INS did not create ship passenger lists. The forms were completed by steamship companies, who then submitted the forms to the government. In some cases immigration officials annotated the lists to clarify or correct information. In other cases immigration officials later added information to the records as a cross-reference to certain naturalization papers.

Annotations made at time of arrival:

Annotation Meaning
“X” at far left, before or in name column = Subject was temporarily detained, see list of detained aliens at end of manifest.
Example of S.I. Annotation “S.I.” or “B.S.I.” at far left, before name = Subject was held for Board of Special Inquiry hearing, see list of aliens held for Special Inquiry at end of manifest.
Example of USB Annotation “USB” = US-Born, sometimes found on records of returning citizens.
Example of USC Annotation “USC” = United States Citizen, sometimes found on records of returning citizens.
C-###### = Naturalization certificate number, sometimes found on records of returning citizens.

Annotations made after arrival:

Annotation Meaning
Example of NY file number annotation “435/621” (or numbers in similar form) with no date given = NY file number (file does not survive). Indicates early verification/record check.
“432731/435765” (or similar format) = Subject was a permanent resident, returning from a visit abroad with a Reentry Permit.
Example of occupation annotation Number in Occupation column (ex: 11-54678 or 2-x-237694) = Verification for naturalization purposes, usually after 1926. First number is naturalization district number, second is either application number or the Certificate of Arrival number. An “x” dividing the number indicates no fee was required for the Certificate of Arrival. Indicates activity in response to filing of a Declaration of Intention or Petition for Naturalization.
“C/A or c/a” = Certificate of Arrival.” Indicates activity in response to filing of a Declaration of Intention or Petition for Naturalization.
Example of NY file number annotation “V/L or v/l” = Verification of Landing. Indicates verification/record check.

Example of Form 404 or 505

Example of Form 404 or 505

“404” or “505” = Verification form used to transmit manifest information to requesting INS office, thus indicating a verification/record check.
Name (only) crossed out with line, or completely x’d out, with another name written in = name officially amended – additional records may survive
“W/A or w/a” = Warrant of arrest, additional records may survive