Topics

How they traveled #usa #romania #russia


Marcia Segal
 

Hello there,

I'd be interested in learning how people in the late 1800s would have traveled to get to the steamships that would take them (sometimes indirectly, via other ports) to the US. There are two journeys in particular:

1888 - from Harlau, Romania, to Hamburg, Germany
1890 from Gorodische, about 100 miles from Kiev, to Hamburg, Germany

I would imagine by train but it seems the cost would be prohibitive. But it must have been cheaper (and more accessible) than a horse-drawn carriage. The same question applies to travel between other points. If there are books on this subject I'd appreciate learning about them. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Marcia Segal


Jorge Sexer
 

Marcia, that is exactly the question I have always wondered about. My great grand parents emigrated from Ukraine to Argentina in 1889 and nobody could tell me how they got from their shtetl to Bremen, near Hamburg. As a matter of fact, I have written a summary of the information I could gather, mostly from different sites on the Internet. Only, it is in Spanish… If you can read that language, I could send the PDF to you (and to anybody interested).
My signature: Jorge Sexer,  jas2608@...


David Lewin
 

At 13:13 18/12/2020, Jorge Sexer via groups.jewishgen.org wrote:
Marcia, that is exactly the question I have always wondered about. My great grand parents emigrated from Ukraine to Argentina in 1889 and nobody could tell me how they got from their shtetl to Bremen, near Hamburg. As a matter of fact, I have written a summary of the information I could gather, mostly from different sites on the Internet. Only, it is in Spanish… If you can read that language, I could send the PDF to you (and to anybody interested).
My signature: Jorge Sexer,  jas2608@...
_._,_._,_


An excellent translation tool is at https://www.deepl.com/translator  Certainly Spanish = German works

It is far superior to the        https://translate.google.com/ site but has fewer languages      

Sorry, this substitute Jewishgen site does not allow me to see which Marcia is involved.  I "remember the fleshpots of Egypt" and mourn the loss of that site

Have a healthy 2021

David Lewin
London


jbonline1111@...
 

According to my family lore, my grandfather and his uncle escaped Russia (from what is now Belarus) by hiding in a hay wagon.  However, there are no details as to how far that wagon carried them and how they then got to Hamburg, where they took a ship to America.  My grandfather was about 12 at the time.

Barbara Sloan


Sherri Bobish
 


If interested in the journey to America, I suggest Mary Antin's 1912 book "The Promised Land."
Chapter VIII, The Exodus, describes the journey.
The full text of the book is on-line:
https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/antin/land/land.html

Regards,

Sherri Bobish


Michele Lock
 

This article below has information about the rail journey from the German/Russian border to Hamburg or Bremen

http://ronaldimiller.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/PDF-trains-shelters-ships.pdf

It doesn't sound like the rail journeys were at all pleasant, but they appear to have been efficient, and designed to make sure immigrants entered, traveled through, and then left Germany. And likewise the rail trip from the east coast of England to Liverpool or Glasgow.

--
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus


Susan&David
 

I have a similar story,  told to me by my father. He emigrated from a town in Poland in 1913 as a sixteen year old, was hidden in a hay wagon and taken over the German border to a nearby railroad station. He took a train to Hamburg. From there by ship  to the East Coast of England, then by train to Liverpool. Then to Boston.  He said he had a great time during this whole adventure.

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 12/18/2020 3:10 PM, jbonline1111@... wrote:
According to my family lore, my grandfather and his uncle escaped Russia (from what is now Belarus) by hiding in a hay wagon.  However, there are no details as to how far that wagon carried them and how they then got to Hamburg, where they took a ship to America.  My grandfather was about 12 at the time.

Barbara Sloan


Peninah Zilberman
 

They travelled by many times hoping in different wagons, sometimes by train, either bought a ticket, or someone gave them....and Yes, by walking...they were looking at the end result ...the light at the end of the tunnel..."America The Goldene Medina"...America the country of Gold!
 
Hard to believe for us because of our upbringing, but these were our family members Very Determined...may they rest in Peace.

Fundatia Tarbut Sighet

www.ftsighet.com


mandy.molava@...
 

This is so interesting, my great grandparents travelled early 1900's came to live in England, but the brothers all USA, so I've been trying to imagine what journey they would have had.

