Shipwrecked Passengers To America, 1817-1875

Frank A. Biebel

This collection mainly covers shipwrecks of European ships traveling to the United States, although some ships to Canada and other countries are included. Most of these 339 ships were wrecked and did not make it to port.

All details of each wreck are given, including

  • Port of embarkation
  • Destination port
  • Account of the wreck
  • Names of known survivors
  • Disposition of survivors
  • Passenger lists (if available)


More About This Collection: 

For those who survived, these records serve to document the story of a unique and rare immigration experience; for those who died, the records serve as a particularly tragic death record.

About half of the 339 ships have passenger information available, usually in the form of a manifest produced prior to embarkation. Ships covered do not include ships that sank without a trace, military or fishing vessels, or vessels with crew only.

The main sources used by Biebel were newspaper accounts and, in some cases, passenger lists from the port of departure that were submitted to the immigration authorities of New York.