GGG - German Genealogy Group

U. S. Customs Service Personal Histories of Employees (New York City)

This database is an index to 21 volumes containing the personal histories of employees of the U. S. Customs Service in New York City.  The records cover the period in which employees were appointed between 1891 and 1918.  Each page gives a brief history of a single employee.

The entries include the following:
1. Birth Date
2. Birth State and County (sometimes even the town)
3. Date of Original Appointment
4. To what position?
5. Salary
6. State and county appointed from
7. Military service, if any
8. Honorably discharged?
9. Promotions
10. Occupation or trade before entering the Customs Service
11. Signature
12. Other information on reverse of page (sometimes)

The birth dates in the records run from the early 1800s up to the early 1900s.

The records are contained in three series of volumes, so be sure to record the series, in addition to the volume number, when requesting more information.  The series are:  
* History of Employees from Date of Entrance (“Employee History”); 6 volumes
* History of Classified employees (“Classified”); 10 volumes
* History of Unclassified Employees (“Unclassified”); 5 volumes

Volumes can be viewed onsite, by appointment, and reproductions can be requested for a fee. To make an appointment to view these records or to obtain reproductions please contact:
National Archives at New York
One Bowling Green, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212-401-1620
Fax: 212-401-1638

Sample of a Customs Service record:

Records Search: US Customs House

Please note that the Surname (e.g. Last Name) is a required entry field. But since exact spellings are not always known, to aid your search we offer three different ways to specify Surnames...

  1. Exact Match ("is exactly") - This is the default surname search method.
  2. Soundex ("sounds like") - This option enables you to specify a surname spelling it out as best you can, and it will return results that "sound" similar to what you spelled out.
  3. Wild Card - With this option you can replace part of the surname with a * to match any number of letters, or _ to match a single letter. E.g., Sch* will return all names starting with Sch. Similarly, Schl_tz might return results such as Schlitz or Schlotz. 

NOTE: The wild card option applies ONLY to the surname. You can just enter the first few letters of a First Name; the search automatically adds a wild card to the end of the First Name.

For whichever of the above surname search options you would like to use, simply select the appropriate radio button option below the input field on the form. Although the additional form fields are optional, providing as much information as you can helps narrow your search. The more specific your search, the less time you need spend scrolling through search results!


* Matches multiple characters. 
_ Matches one single character.

Birth Year


The German Genealogy Group wishes to thank Don Eckerle, Barbara Metzger and Mark Waldron for compiling the information for the Customs House database.

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