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McGough, McGeough, McGeogh and McGue Immigrants to the United States


For lists of research sources on passenger lists to America, see: Ships & Passenger Lists on Cyndi's List. See also the references under Irish Emigrants on the Links page of this website.

Another valuable source is Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild—1820 & 1847 Passenger Acts and Finding a Passenger List, where this statement is made:

"Partly in an effort to alleviate overcrowding of passenger ships, Congress enacted legislation (3 Stat. 489) on March 2, 1819 to regulate the transport of passengers in ships arriving from foreign ports. As a result of this act, captains of such ships were required to submit a list of all passengers to the collector of customs in the district in which the ship arrived. The legislation also provided that the collector of customs submit quarterly passenger list reports to the Secretary of State, who was, in turn, required to submit the information to Congress. The information was then published in the form of Congressional documents. These passenger lists are important primary sources of arrival data for the vast majority of immigrants to the United States in the nineteenth century."

As a result 1820 Act Regulating Passenger Lists, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has fairly complete records of the arrivals of passengers in the United States after 1820. On the NARA website, see Immigration Records (Ship Passenger Arrival Records). NARA has immigration records for arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982. The records are arranged by Port of Arrival. Many of the records are available on microfilm, and those of the major ports (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and New Orleans) are available (by subscription) on the Internet on From these records, and other sources, I have prepared tables that will be found on these web pages that list McGoughs, McGeoughs, McGeoghs, and a few similar surnames:

Irish Immigrants, 1820–1845

Famine Immigrants, 1846–1851

Irish Immigrants, 1852–1865

Irish Immigrants, 1866–1880

Irish Immigrants, 1881–1891

Irish Immigrants, 1892–1900

The focus of this website is on McGoughs before 1900, and I do not intend to prepare any similar tables for McGoughs who arrived in the United States after 1900. As I discover more arrivals in 1900 and before, I will add them to these lists.

No more than a sampling of passenger lists for voyages before 1820 are available, and those are mostly only in printed form. The references that I have found to McGoughs, McGeoughs, McGeoghs and McGues who arrived in America before 1820 are collected below on this page. I have just begun to research this area.

I have found only one reference on to an arrival before 1820: On September 29, 1801, John McGough arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Roden. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia, 1800–1819 on Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists on says that the Roden departed from Dundalk, citing National Archives 425, Microfilm 2, List Number 165.

Family Tree Maker's Family Archives Passenger and Immigration Lists Index 1538–1940 (CD #354) yielded only the names in the following table when searched for dates of 1820 and earlier:


Date of Arrival Ship Last Name First Name Age

Estimated Year of Birth

Occupation Country of Origin Passenger Port of Embarkation Place or Port of Arrival Source
1742   McGeogh John           America Emigrants from Ireland to America, 1735–1743, by Frances McDonnell, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992, page 76.
August 12, 1773   McGough Sarah           Derry Township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Records of Indentures of Individuals Bound Out as Apprentices, Servants, etc., Genealogical Publishing Co., 1956, page 274 (Servant indentured to John Black in the amount of £11.0.0).
1801   McGough John           Philadelphia Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia, 1800–1819, Michael Tepprer, general editor, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986, page 474.
1812   McGough Patrick 28 1784       Rhode Island British Aliens in US During the War of 1812, Kenneth Scott, compiler, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1959, page 50.

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (PILI) (A Guide to Published arrival Records of about 500,000 Passengers Who Came to the United States and Canada in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries) by P. William Filby' (Gale Research Publishing Company 1981) is a three volume (plus supplements) index of published lists that document immigants to the United States and Canada. (The call number in the Seattle Public Library is R929.373 P2665A5.)

In June of 2009, I examined the original three volumes and the annual supplements from 1982 through 2005 of the "Big Filby." Very few McGoughs who arrived in the United States before 1820 were listed, and I found none that was not already listed on this page.

In her McGeough of Lynn (Massachusetts) website, Sheryl Bansfield has published a Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic & Gulf Coast Ports (excluding New York), 1820–1874 in which she lists McGoughs, McGeoughs, McGoffs, and similar names, that she found on microfilm records (Roll 115 + 116) in the Waltham, Massachusetts, regional office of National Archives and Records Administration. From her list, I was able to add several names to my lists. These added names are indicated by a reference to the National Archives in the columns in my tables under the heading "Microfilm Roll" or "Source."

McGough, McGeough and McGeogh Immigrants to the United States
Updated September 24, 2009  
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