First Class Passenger Immigrant Question #general
I am looking for a relative that supposedly had enough money to immigrate as a
first class passenger. I was told he did arrive at Ellis Island in 1912 but I
am unable to find him in the soundex index. Did first class passengers have
to go through the same procedures as steerage passengers at Ellis Island?
Would there be record somewhere else of the first class passengers?
Thanks for any insight.
When I visited Ellis Island several years ago, I learned that first and second
class passengers were dropped off in Manhattan before ships left the others
at Ellis Island. Some who were rejected at Ellis Island returned home and
saved up enough money for a second class fare so they could return and avoid
the scrutiny at Ellis Island.
Round Rock, TX
A. E. Jordan
In a message dated 99-02-25 00:17:32 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< When I visited Ellis Island several years ago, I learned that first and
second class passengers were dropped off in Manhattan before ships left
the others at Ellis Island. Some who were rejected at Ellis Island
returned home and saved up enough money for a second class fare so they
could return and avoid the scrutiny at Ellis Island. >>
Yes that is basically correct. The way it actually worked is that the ships
anchored in the lower New York Harbor and a ferry came out >from Ellis Island
and took the people off. For years the ferry was half sunk sitting at Ellis
Island -- I saw it when I was there. The ship itself then continued on to the
piers in Hoboken or Manhattan or Brooklyn (depending on the shipping company)
and the people or class were processed there. By the way if the person was
returned to the home country it was at the cost of the shipping line. When
the immigration quotas were put in after World War I they were on a monthly
basis, so some of the ships would literally line up outside New York on the
last day of the month and wait for 12 midnight and then sail into the harbor
trying to be the first ship to arrive. In some cases the quotas were so small
that a single ship could fill a country's quota for the entire month!
A. E. Jordan
Yes only the steerage class passengers (mostly called third class by the
1920s) went sent to the immigration station in New York City, be it Ellis
Island or any of the stations that pre-dated Ellis Island. Yes class did
have its privlidges.
My mother-in-law came to NY 2nd class and did not go through Ellis Island. She
is 98 and tells us they landed (1908) at a pier on the Hudson River side of
Manhattan and were processed there.Evidently this was the practice for 1st &
2nd class passengers. We recently were at Ellis Island and verified that with
the personnel there.
Searching for TONKIN - St Paul, MN area >from Belata Tserkov, Ukraine
I concur with the earlier responses, but would expand Allan Jordan's
observation to say that class and gender did count.
My pgm traveled second class with her sister in 1914, but had to spend a night
on Ellis Island because the male family friend who was to meet them was not at
the pier when their ship docked. Apparently unaccompanied young women were
not permitted to disembark in Manhattan, even if traveling second class. I do
not know what restrictions, if any, applied to unaccompanied females in first