Doing Searches on
Family Tree Maker CD #273
"Passenger Lists: New York, 1820-1850"

See Also:
   Site Map for This Genealogy
   Immigrants from Alsace Identified on FTM CD 273
   Emigration and Ship Passenger Lists

Family Tree Maker CD #273, "Passenger Lists: New York, 1820-1850"

FTM CD # 273 is a CD-based database listing the name, age, of country of origin of passengers on many ships arriving in New York. I have scanned this CD for ships carrying my ancestors and their neighbors and relatives with some success, although in many cases I have invested much time and found nothing.

Unfortunately, because the CD is cumbersome and time-consuming to use, I cannot make an offer to perform lookup requests. However, if you are interesting in acquiring or getting access to this CD to search your own, here is where you can find it:

The CD is a product of, and can be purchased on their website, They probably reorganize their site from time to time, but here is the procedure to find CD # 273 as of the date of this writing (early 2004): On the home page, click "International & Passenger Records" under "Featured Products," and on the next page click "Data on CD-ROM." The current price is $49.99. also offers an online subscription that might make the same passenger list information available through the internet, although I have not looked into that to be sure. The CD comes bundled with some additions of the Family Tree Maker software package (that is where I got mind), so if you own a copy of FTM, you might already possess the CD.

Sometimes you can find the Familiy Tree Maker CDs available on eBay for low prices. Visit and try a search for "FTM 273". An even less expensive alternative is to view the CD at a library. I have noticed that the San Diego Family History Center has FTM CD # 273 in its collection, where visitors can view it for no cost. I don't know if this is true of all Family History Centers. To find a FHC near you, visit the Family History Libary website at and click "Library" and then "Family History Centers". Another place to check is the genealogy departments of public libraries

As I mentioned earlier, I can not offer to perform any lookup requests. I have received quite a few e-mail requests, and I have had to decline them. Here's the reason why:

The FTM 273 CD is organized in a way that makes it difficult to do good searches. The names are arranged in strict alphabetical order, which is good to a point, but beyond that, the CD software provides limited and clumsy ability to do anything more sophisticated, such as searching for partial names or possible traveling companions. There is no way ask a question like this: "Search for a family traveling together with a a surname like Schneider, traveling between 1828 and 1832, and including family members with names like Peter, Barbara, Mary, and John." Conducting a search like this requires many hours and following a careful and tedious procedure of many steps, looking for each name individually, with separate searches for alternate spelling, and correlating saling dates.

I have never been able to find my immigrant ancestors, Peter Schneider and his family, on this CD, even after many hours of searching. I can quickly see that it lists about fifty Peter Schneiders. Unfortunately, to get from there to zeroing in on which one might be my Peter Schneider takes a lot of time. To make matters worse, because the CD's data has been transcribed from handwritten sources, spelling errors are prevalent, so alternate spellings like Schnieder, Snider, Snyder, and who knows what else need to be considered and, in general, searched for individually. Once, after a long search for a person named John Nuwer, I found him under the name "Jean Ruber." I have found the "Fix" family spelled as "Sur." These are just a couple examples of the terrible and, unfortunately, common spelling errors on the CD.

So the CD doesn't make the searching easy. Furthermore, even when you find a name you are looking for, the only way to be certain it is a true match is to identify known relatives or townsfolk on board the same ship. This all adds up to a slow process, usually taking at least an hour for each search. In general, even with the investment of a lot of time, and already knowing a lot about that person, such as when they were born and when they were traveling, where they originated and who they were likely to be traveling with, I have had only about a 30% success rate in finding any specific person on this CD. And so once again I apologize, but hopefully this explains why I don't make any offer to do lookups.

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