JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Please help me prove my ancestors did not swim to the US #general

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>

Well, you either 'lurked' one time when I said that my family swam across, or your
family swam next to mine.

It can be very difficult to find pre-index NY passenger lists. There have been
attempts to index them, but they are spotty, as far as I have seen. They certainly
haven't indexed my family. You have the added problem of changing surnames - your
family may have come to the US as either of two names, or any variation or
misspelling of either.

There are things that you may not have tried, however. If your family came through
Hamburg, the Hamburg lists are indexed - and some (but not all) are online. And
they have great information on them. Check out the LDS library for Direct and

There are other ports, which are mostly indexed. Could your family have entered
the US at Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, or any other port? Or though Canada and
by train to the US?

And finally, consider this. As much as we try, what, in fact, is the goal? In
1853, my ggrandfather left Baden (he is on the Baden emigration list, also
available at the LDS). There is a Mr. Bruckheimer on an 1853 NY passenger list,
but is this my ggrandfather or one of his brothers? I may never know, and what
difference does it make? It won't make any difference - there isn't any
information there for early emigrants.

So yes, we have to look, but after lots of looking, I have become philosophical. I
found 1853 finally, but big deal. I know where they (not just the one
ggrandfather) came from, and I have found where they went to, and I know there
isn't a lot to be learned >from the list itself.

I hope it was side-stroke or back-stroke, cause the crawl is too tiring for a whole

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