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Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Germans to America, Apr. Description Germans to America provides both genealogists and researchers of family history with the first extensive, indexed source of German-surname immigrants who came to all ports in the United States between and This period witnessed one of the highest rates of German emigration in the nineteenth century.

The series reproduces information from the original ship manifest schedules, or passenger lists, filed by all vessels entering U. All volumes are arranged in chronological order by each ship's date of arrival. For every passenger list, the following information is provided: ship name, port of departure, port of arrival, date of arrival, and list of German-surname passengers. This intention, however laudable, is for all practical purposes impossible to realize. Anyone who has had occasion to examine the passenger manifest of a ship from Havre can attest to the difficulty of determining which of the French and Swiss nationals are ethnic Germans and which are not.

On the one hand, there is some question as to what constitutes a "German" as distinct from a "non-German" surname. On the other hand, in Alsace ethnic affiliation is often determined not by the form of the surname but by the language spoken at home, something which the passenger list does not indicate.

German Genealogy -- Immigration and Emigration Records

However, the fact that a given name is in a French form is not always an accurate sign of ethnic affiliation, as it is quite clear that francophones preparing passenger manifests did not hesitate to render into their French equivalents the given names by which immigrating German nationals were properly known. The primary drawback of using ethnic affiliation, as determined by the subjective analysis of surname forms, as a selection criterion is the danger that a manifest may qualify or fail to qualify for publication in GTA as the result of a relatively small number of what are essentially nothing more than well-educated guesses by the editors.

The additional requirement that a manifest contain at least 80 percent German surnames in order to qualify for publication in GTA only increases the danger that an "incorrect" ethnic classification may prevent the publication of the names of as many as several hundred immigrating German nationals, about whose ethnic affiliation there is no question. It is important to note that distinguishing between ethnic Germans and German nationals should not preclude the publication of the passenger manifest of any ship arriving in the United States from Bremen or Hamburg between and The overwhelming majority of emigrants through both these ports prior to was comprised of citizens of the various German states.

Aliens represented only 1.

Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at US Ports 1850-1897

This representation had grown to 9. However, Bremen and Hamburg were not the only ports through which Germans emigrated; indeed, until the mid's they were not even the most important. As Table 4 indicates, until the majority of German nationals emigrated through "foreign" rather than German ports [ note 23 ]. These figures, like American government figures, should be considered approximate rather than absolute: those for "Non-German Ports" refer to emigration through continental ports only, and do not include the substantial number of indirect emigrations through the British ports of Liverpool and London, as discussed below.

Unlike the passengers on ships sailing from Bremen and Hamburg, most of whom were German nationals, those on ships sailing from Havre andAntwerp between and were a much more heterogeneous group, including not only German nationals, but also ethnic Germans from Switzerland and the Austrian Empire primarily Bohemia , and ethnic French and Germans from France.

As a result, many ships arriving at American ports from Havre did not carry sufficient numbers of German nationals to meet the percent requirement for publication in GTA ; of these, however, many did carry sufficient additional numbers of ethnic Germans from Switzerland and France to meet this requirement. As Table 5 indicates, of 11 ships arriving at New Orleans from Havre in the fourth quarter 1 October December of and published in GTA , only one, the Robert Kelly, carried over 80 percent German nationals; of the remaining 10 ships, nine carried sufficient numbers of ethnic Germans from Switzerland and France to meet the requirement.

One ship, the Eastern Queen, fails to meet the requirement even when the number of ethnic Germans is added to the number of German nationals; nevertheless, it is published in GTA. By , German nationals and ethnic Germans were arriving in the United States in such numbers that few ships landing at any of the major American ports of entry from any Continental European or English as distinct from Irish or Scottish port failed to carry at least one or two of them.

It is understandable that to publish in its entirety every ship passenger list that contains a single German surname would make GTA so large and expensive as to place it beyond the means of all but the wealthiest academic or government institution. Nevertheless, while a case can be made for requiring that in order to qualify for publication in GTA a ship passenger list contain a certain percentage of passengers who are in some way "German", to set this percentage at 80 is unrealistic.

