Monday, October 17, 2016

Learning From the Hamburg Passenger List (An Immigrant Family's Story, Part 6)

I've discussed my Peters' family 1859 New York passenger list, but what additional information does their Hamburg passenger list tell us?

1859 New York Passenger List

"New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1897," database, ( : 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.

1859 Hamburg Passenger List

"Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934," database, ( : accessed 1 October 2016), entry for Joach. Peters and family, line 50, aboard Bavaria, Hamburg to Southampton to New York City, arriving New York 2 July 1859; citing microfilm K_1707.

Hamburg Column Headings [Translated to English]

Using Family Search's "Hamburg Passenger List Terminology" and Google Translate, I was able to translate the column headings and most of the written words. The columns were as follows:
  1. surname and given name
  2. birthplace & place of residence
  3. country
  4. occupation
  5. age
  6. males
  7. females
  8. total 
  9. adults & children over 8 years
  10. children under 8 years old
  11. children under 1 year old 


The Hamburg list gives us the following information about the Peters family:
  • Joach Peters, master miller, age 44
  • Henriette, [occupation unreadable], age 36 [Note: her age is 40 on the New York list]
  • Louise, age 14
  • Eckard, age 13
  • Carl, age 10
  • Wilhelm, age 7, occupation: kinder [hard to read, means "child"]
  • Heinr, age 6
  • Friedchen, age 4

  • Joach's occupation is listed as M├╝hlenmeister, which means "master miller"
  • Henriette's "occupation" was unreadable, though it might refer to the fact she is Joach's wife as it looks similar to the word beside other wives 
  • Carl, my great, great grandfather, is the only family member with a "birthplace & place of residence" and "country" indicated

Although it appears Carl was born in Bellin, Mecklenburg, where did the rest of the family come from? 


Though I have looked at this Hamburg list quite a few times before, I could not figure out why Carl was the only person with a "birthplace" indicated. But, while I studied the list to write this blog post, I discovered something new: two heavy, vertical lines. 

One of these lines is between columns 1 and 2, and the other is between columns 3 and 4. I first noticed the line on the right while working with the "kinder" notation next to Wilhelm. I noticed that each family only had one child listed as "kinder." And then I saw the lines. I realized these lines were like our brackets and indicated that all of the people marked by the line were children!

1859 Hamburg Passenger list with yellow highlights added.
Note: The line probably should have extended to include Joach. Hopefully, additional research will prove this.
Then, I noticed a similar vertical line from Henriette to the youngest child. And, I realized it was showing that all of these family members were born in and had been residing in Bellin, Mecklenburg! What an exciting discovery! 

Of course, I would love to trace my Peters family back to Germany. But, even once you've found a village or town name, actually locating the correct place can be difficult. However, I think I've determined where this Bellin is located. Stay tuned!

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