[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] death onboard ship

Allyn Brosz zsorba99 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 15 13:16:36 PDT 2007


At the time your ship arrived in New York (1882), there was a requirement that the capitain of the ship submit a copy of the ship's manifest to the authorities. However, few auditing or quality control mechanisms existed to ensure that the manifest was a full and complete listing of the ship's passengers and crew. I've seen many manifests on which both births and deaths at sea WERE recorded. Since the manifest was prepared at the port of departure, additional information, such as births at sea, was usually entered on the last page of the manifest, where there was blank space available. Thus, newborns may be entered on a different page than the one where the embarking family is listed. Sometimes, if the ship's crew members were conscientious, there's even a reference note telling you on what page and line the child's family can be found. The operative word is "sometimes." And sometimes there was no entry because the responsible crew member didn't get around to it.

Sorry I can't be more encouraging. All I can recommend is that you read every page of the manifest carefully. Did Ancestry publish the complete manifest? Well, it's really impossible to give a definitive answer to that question. You could order the microfilm from the LDS Library and compare with Ancestry to see if the pages match those on the microfilm. However, once you've examined those pages, you still won't know whether the National Archives microfilmed every page. The last thing I can recommend is that you examine the last page of the manifest that is available at Ancestry.com. Often, the last page contains summary information such as the total number of passengers, the number in first class, second class, steerage, etc. Again, however, the conundrum is that if you don't find such information, it doesn't necessarily mean that the manifest is incomplete.

Ah, the joys of research!

Best Wishes
Allyn Brosz
Washington, DC
Original Message:

>From: gswilson19 at aol.com
>To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
>Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 13:44:58 -0400
>Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] death onboard ship

>I have a family that went from Bremen to NY in Apr of 1882.  The family story goes that a son was born aboard ship, died shortly thereafter and was buried at sea.  I finally located the family >on a ship manifest on Ancestry.  I cannot find any mention on that particular manifest of the baby or baby's death.  I don't know if Ancestry did not publish the complete manifest.  Does >anyone know if it was manditory that that child be listed somewhere if he did infact exist.
>Thank you,

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