Many ships arriving in the United States by carried considerable numbers of passengers: of the 54 ships arriving at New Orleans from Europe in the fourth quarter of , and for which passenger statistics are readily available either in GTA 41 ships or in the pages of the Daily Picayune the remaining 13 ships [ note 25 ] , seven carried over passengers the William Nelson, which arrived on 22 December , carried passengers , 14 carried between and passengers, and 23 carried between and passengers.

In order for a ship carrying passengers to qualify for publication in GTA , at least of these passengers must in some way be German; for a ship carrying passengers to qualify, at least of them must be German. In other words, if only passengers on a ship carrying a total of were German, according to the percent requirement the passenger manifest of this ship would be excluded from publication in GTA , with a consequent loss of German surnames. It has not been possible to ascertain how many ship manifests have been excluded from publication because the combined totals of German nationals and ethnic Germans among their passengers fail to satisfy the percent requirement.

However, in the fourth quarter of , in addition to the 11 ships listed above, another eight ships from Havre arrived at New Orleans for which no passenger manifests are published in GTA [ note 26 ]. The reviewer was not able to check the National Archives Microfilm Publications of the New Orleans ship passenger arrival lists "originals" in M; quarterly abstracts in M to determine the percentages of German nationals and ethnic Germans among the passengers on each of these ships, and it is possible that the manifests do not appear in GTA for another reason see below.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the use of a subjective selection criterion coupled to an unrealistically high percentage requirement has the potential to disqualify many passenger manifests, containing substantial numbers of German nationals, from publication in GTA. The disadvantage of the percent requirement is most evident in the case of those considerable numbers of Germans who sailed for the United States from the British ports of Liverpool and London. The transportation of Germans to America by way of England began as a result of America's position as the primary source of raw materials for British industry.


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Indeed, by the early decades of the 19th century, the United States exported to Great Britain twice as much raw material as she received back in finished goods. As a result, many of the ships that brought the raw material to England were forced to make the voyage out in ballast. However, Liverpool merchants and their London colleagues soon discovered they could make money even on the voyage out by filling their otherwise empty ships with emigrants.

Since all the money they made on the voyage out was profit, the Liverpool and London merchants could afford to undercut the prices of the continental European shippers, and as a consequence, like the discount airlines of the 's and 's, they soon became quite popular. By the 's, Germans wishing to take advantage of the cheaper fares offered from Liverpool would board ships at Hamburg or a Dutch or Belgian port [ note 27 ]. The majority sailed to the port of Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, whence they traveled by train across Yorkshire and the Pennines to Liverpool, where they boarded ships for America.

The remainder sailed directly to London, where they also boarded ships for America. The number of Germans emigrating to America by way of England between and is difficult to determine. The reports of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners, which oversaw emigration from Great Britain between and , do not distinguish between citizens and "foreigners" until The 14th General Report of the Commissioners for that year, issued in , lists, inter alia, 21, "foreigners" who had emigrated from Liverpool, and an additional 9, who had emigrated from London, "principally Germans who contracted with Liverpool and London shipowners to be conveyed from German ports, through the United Kingdom, to America" [ note 28 ].

Of this total of 31, "foreigners", 20, of those embarking at Liverpool and 9, of those embarking at London were destined for the United States [ note 29 ]. The 14th General Report also lists 9, emigrants from Liverpool to the United States, and from London to the United States, whose nationality was not ascertained. Most of these are also assumed to be German [ note 30 ] , although the combined totals of "foreigners" and "undetermined nationality", in particular those for Liverpool, seem too large to apply solely to Germans [ note 31 ]. Table 6 summarizes the number of "foreigners" and others of undetermined nationality who emigrated to the United States from English ports between and no figures for are available [ note 32 ].

For the calendar year , GTA contains transcripts of 69 manifests of ships arriving from British ports. As Table 7 indicates, people with German surnames constitute 80 percent or more of the passengers on only 12 of the 69 ships. At the lowest end of the scale, people with German surnames constitute less than 50 percent of the passengers on 14 ships. The total number of Germans listed, 14,, is approximately To examine to what extent GTA includes Germans immigrating to the United States through British ports, the ships that sailed from Liverpool for New York between 1 July and 31 December were taken as a more representative sample [ note 33 ].