Not sure if anyone has been to any of the Ancestry conferences, they only had an England travel talk, I might contact them to try and include this in the next conference which is online next year USA.

Mandy Molava


peggyfreedman@...
 

I was given a memoir by a cousin whose father was hired as a "raft worker."  He helped take timber from the forests in Lithuania to a port by working on a raft about 1892.  It is the only time that I've heard of floating downstream to get to a port city, but he describes crossing the Russian-German border and having his passport approved.

I think that there were lots of ways to travel, we just don't know about all of them!

Peggy Mosinger Freedman
www.peggyspage.org


hillelbick@...
 

My great great grandfather travelled from Krasilov Ukraine to Tzefat Palestine in August 1899.He sent a letter to his daughter setting out the travel details. The town/cities are in Hrbrew and I have been unable to find (through Google) what the English equivalent .three  that are clear are Istanbul and Tripoli and Beirut.
The letter states that he left by boat to Istambul. Since he was coming from Krasilov ,I presume that he left Ukraine from Odessa ( ?).
The following are the cities  mentioned in order (  איסטאמבול>דארביגלען>מארטילן>אזמירוב>חיאת>סאמיסט>טריפולי>(דרך ספינה
ביירוט<: צפת 
 Can anyone identify the towns  with English spelling  -except for Istanbul,Tripoli, Beirut and Tzefat
Thank you,

Hillel Bick


RICHARD GROSS
 

In addition to trains and haywagons, some walked from Romania to ports of embarkation. According to the Spring 1997 ROM-SIG Newsletter (v.5, #3, p.4), "A unique group of very poor, but highly motivated, young Jews (Fusgeyers) walked from Moldavia across Europe to Antwerp and sailed to America." Just Google "Fusgeyers," and you will find numerous sources.
Richard Gross
Guilford, Connecticut


Lee Jaffe
 

I've been looking for sources that can elaborate on the journey, including the legal/illegal and financial aspects involved.  I have little pieces of the story but I'm intrigued by how all the moving parts fit together to enable someone living in a small rural town – perhaps speaking only Yiddish, maybe a minor, without official permission to travel or leave the Empire – could travel across several frontiers, a journey of days, arriving at a port city, negotiate boarding a steamship, with all the fiscal and legal transactions involved.  

There is an episode in Sholem Aleichem's Motl, the Cantor's Son in which the family travels to America.   It involves travel by wagon, being smuggled across the frontier and escorted to lodging before being put on a train to a port city.  There were obviously "agents" who took care of arrangements organized in advance, but there are no clues about how those were managed.

My grandfather told me he was smuggled across the Russian border from his town in Poland, near Bialystok, and put on a train to Antwerp.  The train was delayed by the Germans and he arrived too late for his passage and had to wait in Antwerp for a week for the next ship.  According to him, he was 13, accompanying a younger cousin, spoke Yiddish only.  He didn't say (and I failed to ask) how he got across Poland to the frontier, who smuggled him across the border, who put him on the train, who arranged for lodging in Antwerp, and how did he pay for it, and who negotiated his passage when he missed the first boat.  I know that there was a system where family in the US could deposit money in a bank in order to pay for the crossing but I'd like to know more about the whole scheme, step-by-step. 

I have two Russian passports for my great-grandparents (other side of the family).  The one for my great-grandfather has many pages torn out (coupons?) and only the barest information remains.  But my great-grandmother's passport includes three pages with handwritten information, one of which is in French: "The bearer ... the wife of a citizen of Mohilev, with 3 children ...has permission to board."  I assume that this was their official authorization to leave the Empire.  It is dated a week before I find her on a ship's manifest with the 3 children.  How did someone get such a passport?  Were they common?  I assume that those who traveled by wagon and were smuggled across were those without passports.  Was there a completely different system in place for those traveling legally and illegally.  Or, were the arrangements the same for everyone once they crossed the frontier?   I note that the name on the manifest was different than the one on the passport, so that was not the basis for the travel arrangements outside of Russia.  

I'd love to see a point-by-point narrative of how such a fraught journey was arranged and managed.  Any suggestions?

