JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen The much-maligned Morton Allan Directory #general


michael steinore <belaroots@...>
 

From: "Haviva Langenauer" <havival@bellsouth.net>
I have found two different dates for the arrival of the ship. EIDB says
that the Batavia arrived April 24, 1906. The Morton Allan directory says
the ship arrived April 21, 1906. Is there an undisputed source for the
correct date?

It's more a matter of correctly interpreting the dates. My theory is that
Morton-Allan records the date the ship formally docked at port, while the
passenger lists (and therefore EIDB) record the date the steerage
passengers were processed on Ellis Island. Aren't these two dates always
the same? No. The reason is that Ellis Island, particularly >from 1900 to
1914, was often incapable of handling the daily volume of incoming
passengers. Sometimes steerage passengers had to wait on the ship while
it was docked in port for a day, two or three, until they could be brought
to Ellis Island for processing. Whenever I've had a date discrepancy, I
check the NY times, which recorded daily ship arrivals in port, and it has
always matched the Morton-Allan directory date. In fact, if I had been
asked to create the Morton-Allan directory, I would have simply used the
NY times ship arrival listings, and that may have been what was done. For
the immigration organization that created the Morton-Allan directory,
knowing the ship arrival date would have been more than sufficient to
quickly locate the passenger list, because only a handful of ships arrived
each day. Today what people want to know is the passenger-processing
date, which Morton-Allan frequently matches, but not always.


Michael Steinore
San Mateo, CA

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