Tuesday, October 4, 2016

An Immigrant Family's Story: The New York Passenger List (Part 3)

As I continue to share the immigration story of my family, I watched Devon Lee Noel's video tutorial: How To Make Blog Titles. Then, using Photoshop Elements, I created a graphic for this series about immigration. I've tried Photoshop Elements before, and got quite frustrated. But, I'm sure it'll get easier with tutorials and practice!

In my first post, I talked about how to find a newspaper article documenting your ancestor's ship's arrival. And, in my second post, I talked about the various places which were mentioned in my ancestor's article and how they tied in with their trip. In this post, let's go back to the beginning of my research.

When I started genealogy in 1998, my Grand Aunt Beulah shared her files with me. One of the documents she had was the 1859 New York passenger list for our Peters immigrants. That document is now easily accessed on Ancestry.com.

"New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1897," database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2016), entry for Joach. Peters and family, line 16, aboard Bavaria, Hamburg to Southampton to New York City, leaving Southampton 18 June 1859; citing microfilm M237, roll 193.
As you can see, the family is listed with their names, ages, sex, and "occupation." The next column indicates they "severely belong" to Germany. And, the final columns says they "intend to become inhabitants" of the United States. The information for the family members is as follows:
  • Joach. Peters, age 45, male, farmer
  • Henriette Peters, age 40, female, his wife
  • Louise Peters, age 14, female, child
  • Eckard Peters, age 13, male, child
  • Carl Peters, age 10, male, child [my great, great grandfather]
  • Wilh. Peters, age 7, male, child
  • Hein. Peters, age 6, male, child
  • Friedchen [sp? she went by "Freda" in the U.S.] Peters, age 4, female, child
There are two more columns on the page. One column is to list those who died on the voyage, though there appear to be no deaths on this crossing. The last column indicates the "part of the vessel occupied by each passenger during the voyage." For my family, this section is labeled "betweendecks." I will share more about "between decks" on another post.

Going back to the first page of this passenger list, the heading gives us more information. In fact, this is where I first learned the name of the ship the Peters family crossed the Atlantic on: the Bavaria.

"New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1897," database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2016), entry for Joach. Peters and family, line 16, aboard Bavaria, Hamburg to Southampton to New York City, leaving Southampton 18 June 1859; citing microfilm M237, roll 193.

District of New York - Port of New York
I, H[?] Taube, Master of the Str Bavaria do solemnly, sincerely and truly swear that the following List or Manifest, subscribed by me, and now delivered by me to the Collector of the Customs of the Collection District of New York, is a full and perfect list of all the passengers taken on board of the said Steamer at Hamburg &Southampton from which port said Steamer has now arrived; and that on said list is truly designated the age, the sex, and the occupation of each of said passengers, the part of the vessel occupied by each during the passage, and also the country of which it is intended by each to become and inhabit; and that said List or Manifest truly sets forth the number of said passengers who have died on said voyage, and the names and ages of those who died.     
H[?] Taube So help me God.
Sworn to this 2 July 1859
Before me [unreadable signature]
List or Manifest of all the Passengers taken on board the Steamer Bavaria whereof H[?] Taube is Master, from Hamburg &Southampton burthen 2300- tons.

The manifest is 7 pages long. The first 5 pages list those in the "betweendecks" area of the steamer. Though the majority of the passengers are from Germany, there are a few from Ireland, Sweden, Holland, France, and a few who are returning to the United States.

There are 208 passengers in the "between decks," 42 in the "second" class cabins, and 7 in "first" class cabins. Many of the "between decks" passengers were farmers. Both the first and second "cabins" were primarily occupied by merchants, some of whom had their families with them. The total number of passengers is 257, which matches perfectly with the newspaper account.


  1. Dana. Great job on the title graphic. It will get easier. I love your stories as well. I just wish my ancestor was on your ship records. Then we would be working on the same sources and could share our discoveries! Ah well, I'll just appreciate your efforts.

    1. Thanks, Devon. And, thanks again for the tutorial! I've spent many hours watching videos & playing with Photoshop Elements over the last 24 hours. Often, when someone does something in a video, it doesn't work the same on my version. Ugh! But, I've learned tons!

      After I'm done writing about the Peters immigration, I hope to try some of the same techniques with another family. I love how you share stories, too! It just makes our family history so much more interesting.

  2. I enjoyed Devon's video too, mostly as a reminder of a skill left behind in the wake of genealogy research. It was nice to be reminded of a way to connect two interests! Congrats on creating a nice graphic for your series. I just wanted to mention that you can create individual post graphics, as I believe Devon does, by saving the base graphic as either .jpg or .psd format, reopening it in PSE, adding a new layer for the blog title, and then proceed as you did for the base graphic.

    Also, thanks for such an interesting series. I'm enjoying it!

    1. Thanks, Wanda! I used to be a traditional blogger, and tried digital scrapbooking a few years ago. But, I found Photoshop Elements so hard to learn! I still find it hard, but after watching a few hours of videos, I'm getting better!

      Thanks for the tip about saving the background! I'm thinking about a new "series" and would like to be able to change the surname each time. I'll have to play with this!

      And, I'm glad you're enjoying the series. I have more to come! :)

  3. Enjoying your series Dana! So much better than just name and dates.

    1. Raul, I'm glad you're enjoying it! I have quite a few more posts to go. But, October is a busy month! I hope to write several more posts this week. (By the way, I really enjoyed YOUR series, and hope you write more.)


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