Lee Jaffe 
JAFFE/STEIN/SZTEJNSAPIR/JOROFF/ZAROV/BRAUN/WEINBLATT/SCHWARTZ/SCHWARZMAN/LUDWINOWSKA



Michele Lock
 

I’m responding to a couple of posts above –

 

The Fusgeyers – There was an article written on the Jewish Telegraphic website back in 2005, that says the these travelers walked across Romania, rather than walking clear across Europe. They were stopped at the Austro-Hungarian border. They were able to proceed by train and then by ship because Jewish communities in Austria, Hungary and Germany paid for their tickets, apparently so the travelers would not remain in those countries (and cause embarrassment).

 

https://www.jta.org/2005/02/06/lifestyle/book-tells-of-wandering-romanian-jews

 

How immigrants got their ship/rail tickets – Temple University has images of the ticket purchase records of the Blitzstein Immigrant Bank in Philadelphia. I found my greatgrandfather’s purchase of tickets for his wife and children (including my then 3 year old grandfather). The family’s address in Lithuania is shown, so that they could receive their tickets, most likely from a local agent near their town in Lithuania. For persons who bought their own tickets, they also would have gone to a local agent. It’s my understanding that these were combined rail/ship tickets. The Blitzstein ledgers show who paid for the ticket, the passenger’s name and address in the old country, the name of the ship, the port where the ship was leaving from, and any intermediate ports (Liverpool, etc.). Gives a good snapshot of the various routes that immigrants took to come to the US.

 

https://digital.library.temple.edu/digital/search/collection/p16002coll16

--
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus


Jorge Sexer
 

Having or not having a Russian passport made all the difference. With a passport you could board a train or a boat to leave the Empire. Without, your only choice was to get smuggled across the German or Austrian frontier.

 

A passport was expensive and impossible to obtain if someone in the family was due his military service (in that case you had to pay a huge fine). Crossing the frontier illegally was not free either : you had to hire a "tour guide", who in his turn bribed the frontier guards. Some witnesses say that it was dangerous, other describe it as a routine affair.

 

Entering Germany the legal way was not necessarily easy either : you had to show a passenger ticket (preferrably by a German shipping company) and a sum of money to make sure that you wouldn’t be denied entry to the U.S. The Germans wanted migrants to pass swiftly through their country and leave as soon as possible. The transport of migrants was a profitable business for the German companies and state.

Jorge Sexer   jas2608@...


jbonline1111@...
 

Jorge Sexer, your comments brought up some questions about my family.  My great grandfather had a Russian passport. I have a copy of part of it. Three of his children are listed on it. If I understand correctly, he may have traveled more than once from Russia to America, bringing more children each time.  Older children traveled together, but separately from their father. Is there a way to get a fuller picture of this family's travel to America?  
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Jx. Gx.
 

Michele Lock posted a wonderful link to Temple University's holdings of record books of immigrant ticket purchases at the Blitzstein Immigrant Bank in Philadelphia. (https://digital.library.temple.edu/digital/search/collection/p16002coll16) Thank you, Michele!  I was wonder if you or anyone else can please recommend a source for the same type of information for tickets that were purchased in New York City where all of my ancestors arrived and resided. 

Thank you.

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona  


Michele Lock
 

I found out about the Philadelphia Immigrant bank ticket purchase ledgers by searching on JewishGen for anything about my Leibman relatives in Pennsylvania. That's when the index entries for my relatives in the ledgers came up. I don't know of any similar online ledgers for ticket purchases made in New York City. Perhaps the Center for Jewish History in NYC would know if any of these are available, or someone at JewishGen who handles NYC records might know.
--
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus


Gary
 

After getting chased out of Zhivotov by a pogrom, my maternal grandmother and her family made the crossing to Romania. I'm not clear on the exact details, but I know it took several attempts. I believe one smuggler took their money and left them to die in a valley somewhere. Another attempt was aborted when my grandmother came down with the measles. Finally they made it across and eventually made their way to the U.S.

A letter from my maternal grandfather to his parents indicated there was apparently a book published in Romania about my grandmother's adventures. No other information and the first time I'd heard about such a thing. How to go about finding such a book I have no idea. I believe the crossing from Russia to Romania have happened around 1921. 
--
Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD
SCVIRSCI, Zhivotov, Ukraine; WASHLIKOVSKY/WASHALKOWSKY, SATER, Bialystock, Poland; LIFSHITS/LIFSHITZ, GOROVITZ, Ufa, Russia