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Victoria Regional History Center

Indianola Immigrant Database

A picture of an old ship The Indianola Immigrant Database seeks to record the individuals and families that reached Texas through that ill-fated port of Indianola on the Texas coast.

Since 1820 the United States immigration laws stated that all ship's manifests (passenger lists) were to be turned over to the officials at the port where the ship first made landing. For the immigrants coming to Indianola, this was usually New Orleans or Galveston. It could even have been a port on the east coast, such as New York. The passengers were then placed on smaller vessels to complete the final stage of their long journey. The smaller vessels were necessary since the bay leading into Indianola was too shallow for the larger sailing vessels.

Most historical accounts relate that there were thousands of people who immigrated through the port of Indianola but there were never any official passenger lists for this port. The Indianola Immigrant Database is an effort to record Indianola immigration via family history, printed histories, and other sources that are often provided by descendents.

The project began in 1994 as a project of the Victoria County Historical Commission. In 1998, the Victoria Regional History Center (VRHC) at the Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library was selected by the Victoria County Historical Commission as the repository of the Indianola Immigrant Database along with the printed resource material generated by the project. Information and family records sent in by contributors to the database is housed in the VRHC and is available to researchers.

This searchable database is updated frequently as new information is discovered. We thank you for your interest in our project. If you can provide data that states that your immigrant ancestor arrived in Texas through the port of Indianola, we hope you will share it with us on our submission page. If you'd like to take a look at the current contents of our project, feel free to search our database.