[TSL] Campania and finding those "mystery" arrivals on 01/07/2013

Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 12:14:01 -0500
From: Susi Godfrey  <>
Subject: [TSL] Campania: Liverpool to US  1903-04
To: _THESHIPSLIST@rootsweb.com_ ( 

I  has been several years since I used this list but I am back!

I am trying  to track down the passenger list for Isaac Schwartz, who states
on his  Declaration of Intention that he came from Liverpool to the US (no
port  named) and arrived about 1 Jun 1904. ...I have been unable to find 
him via  Ancestry or Steve Morse's sites. ....

A common problem so there's good advice here for everyone in how to tackle  
these types of challenges.
The starting point is the assumption that the person's memory was vague and 
 the clerk at the court helped them.  "What ship did you come on?" "eh well 
 I think its name sounded liked ..." "ah I know that ship it was Campania 
and  when did you arrive?"  "Well it was spring I remember and it was uh 
three,  no four years ago..." "Oh so it must have been June 1, 1904. Next ...."
So what should you do?   Especially if the obvious fails.
Someone said assume the name changed.  A very possible partial  solution.  
Someone said check the ship.  They gave you the  arrivals already of the 
list of the Campania.  
If it was in fact a Liverpool departure you know for a fact the person took 
 at least two ships to get there.  The Campania only sailed from Liverpool  
not Russia so the person had to take some combination of train or boat to 
get to  the UK, tranship possibly across the UK, possibly say in one of the 
emigrant  housing, and then sail Liverpool.
So check the various UK databases to see if by chance you can find them  
coming in or staying in the UK.  Don't wed yourself to the Campania but  
assume Liverpool is likely.
Next go to the USA records and start working backwards.  Many states  did a 
state census in 1905.  Check the 1905 census for where you think the  
person was living.  You find them and you have your first hard evidence of  a 
date which also provides a hard stop for when he had to have arrived by.
If there is no state census what about city directories?  In New York  and 
other major cities like Chicago there are city directories that will show  
people living there and there profession.  Not fool proof but another  source.
You have a child that may or may not have been born in the USA.  Try  and 
check the birth records.  As to if the child was born in the USA or not  I 
would put more fait in the naturalization papers versus a Federal  Census.  It 
would have been important to have the child reflected correctly  on the 
naturalization because in this time frame they would have gotten their  
citizenship from the father's naturalization and not had to do their own  later.  
So if the father said the child was born in the US on the  naturalization 
papers it could have been a problem for the child later in life  whereas if he 
said Russia the child got naturalizated at the same time.
You get a sense of what I am doing.  I am closing the window around  the 
arrival date.  I generally believe the earlier documents so if in 1910  he 
said I am here 5 years and in 1920 he says I am here 18 years I go with the  
1905 as being more likely.  Memories play trick over time.
Also someone suggested not limiting your search to one port.  True  people 
did come via any route they could.  The route to New York was the  largest 
and best traveled because there were the most ships.  But Boston  was also a 
big port and yes some people came via Canada to the USA.  
So it becomes a process of elimination to narrow down the arrival and then  
a hunt in the records.  You can try multiple indexes too because some of  
them (like Ellis Island) have horrible spelling / translation issues in  
Its common for the husband to have come first with the wife and children  
following on.  Sometimes I find the simples search in the child to get to  
the parents.  Especially if the child has a less common first name.   Then 
sometimes when all else is not working I search just the child's age and  first 
name.  Parents ages are more fluid in the records than young  children.  So 
while you can find 100s of Josephs in their 20s you often  only find a 
handful of Josephs 2 years of age.
Maybe others have some tips on how to close in on an arrival record but  
this is how I go about it.  Sometimes the arrival records however simply do  
not work.  Especially on the older ones and ones pre-1900 the records seem  
to be incomplete.  Don't give up hope, keep searching, but try to improve  
your odds with the ideas mentioned above.
Allan Jordan
visit TheShipsList Website
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

Easy citation: highlight, copy, and paste the following into your wordprocessor:
[TSL] Campania and finding those "mystery" arrivals 01/07/2013: [Posted by]


back to The ShipsList