Some may find names here they are looking for. Pat
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 5:48 PM
Subject: [IRISH-NYC] Fwd: Alms House Records w/ Ships Names 1855-1858
Message forwarded from otg(a)csolve.net
New York City was a very busy port for ships. One of the
difficult things about searching for ancestors arriving
there is that the ships passenger lists aren't indexed from
1847 to 1896.
However I've been working on a project to transcribe the
Alms House Admission Foreigners & Nativity Records ( New
York City, NY) Bond Registers 1855-1858.
These records contain the names of individuals who were
impoverished, and who sought help at the Almshouse. The
transcribed records contain the place of birth of each
individual as well as the name of the ship they sailed on to
reach N. America. The year of arrival is also noted, and the
ports of departure and arrival. This is a wonderful resource
for the unindexed NY years!
Dating back to the colonial era, New York City assumed
responsibility for its citizens who were destitute, sick,
homeless, or otherwise unable to care for themselves.
The city maintained an almshouse, various hospitals, and a
workhouse on Blackwell's Island (now called Roosevelt
Island) for the poor.
The information fields are: Date of Admission, Name, Age,
Nativity, Time of Arrival, Port Sailed From, Port Arrived
At, Ship, Captain, Married or Single, Who Can Identify Them,
How Many Times on The Island, Remarks
The index to the records can be found at
Here is an example of the kinds of information found in the
In Mar 1856 John Coleman, age 15, single, from Ireland
applied for relief. He told the clerk of the Almshouse that
sailed from Liverpool on the Ship Ontario, arriving on 19
Dec. 1855 in New York. He didn't know the Captain's name,
and had no one to vouch for him from New York City. It was
his first time 'on the island" (meaning applying for
relief). He was discharged in April 1856
Sometimes comments were added in the column for death or
discharge dates. For example, poor Bridget Connor applied
for relief on Apr 30, 1855. Bridget, 26, a spinster from
Ireland told the clerk she sailed "about 20 months ago" from
Tralee to Quebec.
Bridget gave her ship name as Payoo or Payne, Captain
O'Donohan commanding. This was her third time on the
island,and the clerk recorded "Stupid" beside her discharge
date of 16 Jan. '57 (If you find an ancestor with such a
notation, or "insane" , don't be alarmed - sometimes not
knowing how to add was enough to be labelled as "stupid"!)
The places of origin and of arrival are not all New York.
Ports of arrival include Quebec, Boston, NY, Philadelphia,
New Orleans, and more.
Places of origin include Ireland, Gilbraltar, Germany,
England, Canada, Switzerland, Holland and more
Start your search of these free records at
Surnames F, M, Mc, S and W were added today. A big thank you
goes to volunteer Nancy Profit for her hard work in
transcribing those surnames.
This set of records adds to the existing records I have
already transcribed and put online for the NYC Almshouse for
1819-1827 (with 1828 to 1840 to follow) starting at
I hope you enjoy this set of records; it's great fun
reading and transcribing these wonderful entries!
**Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you
think might be interested**
tml NARA & FHC film numbers for NY passenger lists after
Passenger Lists to New York all years
Search Engine for online Internet Passenger Lists to NY