The Maritime Heritage Project

World Harbors and International Migration from The Maritime Heritage Project.

Dear Maritime Heritage Visitors: This season The Project is asking visitors to help keep the site growing. While publications and prints to aid in your research are included (and bring in a few dollars per sale), the director is now "officially" asking if you will kindly donate. If everyone reading this right now gave $5, it would help provide additional names and stories to the more than 100,000 ship passengers arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s. This 18-year-old Project is free and is accessed from every country around the world. The Maritime Heritage Project (,, is basically a one-person operation developed and managed by the now 70-year-old great-great-grandaughter of Captain James H. Blethen, Master Mariner. Costs include equipment, research materials and time. The Maritime Heritage Project is special: it keeps alive our history of shipping, commerce and migration during an era when more people changed locations than in any other century in the history of the world. It is a resource where all can research ancestry and find heretofore "lost" family members at no charge. If you have visited our site and found it of value, kindly take one minute to keep it growing. Thank you very much. ~~ D. A. Blethen Levy


The Maritime Heritage Project - 16 Years

Ships, Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Passengers

The Maritime Heritage Project focus is passenger lists of immigrants and opportunists sailing from world seaports into San Francisco Bay during the 1800s.

Along the San Francisco Waterfront in the 1800s.
Along San Francisco's Waterfront

The Project is in honor of sea captains, including James H. Blethen, a Master Mariner based in San Francisco during the 1800s.

Ship commanders are committed to protecting shorelines and to safely move merchandise, livestock, and people under unpredictable and often dangerous conditions in vessels of all sizes.

Along with thousands of other commanders, Captain Blethen's ships were crowded with gold seekers and venturists for a burgeoning city.

Stories from San Francisco and other world seaports are added as news is located to illustrate the causes of mass world migration during 19th century. Historical images are included to depict the events of the day.

Seaport News Includes:

NOAA Map of San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Bay
Click to view an interactive image on NOAA's site.

The Maritime Heritage Project.

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Recommended Reading

Early California.
Roaring Camp:
The Social World of the California Gold Rush
Roaring Camp.
Susan Lee Johnson

Up and Down California, William H. Brewer.
Rush for Riches:
Gold Fever and the Making of California

J. S. Holliday

Up and Down California
The Journal of William H. Brewer

Fourth Edition, with Maps
William H. Braewer

Mud, Blood and Gold.
Mud, Blood, and GoldSan Francisco 1849.
San Francisco in 1849
Rand Richards

EmbarcaderoSea Adventures 1849.
True Tales of Sea Adventure
1849 to 1906
Richard Dillon

Spars and Rigging.
Spars and Rigging:
From Nautical Routine, 1849

(Dover Maritime)
Spars and Rigging.
John M'Leod Murphy, W. N. Jeffers

Jedediah Smith 1826.
The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah Smith: His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826-1827Journey to California 1826.
Jedediah S. Smith


Coming to America.
Coming to America:
A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
First Immigrants to America.
Roger Daniels

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