Of these ships, 33 carried no "foreigners" i.

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These 7, individuals represent approximately As Table 8 indicates, not one of these 95 ships carried more than 80 percent foreigners; indeed, the highest percentage of foreigners carried by any ship is Together, these ships carried foreigners, They are not, however, the ships on which foreigners constituted the greatest percentage of passengers. Although the Silas Greenman and Charles Crooker rank second and third in this category foreigners constituted When the ships are ranked by the absolute number of foreigners each carried, of the 15 that carried the most 3, of the total 7, , only the Kossuth foreigners among a total of passengers , the Charles Crooker foreigners among a total of passengers , and the Silas Greenman foreigners among a total of passengers are included in GTA.

In fact, the Kossuth ranks only fourth according to the number of foreigners it carried: it is surpassed by the New World, which arrived at New York on 28 November foreigners among a total of passengers [ note 36 ] , the Sheridan foreigners among a total of passengers , and the Washington, which arrived on 23 October foreigners among a total of passengers [ note 37 ]. The primary reason that so few ships sailing from Liverpool to New York during the last six months of qualify for inclusion in GTA is the fact that most of them carried quite large numbers of passengers: of the 95 ships that carried foreigners, only two carried fewer than passengers; seven ships carried between and passengers, 16 ships carried between and , 32 ships carried between and , 18 carried between and , nine ships carried between and , nine ships carried between and , one ship carried , and one ship carried On ships of such size, even comparatively large numbers of foreigners could be overwhelmed by the numbers of their British in particular, Irish fellow travelers.

Thus, although the Albert Gallatin, which arrived on 30 0ctober , carried foreigners, they constituted only In fact, one half of all the foreigners traveled on ships on which they constituted less than 30 percent of the total number of passengers; three-fourths of them traveled on ships on which they constituted less than 39 percent of all the passengers. Although an exact hand count of the number of German immigrants arriving from British ports and published in GTA is impractical, the figures above strongly suggest that GTA certainly contains less than half, and probably less than one third of the German immigrants who arrived in the United States by this route.

Lacunae in Germans to America , 3: Records Destroyed. As indicated above, the overwhelming majority of the emigrants to the United States through both Bremen and Hamburg between and was comprised of German nationals, and of the non-nationals on board these ships most were in fact ethnic Germans. As a consequence, neither a distinction between ethnic Germans and German nationals nor the percent requirement should preclude the publication of the passenger manifest of any ship arriving in the United States from either of these ports during this period. Although GTA should contain the passenger list of every ship from Bremen or Hamburg arriving in the United States at one of the five major ports of entry between and , it clearly does not.

Similarly, although GTA prints the passenger lists of 27 ships from Bremen and Hamburg that arrived at New Orleans in the fourth quarter of , it omits the manifests of 10 others [ note 40 ]. Additional gaps exist throughout all nine volumes of the work. While the omission of one or two Bremen and Hamburg passenger manifests might be explained as an oversight by the editors--as indicated above, their application of the percent regulation is not always consistent--the absence of so many suggests another cause. Table 1 indicates that GTA contains fewer records for than for any other year; a comparison of Tables 2 and 3 further indicates that the greatest "under-representation" is of immigrants to the port of New York in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

For the third quarter, during which, according to the official figures, 19, German immigrants arrived at New York, GTA contains the passenger manifests of only 18 ships, carrying a total of 3, German nationals. Of these 18 manifests, 17 date from the first 19 days of July 15 from the first nine days and one from 29 September, just before the end of the quarter; there are no manifests at all, for any port, published for the period between 19 July and 20 September.

For the fourth quarter, during which 17, German immigrants arrived at New York, GTA contains the manifests of only two ships, representing German nationals. In fact, this "under-representation" continues through the first quarter of although the official figures state that 7, German immigrants entered New York during this period, GTA contains the manifests of only 14 ships, representing 2, German nationals.

