Estonia Emigration and Immigration

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Online Sources[edit | edit source]

  • 1946-1971 Free Access: Africa, Asia and Europe, Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons, 1946-1971 Ancestry, free. Index and images. Passenger lists of immigrants leaving Germany and other European ports and airports between 1946-1971. The majority of the immigrants listed in this collection are displaced persons - Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and Nazi forced laborers, as well as refugees from Central and Eastern European countries and some non-European countries.
  • Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild Choose a volume and then choose Estonia under "Listed by Port of Departure" or "Listed by Port of Arrival".

Occupation Records[edit | edit source]

The first Soviet occupation 1940–1941, the German occupation 1941–1944, and the second Soviet occupation 1944–1991.


Finding the Town of Origin in Estonia[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in Estonia, see Estonia Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Estonia Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Emigration[edit | edit source]

  • When Estonia was invaded by the Soviet Army in 1944, large numbers of Estonians fled their homeland on ships or smaller boats over the Baltic Sea. Many refugees who survived the risky sea voyage to Sweden and/or Germany later moved from there to Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and/or Australia.
  • Also, with the June deportation of 1941 and March deportation of 1949, the Soviet Union forcibly transferred tens of thousands of Estonians to Siberia. Some of these refugees and their descendants returned to Estonia after the nation regained its independence in 1991. The Russian Empire displaced a fairly high number of Estonians into exile, maybe the number of descendants (the 3.5 million doesn't include Estonian sub-groups: the Chudes, Livonians, Setos and Voros in neighboring lands of Russia, Latvia and Lithuania. There is no way to know the corrected number of Estonians, unless to count 100,000 dual nationals in the former USSR or the number of expatriates in the EU countries (esp. Finland).[1]

Records of Estonian Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to immigration records for major destination countries below.
  1. List of diasporas, in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diasporas#E, accessed 3 June 2021.