There are a number of free websites where you can search for passenger arrival records (manifests). Some are very general and some can be very specific. Here are some that we have found particularly helpful- and they are totally free.
libertyellisfoundation.org An extensive, free listing of manifests for ships that arrived in New York between 1892 and 1924- the years during which Ellis Island was America's primary immigrant processing center and where 12 million immigrants were processed. This manifest archive has been expanded beyond the peak years at Ellis Island to include Port of New York passenger records from 1820 to 1957. This web site was developed and is maintained by the American Family Immigration History Center located on Ellis Island.
- An extensive free listing of web sites and web pages useful for genealogical research.
- Another free site that has 270,000+ links for research on family histories.
- The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages.
- A service provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
- One of the largest collections of historical documents from the 1800s through 1954 with concentrations in Steamship and Ocean Liner documents and photographs, passenger lists, U.S. Navy Archives and additional materials covering World Wars I and II, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Immigration documents from Ellis Island, Castle Garden and other Immigration Stations.
- A very helpful collection of sites with links and resources for doing German genealogical research.
- A website that features thousands of databases, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry find family members.
- archives.gov The website of the National Archives and Records Administration is very comprehensive. Learn more about Tracing Family History at the National Archives.
Learning More about Your Ancestors | Finding Arrival Records Online | Tracing Family History at the National Archives | Conducting Family History Research on Ellis Island