Upon his return to Baltimore, Mr. Filby discussed this gap further with Daniel C. In response, Professor Glazier wrote to Mr. Helmstadter, "These passenger lists are missing. But this is not simply a case of a lost or misplaced box as there are no lists in this quarter for any other port either" [ note 41 ]. As Mr. Helmstadter states in his cover letter, Professor Glazier thought that the original passenger lists "had been lost or destroyed a long time ago" [ note 42 ].

Indeed, for no port do the original ship passenger manifests survive complete. The conditions under which they were stored in the various customs houses were far from ideal [ note 43 ]. Many were deliberately destroyed by district customs collectors, who had sent copies and abstracts to the Secretary of State and anticipated no further use of them locally. Still others were accidentally destroyed by fire, most noticeably those for the ports of Baltimore and Boston However, considerable numbers of copies, abstracts, and local records in particular, the Baltimore "City Lists" for survive for the five major ports of entry.

As a result, the National Archives Microfilm Publications for these ports, which substitute these supplementary records for missing or illegible originals, are largely complete.


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  5. In fact, the loss or destruction of the "original" passenger lists for the third quarter of is clearly a recent event. Of the 27 passenger manifests abstracted from National Archives Microfilm Publication M by Zimmerman and Wolfert in German Immigrants , and omitted from GTA , seven date from the period between 20 June and 29 September , while an additional nine bear dates between 30 September and 30 December of the same year [ note 44 ]. A check of the microfilmed New York passenger lists by Kevin Tvedt disclosed manifests of an additional ships from Bremen, 13 from Hamburg, 27 from Havre, 10 from Antwerp, six from Rotterdam, one from Amsterdam, seven from Liverpool, and seven from London--all of which carried significant numbers of Germans, that arrived at New York between 19 July and 29 September.

    Helmstadter revealed the manifests of 23 ships that had arrived at that port between 19 July and 20 September [ note 45 ]. The story of the proceedings that led to the transfer of the "original" ship passenger manifests for the five major ports of entry from the National Archives to the Balch Institute Center for Immigration Research belongs properly to Mr.

    Filby and Professor Glazier, and it is hoped that one of them will see fit to publish an account. For the moment, however, it is sufficient to state that between the time it microfilmed them and the Spring of , when it deposited those for the five major ports of entry with the Balch Institute Center for Immigration Research, the National Archives either misplaced or, more probably, destroyed the majority of the ship passenger manifests for the third quarter of for all ports and, possibly, for the fourth quarter of the same year for New York.

    In defense of the National Archives, it is important to emphasize that archives generally retain in original form less than two percent of all records they acquire. All archives distinguish between two types of records: those documents, like the United States Constitution, that are important in themselves, and those, usually more modern records, like Social Security applications, whose importance lies only in the information they contain. Ship passenger manifests as a class belong to the latter type of record.

    Social Security applications and ship passenger manifests are voluminous, and storing them in their original paper form consumes enormous amounts of expensive shelf and floor space. Since the material on which they are written has no intrinsic historical value, it is consequently the policy of the National Archives--as it is the policy of archives throughout the world concerning similar records--to preserve the information on these records by microfilming them, and then to destroy the originals.

    This policy is not without its drawbacks. In particular, handwritten documents of the 19th century may be so faded that it is impossible to read them without the aid of special lighting. Microfilming such records without this lighting does not improve their legibility; indeed, the handwriting on some microfilmed passenger manifests is so light that the pages appear at first glance to be blank.

    Although the actions of the National Archives are consistent with standard archival practice, the Balch Institute has been caught clearly napping. Prairie farmer's reliable directory of farmers and breeders - Winnebago County. Names of Irish Passengers to America with dates Ports and ship names. Master index to the emigrants documented in the published works of Annette K. The Great Migration Vol. Passenger Index and Immigration Index Vol.

    New York Passenger arrivals, Transcribed by Michael Cassady. American Settlements and Migrations- A primer fforr Genealosists and family historians. Ancestral Roots of 60 Colonists who came to America between Genealogist's guide to discovering your immigrant and ethnic ancestors. American naturalization records , what they are and how to them. Quarterly abstracts of passenger lists of vessels arriving at Baltimore