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The original lists of emigrants leaving Bremen were destroyed during World War II. This was a serious loss since Bremen was the most active of the German seaports and handled three times as many emigrants as Hamburg. The destruction of the Bremen records has been viewed as a genealogical disaster because most such records were thought to be irreplaceable. Information on hundreds of thousands of emigrants went up in smoke, and it was feared that much of this data was lost forever.
With this volume (the first in a series), however, a good many of the Bremen passenger records are effectively restored, for this is a partial reconstruction of the Bremen records, based on American, rather than German, sources--specifically, on passenger lists of vessels arriving at New York that are now in the custody of the National Archives. Not all Bremen passengers of the 1847-1854 period are included--only those for whom a specific place of origin is given, about 35,000 immigrants.