Hamburg ship lists #unitedkingdom #lithuania #records

Shirley Holton

My great grandmother Taube Mankunsky came over to England via Hamburg circa 1898 from Simnas Lithuania with her son Dovid Yitzchok’s fiancee (later my grandmother) Tsivia Shochet as well as Taube’s 2 youngest children Zelda (later Betsy) and Leib (later Louis) Mankunsky. They landed in Hull. At least that was the oral history which I had from my grandmother Tsivia via her daughter my mother Mary Myers Adams. The name Mankunsky was changed to Myers in Engand. My grandparents Dovid Yitzchok and Tsivia Shochet Myers married in Sheffield in 1899.

I have searched the Hamburg ship lists but can find no record of Taube and Tsivia’s journey. Are the shipping lists complete? Was there another shipping line? My grandmother talked of travelling by horse and cart to Hamburg but once in England they travelled by train from Hull to Sheffield where Dovid Yitzchok and his older brother Benyomin Meir already married to Sarah Rose Nathanson from Prien awaited them.
I would be grateful for any further infomation.
Shirley Adams Holton
formerly of Leeds and Sheffield Now of Chalfont St Giles Buckinghamshire England

Jill Whitehead

Hi Shirley

There are few if any shipping records from Eastern Europe to Hull or any other nearby port such as Grimsby. My ancestors (on three sides) came via Hull between 1865 and 1875, but there are no official records. Please note that by the 1890s a lot of migrants came via Grimsby rather than Hull. You should contact the University of Hull Maritime Studies Dept for further information. 

Records were either not kept or were destroyed for the East Coast ports (my 4th side went to Leith in Scotland but no records there either).

My Guttenberg family also ended up in Sheffield in early 20th century after having lived in Hull and Grimsby in latter quarter of 19th century.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Marion Werle

This is from the database description for the "Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934" on

""Direct passengers" were those who arrived at their final destination upon the same ship that they were registered on when they departed Hamburg. These passengers may have had stopovers in other ports on their way to their final destination, but they remained on the same ship. "Indirect passengers" were those who were registered on one ship in Hamburg, but transferred to another ship before reaching their final destination."

In the case of indirect passengers, the destination will show as another port, possibly British or Scottish. I have, in fact, found one relative where the destination shows as Leith (Glasgow), and he did, in fact, transfer to a U.S. ship called the Nevada. This was difficult to trace, because his name was so badly butchered, but if you know when the ship left Hamburg (or arrived in the UK), you should be able to search for the passenger on ships arriving in the U.S. a couple of weeks later. In the case of my relative with the butchered name, I looked for somebody else (whose name was easier to spell)  on the ship that left Hamburg , and searched for her on Ancestry on ships arriving within the correct timeframe. I then found my relative under another butchered spelling. It wasn't easy, but it was doable.

Good luck!

Marion Werle


Hi Shirley,

Indirect vs. Direct Passage

If your ancestor arrived in Hull, they traveled the indirect route to the USA, and if they're in the Hamburg indexes, it will be in the Indirect Lists. The Hamburg-Amerika Line operated solely from the port of Hamburg. Arriving English passenger lists from the continental (domestic) trade are relatively nonexistent. The British Board of Trade only maintained passenger lists for international/transoceanic voyages. If your ancestors naturalized in the USA (after 1906), you may be able to obtain those records and possibly learn of the ship on which they sailed from England.

The other German port city during the age of the great migration was Bremen, and the shipping line operating from there was the Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL). Bremen was heavily fire-bombed during WWII and the majority of the passenger lists from Bremen were destroyed.

Best of luck in your search,
David Passman
Dallas, Texas