Ship Manifest Notation Question #records


Abram LIVER, a Sugihara refugee arrived in Seattle on July 7, 1941 from
Yokohama,  aboard the Japanese ship Hie Maru.  The  manifest can be
found on both and on by searching his
name, the date, and Seattle.
The attached excerpt shows him as passenger #1 with the notation "File
424/2860"  Passenger #6 has a similar notation, 423/2224
Both were Board of Special Inquiry cases and both had to post $500 bond
before being allowed to land.

Does anyone recognize the File 424/2860 notation and where the file
might be held today.?

David Rosen
Boston, MA


Hello David,

This question is about the local file numbers annotated on this passenger list page, but I find myself drawn to all the other great information noted there too.  First, I'll try to answer your specific question.

The numbers "424/2860" and "423/2244" appear to be local Seattle office files to hold the correspondence regarding the bonds (authority to give bond typically required approval from Washington prior to 1950, hence the need for correspondence).  However, I'm unable to match any files with that prefix to what I know about surviving Seattle files in NARA Seattle.  I would recommend contacting NARA Seattle archivists to see if they can identify such files and whether they survive.

Meanwhile this passenger list is chock full of information (once you see the whole thing).  

He was admitted only for the purpose of transiting the US.  Columns 12 & 13 show he was issued a transit certificate at the US Embassy or Consulate at Moscow on Dec 23, 1940.  He was admitted as a transit on that certificate at Seattle in late June 1941. However, he did not transit (he did not exit the US shortly after).  This is understandable given the state of undeclared war in Atlantic in 1941, lots of people could not travel.

So the annotations beginning in column 8 tell us what happened next.  At first I thought the "Ext to 12/14/43- head tax paid" referred to an extension of his transit certificate (or his legal nonimmigrant status generally), but now I think it is referring to his Polish passport.
It also says "Adm Rouses Point, NY, 5/3/1943 for perm[anent] res[idence]."  So May 3, 1943 is his official immigration arrival date, and we need to look for that record.

Sadly the records needed (NARA pub M1463) is not on Ancestry (I will never understand that omission).  It is on FamilySearch but not well indexed.  I found the reels, Soundexed the name, and navigated around (very old school!) and found what I was looking for.

First I found a manifest card Form 548 for Abram Liver with all the standard information.  I've pasted it below with the FamilySearch Film ID and image number showing.  Seems Abram had been living in Albany, NY and after getting a visa went to Canada and turned around to immigrate "officially" via Rouses Point on May 3rd.  This card documents that admission.  

But this card also had a cross-reference, saying "See 548 of Abram LIWER."  So I Soundexed again and navigated again and found a second manifest card 548 with both sides completed and some more of the story (tho' the quality of the image is poor, I corrected it a bit).

It was April 27,1943 when Abram went to the Immigration Office in Albany, NY to be pre-examined as a prospective immigrant.  He was found admissible as long as he got a valid immigration visa (much more possible by 1943--and he apparently had or obtained one in the following 2 weeks).  At that time the Albany office re-registered him under the 1940 Alien Registration Act.  It says he was previously registered but never received his receipt card.  We don't know if he was really registered before, it is very possible, but we don't know the number.  This 548 tells us his A-number from 1943 is A7814518.  I tried looking for it among the A-files at NARA but had no luck.  It likely remains with USCIS.  If you request it**, be sure to send a copy of this card (front & back) to prove that is his A-number (just in case they try to say they can't find anything).  **UNLESS he naturalized prior to 4/1/1956, in which case you need to request the C-file!

The second card also references:
- An Ellis Island correspondence file, 99569/805 (looks like), and those files do NOT survive.
- A "CO" (Washington, DC) Pre-Examination file PE-18231.  IF it survives it is in the A-file.  Otherwise no.
- A CO INS correspondence file, looks like 56097/241.  This is a file that is very likely to survive at the National Archives in Washington, within the series that is NAID 559947.  If I were to send Archives I an email requesting it, I would include/associate "May 1943" with this file number because we don't know if it is just one file about this one immigrant, or a BIG multi-part file on pre-examinations arranged chronologically.  But no one will know until it is requested.

I hope all that is not too much!

Marian Smith