[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Lying about age on ship's passenger list

Schemioneck, Nell Nell.Schemioneck at AirservicesAustralia.com
Wed Nov 29 17:15:33 PST 2006

Jack I don't know about lying but I certainly agree with the human error
in recording.  

Within days of my husband's gggrandfather dying in 1895, the woman on
the neighbouring farm also died.  Her husband went to town to register
both deaths.  On our ggrandfather's death certificate the informant is
noted as "G Willett, husband". We wondered about grandfather having a
husband!  Things get worse though.  The father's name on our
gggrandfather's death certificate is recorded as Thomas Dobbins.  It
might make you wonder why a Prussian man with the name of Carl
Schemioneck had a father with the name of Dobbins.  One family member
was following a lead that the English Mr Dobbins had travelled to
Prussia and fathered a child who kept his mother's name.  Then we
checked the informant and discovered that Mr Willett's wife's maiden
name was Dobbins.  Thomas Dobbins was her father and that information
was recorded on both death certificates.  So our brick wall as to Carl's
parentage is due to a helpful neighbour (who probably didn't know Carl's
father's name anyway) and a clerk who recorded the wrong information.

Nell Schemioneck 

-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of Jack
Sent: Thursday, 30 November 2006 9:29 AM
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Lying about age on ship's passenger

This is a subject I've often wondered about.

My grandparents, and their two children, my father and his sister, all
have their ages recorded incorrectly on their return to Canada from a
trip "home" to England in 1914.

At the time, their ages were 35, 38, 8, and 4 for my grandfather,
grandmother, father, and aunt respectively.  The passenger list records
them as 37, 35, 12, and 11.

My grandfather was a Minister in the Anglican Church of Canada and I
know he would have had a hard time being dishonest, the family was
literate, and the English language wasn't a problem since they were all
 But perhaps they wanted my grandmother to be known as younger than her
husband.  However, I can't think of any advantage in having the
children's ages recorded as so much older than they were, nor can I see
how anyone would be fooled by a four year old being passed off as

All the rest of the information in their passenger entries is correct.

So my only explanation is just plain human error in recording.

                          ......... Jack

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