The F..A. Line's Passenger Lists

[ Search from the passenger lists]

In 1892 the authorities decided that ships should have passenger lists. Most of F..A.'s passenger lists have survived and are being held by the manuscript collection of the Library of bo Akademi, the Swedish-language university. The collection totals 145 folio-sized bound books. It is difficult to say whether there are volumes missing, since the lists have been arranged by the shipping company used by the passengers, which puts the pages out of numerical order. From the F..A. point of view, the lists are actually ledgers of some kind, which have obviously been used for calculation of commission payments from ocean lines and similar purposes. There are numerous deletions and cancellations on the lists, remarks concerning no-shows, extra charges, comments on passengers not accepted on the grounds of a disease etc.

The passenger lists are of third class passengers, that is, emigrants. First and second class passengers can be found on the lists if a third class passenger paid an extra charge to be able to travel more comfortably. Comparison of numbers of passengers on the lists and in the Hang Tidning newspaper, reporting regularly on the passenger figures of incoming and outgoing ships, shows that the figures given by the newspaper and those given by the list seldom agree. The difference can be either way. The newspaper sometimes reports more passengers than the list, sometimes fewer. The discrepancy may be dozens of passengers. There are also cases of the paper reporting on passengers of a given departure or arrival, but the corresponding passenger list is missing. The same passengers are recorded more than once even though they took the same boat from Hanko. For example the passengers of 4 October and 5 October departures of S/S Polaris are listed in 12 different places. Therefore it is all but impossible to make a reliable count of the number of passengers on any one departure.

The passenger lists also record emigrants travelling on the route Turku - Copenhagen - Hull, the presence of whom cannot be explained. Probably the ship leaving from Hanko was full, and some of the passengers were rerouted by way of Turku. At open water, boats to Hull departed not only from Hanko but also from Helsinki or Turku as late as 1914.

Passenger lists mainly contain the following types of information:

How to Use Passenger Lists when Looking for Emigrants to America

Do not expect too much from passenger lists when looking for emigrants from Finland:

The following information on the passenger lists is important if a person living in America is searching for his/her roots in Finland:

F..A.'s passenger lists held by the Library of bo Akademi are numbered consecutively 1-145. However, the numbering is not logical. The books are not in chronological order, nor are they arranged by the name of the shipping company. Some of the books have an older numbering, while others have no numbering at all. Of the series held, only 'White Star 1-28' and 'Cunard 1-31' are in a logical and chronological order. Apart from those, there is a numbered series consisting of 53 volumes, called here the 'Numbered Series', which contains lists from a large number of companies. The series here called the 'Unnumbered Series' is as motley as the 'numbered series'. Why some of the books are numbered while others are not is unknown. In 1931 all the books were replaced with a series here called the 'New Series'.

Apart from Finns, the volumes record thousands of Russians, a number of Estonians, Latvians and Livonians. Many of the Russians have Jewish names, but even German names are common. To some extent there are separate books, but even books mainly recording Finnish emigrants contain such names. It is unclear wheher all Russian emigrants travelled by way of Hanko, since F..A. boats carried Russian emigrants from Libau to Hull without calling at a Finnish port. Three or four times the F..A. carried several hundred Russsian marines to Philadelphia, U.S. There was at least one voyage by an F..A. boat directly to Philadelphia without a call at England.

When World War I broke out in July 1914, traffic between Hanko and Hull stopped. It was started again in summer 1919 by S/S Arcturus and S/S Astrea, but passenger lists were only kept starting from February 1920. Is is unclear whether the books are missing or whether no passengers were actually carried. There was a similar break in traffic when war broke out in September 1939. A few tickets were sold during the years 1940-41, but regulat traffic was not started until 1946. Copenhagen, London and Antwerp were now the destinations. F..A. boats did not call at Hull after the war.

Links to web pages containing rough summaries of the contents of passenger lists:

White Star Line The lists start from 25 June 1892 and end on 27 May 1931. Total 28 books. Also contains information on other shipping companies.
Cunard Line Starts from 25 April 1896 and ends on 6 June 1931. Total 31 books. Also contains information on other shipping companies.
'Numbered Series' The lists start from 10 June 1893 and end on 18 February 1931. Total 53 books. Number 47 missing, but may be included in the 'Unnumbered Series'. The order of the books is only partially logical.
'Unnumbered Series The lists start from 26 August 1899 and end on 20 May 1931. The order of the book is illogical.
'New Series' The lists start from 3 June 1931 and end in October 1976. The lists start from 3 June 1931 and end in October 1976.

Indexes to Passenger Lists

The Institute of Migration has computerized most of F..A.'s passenger lists. The database is accessible on the Internet.

When making searches in the databes or when ordering an extract from the Institute of Migration please note that:

When the person searched for is found in the database, do not forget to check the information in the original document. If the person cannot be found, you cannot be sure whether this is due to one of the above mistakes during the inputting, to systematic omission, or to the fact that the person is actually missing from the passenger lists.

Always request a copy of the original document when you buy an extract from the database!