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1900-era documents for immigration to USA #general


joyweave
 

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


L. Altman <familysearch@...>
 

Joy:
try this link to the US Immigration Code:
http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/legishist/index.htm

It covers just about everything you want to know.

Linda Altman
Raleigh, NC

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?........

Joy Weaver
East Islip, NY USA


Peter Zavon <pzavon@...>
 

Passports and visa were not required to enter the US until the 1920s.

Prior to that you needed a ticket to get on the ship. If you were not in
good health, or were otherwise thought likely to become a public charge, you
could be refused entry upon arrival.

It would then be the responsibility of the shipping company to return you to
your port of origin (without further charge to you.) Since that was an
additional expense for the shipping company, they sometimes tried to check
people before letting them board their ships.

If you went Canada and did not declare the US as your destination, even the
US inspection might be avoided by landing in Canada, spending some time
there, perhaps traveling west, and entering the US at a land crossing.

--
Peter Zavon
Penfield, NY


"Joy Weaver" <joyweave@...> wrote

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?

Snip <
Joy Weaver


Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>
 

A question about 1900 era immigration said:

"If you were not in
good health, or were otherwise thought likely to become a public charge, you
could be refused entry upon arrival."

In 1900, before that, and for some time after, only a ticket was needed. A
woman needed a male family member to get her >from the ship, if the woman
travelled alone.

If the person came in steerage, the quoted statement above applied. If a
person came 2nd class or 1st class, there was no inspection, so anybody
could come to the US if they were in a cabin-deaf, lame, trachoma-infested,
blind, ancient, whatever. There are stories of people in steerage being
sent back to Europe, but the family saved up for a cabin-class ticket to
bring them to the US to rejoin the family.

Sally Bruckheimer
Bridgewater, NJ