Manifest indexes, 1906 to 1920

Starting in 1906, immigration staff began indexing , which means standardizing information, the names found in the passenger lists. Instead of making a master index, they indexed each passenger list separately. These are the manifest indexes. Poor legibility or gaps in surviving passenger lists makes them unreliable. The manifest indexes are sometimes the only way to find an immigrant’s arrival information.

The indexes are arranged by date of arrival rather than by port. Some of the lists are not in exact date sequence.

The indexes cover the period from March 1, 1906 to the end of December 1920. They include the ports of:

  • Quebec
  • Halifax
  • Saint John

On this page

Before you start

Gather available information such as:

  • name(s)
  • place of origin
  • approximate year of birth
  • approximate year of immigration

Places to look

There are two series of manifest indexes:

  • Main series: microfilms T-521 to T-529, T-5520 to T-5569, and T-16185 to T-16191
  • Retakes : microfilms T-530 to T-533, T-5509 to T-5518.
    • Some of the indexes were poorly microfilmed or missed in the original filming. They were filmed again and called Retakes.

For each manifest index, the title page notes the name of the ship, the port and the date of arrival. The index consists of a series of one or more alphabetical lists that show these details:

  • name
  • age
  • destination
  • page and line number on the passenger list
  • ticket number

For some lists, the index is by name. For other lists, passengers are indexed by group, such as:

  • First class
  • Second class
  • Steerage
  • Steerage to U.S.A

The paper copies of these manifest indexes were destroyed after they were microfilmed.

Search tips

  • If you find your ancestor’s name in one of the indexes, it will tell you the page number on the actual passenger list. You can then look at that list in our database Passenger lists, 1865 to 1922 – Search by ship.
  • When you look at an actual passenger list, note that a page number is not the same as a digital image (page) number.
  • In some cases, the title page is too dark and may be impossible to read. That can make it difficult to determine the ship and date.

Access the records

The microfilm is digitized on our partner website Héritage: