Re: Tracking a passenger across the Atlantic through England

Jill Whitehead

The most common way for immigrants to reach the USA in the 1860's to 1880's was for them to arrive in Hull on the North Sea Coast and travel overland by train to Liverpool to go onwards to the USA. There is a memorial at Hull Railway station to this movement of people and it is much documented by historians, especially at the University of Hull which has a specialist maritime history dept, as does Liverpool University.   In 2008, my genetic cousin Howard Wolinsky of Chicago made a TV programme for the BBC in the Coast series, which showed how his ancestor made the same journey from Libau in Latvia, to a German port, thence to Hull and Liverpool.  In his case, his ancestor travelled in the early 1890's, and made the very last journey for some months, as his German port was closed due to a Cholera outbreak. My ancestors also made this journey in part, likely from Konigsberg in the 1860's and 1870's, as they came from Suwalki Lomza on the borders with Konigsberg (East Prussia). My Guttenberg family from Raigrod made this journey in c1865 on a  sailing ship to Hull,  and they remained in Hull, although the family story is that they were due to go onto USA but were too sea sick to go on, although others found their tickets would not take them any further or they were robbed on arrival in Hull. Sailing ships were then replaced by steam ships, and faster steam ships, when the new deep water port was opened at nearby Grimsby (my Guttenberg Hull family moved to Grimsby and then Sheffield) . My great grandmother's much younger sister followed her to Hull 20 years after she had arrived, but tragedy awaited. Her teenage son Jacob used to get tips at Hull Docks  from newly arrived immigrants for showing them where they should go to get the train or find accommodation. Alas on one day he had an accident, and fell into the deep sea harbour at Hull and drowned. But check out Hull and Liverpool Universities for their info on Jewish immigration by sea, both cross Baltic and cross Atlantic. Note there is very little in the way of passenger documentation from the Baltic to Hull - but Hull Uni has info on the boats and ship lines that plied this trade, and the ports they used - the majority of ships manifests are cross Atlantic.

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