volumes were never reissued).
  • Luis Romera Iruela y Maria del Carmen Galbis Diez, "Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias, Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII", Volumen V, tomos I y II, (1567-1577), Archivo General de las Indias, Ministerio de Cultura , 1980, ISBN 84-7483-185-7 (our Reference D05).
  • Maria del Carmen Galbis Diez, "Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias, Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII", Volumen VI (1578-1585), Archivo General de las Indias, Ministerio de Cultura, 1986, ISBN 84-505-4357-6 (our Reference D06).
  • Maria del Carmen Galbis Diez, "Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias, Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII", Volumen VII (1586-1599), Archivo General de las Indias, Ministerio de Cultura, 1986, ISBN 84-505-4357-6 (our Reference D07).

Please note that the LDS Church has microfilmed the first 3 volumes of the above Catalog and also the original Libros de Asientos for the period 1509-1701. You can find a list of these microfilms by visiting our web page dedicated to Passenger Lists

 

Licenses for Travel to the Island of Cuba (ship # starting with "E")

After 1800, licenses (passports) for travel to the Island of Cuba were issued, first by the Council of the Indies (Consejo de las Indias) and then by the Ministry of State (Secretaria de Estado), the Office of Issuance of Grace and Justice (Despacho de Gracia y Justicia), by the Office of Overseas Government (Despacho de Gobernacion de Ultramar) and by Universal Office of the Indies (Despacho Universal de las Indias). The related files of application papers (expedientes) are kept in the Archive of the Indies (Archivo General de las Indias or AGI) in Seville. Some of the indices to these files are available at the on-line Spanish Archives: Archivos Españoles en Red (AER). We are in process of transcribing the passenger names appearing in these indices. Note that no additional information appears in the indices, only the names and year of the application file.

The following is the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form:

number date AGI reference code
E326-xxx 1801-1803 ES.41091.AGI/16411.327//ULTRAMAR,326
E327-xxx 1804-1811 ES.41091.AGI/16411.328//ULTRAMAR,327
E328-xxx

1812-1813

ES.41091.AGI/16411.329//ULTRAMAR,328
E329-xxx 1814-1815 ES.41091.AGI/16411.330//ULTRAMAR,329
E340-xxx 1821-1822 ES.41091.AGI/16411.341//ULTRAMAR,340
E364-xxx 1833-1835 ES.41091.AGI/16411.365//ULTRAMAR,364

Additional lists of licenses can be found at the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami web site.

 

White Colonization of the Island (ship # starting with "F")

To increase the population of whites on the Island, the Ministry of Ultramar issued a Royal Decree on 23 September 1889 and a Royal Order on 12 October 1898 (note 1) authorizing the transportation, free of charge, of 250 families of agricultural colonists from Spain to the Island of Cuba. Many families from all regions of Spain took advantage of this offer. Lists of the applications for emigration, as well as receipts for their food and lodging and telegrams to Cuban civil government officials advising them of the impending arrival of colonists, were generated by Spain civil government offices and can be found in the Spain Archives on the Web (Archivos Espanoles en la Red) or AER. Lydia Reyes has located these documents for us and we are in process of transcribing these lists into our passenger data base for your convenience.

In most cases, the ages of the indivuduals are given in the civil government lists and have been transcribed in the "remarks" column (it is remarkable how many small children accompanied this venture).

The following is the key to the numbers appearing in the first column of the search form:

number AER location
F174-14-bb-xxZ Ultramar,174,exp.14 Block bb
F174-15-bb-xxZ Ultramar,174,exp.15 Block bb
F174-16-bb-xxZ Ultramar,174,exp.16 Block bb
F174-17-bb-xxZ Ultramar,174,exp.17 Block bb
F174-18-bb-xxZ Ultramar,174,exp.18 Block bb

The "xx" indicates the sequence of the family in the original document. The last letter "Z" indicates the members of a given family (where A= head of family, B= spouse, C-xxx = accompanying children or other adults). Please note that the spouse's surname is generally not the same as the head of household, so she may be listed in another data base file. This also may apply to any accompanyiing adults.

NOTES:

  1. Sometimes the dates of these documents are given as 20 September and 13, 17, 18 or 25 October respectively.
  2. Many names appearing in list F174-14-67 also appear in F174-14-37. Similarly list F174-15-59 repeats many names from list F174-015-38. We have used the clearest information and not transcribed the duplicates.

 

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Passengers Data Base - Updated 01-Aug-2013

Copyright © 2007-2013 - Ed Elizondo
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FIRST NAME

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