1900-era documents for immigration to USA #general


I hope that some of you out in "gen-land" are experts on documentation needed
for immigration. At the turn of the 20th century, what kind of documentation
would an immigrant actually have to provide in order to board a ship (and be
allowed to continue the voyage)? Name? Age? Occupation? Destination? Could
they falsify all of that?

It seems to me that at least 2/3rds of the people whose manifest listings I've
found were traveling under false names. My paternal grandmother (BLUMBERG)
traveled under the name of her future sister-in-law (ROSENOHL). My maternal
grandmother traveled under what I think was the family name in Russia (DAIBOCH),
but my grandfather can't be found under that name or the one he used in the USA
(FEINBERG), not in lists for New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Baltimore at
least. My paternal great-grandmother traveled under her first married name
(BLUMBERG), though she'd been widowed three more times after that marriage.

I've been working on a listing of everyone I can find on the Ellis Island lists
>from my maternal ancestral shtetl (now Vysokoye, Belarus) and am amazed
because almost none of the names of those who will be welcoming the new arrivals
show up on prior passengers lists. They can't all have come via ports other
than New York. My list is now nine pages long! Did they all change their names
after arrival or did they travel under assumed names?

So... how did they obtain passports and visas? Was it enough to just state a
name, age, occupation, destination?

Please, somebody who really knows what the process was, help?

Joy Weaver
East Islip, NY USA

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