Friday, September 12, 2008

Immigration Passenger Lists Post #2 ~ Passengers Not Sailing

(Notes from a study group I attended.)

Have you ever noticed the different ways passengers of ships were noted on a manifest if they did not board for travel?

You may first think of the line drawn straight through the name, which would seem pretty apparent that this particular passenger wasn't aboard. There are records of passengers who did not board the ship and did not have a line drawn through their name however.

Many times notations prior to a persons name may indicate also that the person did not board. A variety of notations could have been made regarding this. It may say "Cancelled", "Not Shipped", or "N.O.B.", meaning "not on board". It could also say "Did not sail", or be stamped with "Not shipped". And those straight lines, it didn't always mean the passenger wasn't aboard! A wavy line through the name may have been used instead.

We need to be careful when we see a passenger's name with a line through it. It didn't always mean the passenger didn't board! The passenger may be aboard the ship and their name moved to a different list. So, if we are pretty sure the particular person was aboard this specific vessel, make sure to check other lists! This passenger may be on a list such as "Records of Detained Aliens", "Records of Aliens held for Special Inquiry", or maybe even a "Second Class passenger list".

Sometimes a person may have gotten ill and or changed their plans about travel. Sometimes the cancellations were made so late that a new list couldn't be made prior to shipping. Whatever the reason, it was still very important for the ships to keep very accurate records of their passengers. Remember, there was a head tax the ships had to pay on their passengers.

Be sure to watch for other lists for the departures, and make note of the annotations.

(This study group followed the article "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations" by Marion L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service. With assistance of Elise Freedman, Flora Gursky and Eleanor Bien)

Look for future posts regarding these lists to find out what else I learned!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

1 comment:

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