Passenger List Bond Number

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Expert Question: The passenger list for one of my ancestors has a marking of  “Bond #522” on it.  What does this mean?

Passenger list showing reference to “Bond #”

Expert Answer: When people immigrated to the United States, they were not automatically admitted.  There were quotas limiting the number of immigrants from specific countries during different periods of time, but also the U.S. did not want to admit people that had diseases, were in ill health or handicapped for example.  This was to done not only to protect the U.S. from diseases, but also to ensure that immigrants would not be a burden on the country.

The Bond number refers to a case file in which the immigrant went before a hearing board to determine if they were going to be admitted to the U.S. or returned to their originating country.

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