We released the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Immigration Records, Special Boards of Inquiry, 1893-1909 this morning. This project is a little smaller (only 1900 image sets) so if you are at all interested in the history of immigration into the U.S. I suggest keying a few of the image sets just so you can look over the records.
To give you a little background on what records you will see I’ll share what I read in the introduction to the records, “If an alien was initially denied admittance into the United States he or she could appeal the decision to a three person board of inquiry. Most decisions dealt with contract laborers, stowaways, bond cases and immigrants who were liable to become public charges. …” The first immigration laws, regarding entry into the United States, were passed in 1882 and over the next 20 years there were quite a few changes and additions made to these laws. I hope you enjoy the history of these records as much as I have.