Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving a country (emigration) or coming into a country (immigration). Millions of people from many parts of the world have immigrated to Latin America. Except for those who descended from the native inhabitants, all Latin Americans trace their ancestry to immigrants. Most of those who immigrated to Latin America came from Europe. In addition, millions of Africans were brought to Latin America during the era of slavery, and many East Indian and Asian laborers were brought to work on colonial plantations.
Before the 19th century, emigrants were not always recorded formally. Passengers emigrating by sea simply registered the ships at the time of departure. They were only required to show documentation that proved they had met any military service requirements. Once the emigrants arrived in Latin American, open frontiers and vast uninhabited territories allowed for relatively free and unregistered migration within the region.
Beginning in the 19th century, some documentation was required of persons leaving a country to live in another. Passports became a common requirement internationally during the 20th century. A passport usually includes a persons name, physical description, nationality, occupation, birthplace, birth date, and spouse.
Other emigration sources include records of permission to emigrate, passenger lists, and immigrant arrivals. The information in these records may include the emigrants: name, age, occupation, destination, and country of origin.
At this time,
however, even a comprehensive list of where such arrival records can be found would be
most helpful, especially where many Latin American immigrants arrived in one country
but ultimately settled in another.