JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Travel modes in the early 19th Century #general


Barbara Ras Wechsler
 

Dear fellow genners

My ancestors, Leib Wechsler and Ruckel Raibach, migrated >from Jaroslaw to Trieste
between 1834 and 1844 accompanied by their children Israel (b. 1834) and Samuel (b.
1832). The distance between both towns is about 1300 km and would have possibly
taken them >from Jaroslaw via Bratislava, Vienna, Villach (speculation). What I
would like to know, is how they undertook this journey. I just cannot immagine what
their journey must have looked like.

In those days there were no trains and it was a land-bound journey. Stage coaches
existed and I believe, some sort of mail coaches, which also transported
passengers However, I cannot immagine, that these were options for a young family
from Galicia. Leib's profession is not known, so I cannot deduct their financial
status >from that. However, I found articles on Migration to Trieste, which claims
that Jewish migrants were considered middle class (self-employed, teachers,
small-scale traders, white collar workers, commercial agents). Occupations in the
family a generation after their immigration (cooks, midwives, traders) support
this theory so Leib and Rukhel may have had a modest income. This is speculation
however, or, in other words, my current working theory.

My questions to the community are:
How would a family have travelled this long distance and how long would it have
taken them?
Would they have stopped in between to earn money, give birth, etc.?
Did they intend on going as far as Trieste* when they decided to relocate? Or did
they first try finding better opportunities in nearby towns, then towns a little
farther away and finally ended up in Trieste, due to a lack opportunities
elsewhere? ( a pattern suggested by Tina Malzer in her article "Alles Million
und Hausierer ").
Was Trieste as enticing as Vienna? (I realised that migration to Vienna was not
possible before 1848 due to the restrictive relocation policies of the
Austrian-Hungarian Empire in those days)

*I am aware of the fact that Trieste was a free port since 1719 and Jews and other
non-Catholic faiths enjoyed freedoms not possible elsewhere in the Hapsburg Empire.
Tullia Catalan points out that this and the "opportunity to increase one's assets"
were the main motivations for migration to Trieste (Source: Tullia Catalan "The
Ambivilance of a Port-City: The Jews of Trieste >from the 19th Century to the 20th
Century". Online article. Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History.
Journal of Fondazione DCED, n.2 October 2011, www.quest-cdecjournal.it)

If anybody has any information or could point me to books, websites etc. written on
this topic, I would be extremely grateful. I have got stuck on my research and have
run out of ideas of where to search.

Thanks for helping.

Barbara Ras Wechsler
bwras@...

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