Overland Emigration Routes to Eurropean Ports for passage to U.S. #usa


My gf was from the Minsk area.  He emigrated in 1904 to escape the Russo-Japanese war draft (both my gf's did that).

His petition for US citizenship gave the detail that he arrived on a ship from Trieste.  During that time period it was part of the Hapsburg empire (Austro-Hungary) and is now in Italy.  This was a long trip too.

I finally found someone listed in the manifest who fit my grandfather's description but with a different first name (possibly his brother's or cousin's).

The manifest had quite a few people from Minsk. I couldn't easily read the other towns listed.

Jessica Schein

James Hannum

You might be able to make the town names legible by trying this: 

1.)  Put the atlas into bright, but indirect, sunlight; and

2.) Get closer up and take 4 photos, one of the NE (North East), NW, SE, and SW.  It's OK if the 4 overlap each other a little.  Dividing the subject into 4 pieces allows you to get closer and capture more detail.

These two techinques will give you much higher resolurion (pixels), so the town names will be legible.  
--James Hannum

Arlene Beare

Dr Nick Evans is the guest speaker for Latvia SIG  at the Conference.  We hope to welcome many to his presentation as he is an authority on shipping routes from the Baltic and travel routes in general. The title of his talk - Baltic migration from the Port of Libau.  We are called a Research Division by Jewishgen  but at the Confernece called Latvia SIG.


He will also be giving another presentation at the Conference -Jewish migration to the UK between 1793 and 1914.

Arlene Beare
Co-director Latvia and Estonia Research Division.




A lot of travel information can be found in old passports.  My wife’s great uncle, Jack Ostriak (Jakob Austrjak) immigrated in 1920 from Ciechanów, Poland, to Ellis Island at age 14, accompanied by his older sister Helen (age 16), younger sister Dora (age 12; my wife’s grandmother), and mother Ida.  They joined their father/husband William (Volf), who had migrated in 1912 and settled in northern NJ (Hoboken, then South Amboy).  The reunited family soon after put down roots in Philadelphia.  According to oral history, the family had lost contact in the intervening years due to WW-I, but after the war, Volf reconnected and sent passage money for the family to come to America.  Ida and the kids traveled by train from Ciechanów to Rotterdam, and the route can be deduced from the visas within the Polish passport.  This is the chronology:



7/8/1920: Polish passport issued from Warsaw.

10/20/1920: American visa issued in Warsaw: $9 for the visa stamp and $1 for the application stamp (for each family member).

10/23/1920: Dutch transit visa issued in Warsaw (for travel enroute to the USA).

10/25/1920: German transit visa issued in Warsaw for travel via Berlin to the Dutch border.



11/4/1920: Entered Germany at Soldau, East Prussia (now Dziełdowo, Poland); passport stamped at Soldau.

11/4/1920 (est.): Re-entered Germany at Schneidemühl (after crossing the Polish corridor.

11/6/1920: Exited Germany at Bentheim (passport stamped) and entered the Netherlands at Oldenzaal.

11/6/1920 (est.): Arrived at Rotterdam.

11/23/1920: Embarked on the S.S. Rotterdam (HAL).

12/4/1920: Disembarked at Ellis Island.


Bill Marmer

Fort Washington, PA


MARMER (Baranivka, Ukraine)

şi/Jassy, Romania)
SHULDINER (Žagarė, Lithuania)

OSTRIAK and FRIED/FRID (Ciechanów, Poland)
FINKELSTEIN (Suwałki, Poland)
ți/Belts, Moldova)

Adam Sugerman

The David Rumsey Map Collection is a fantastic site for downloading period maps, including thousands from Eastern Europe with detail of rail lines and transportation routes. I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for a picture of how folks traveled overland – for instance, this map covering Vilna to Podolia in 1883 (including Minsk) and this one of Eastern Europe in 1886. There are a lot of sea maps too, like this one of transport routes in the North Sea, and this map showing similar routes in the Black Sea and Mediterranean (including Odessa).

For an view of early emigration routes from Germany to North America, this map from 1853 in the Library of Congress provides insight into the burgeoning emigrant trade – though perhaps nothing is as illuminating into how Liverpool became an important point of embarkation as this data visualization of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, whose demise left shippers in need of something to ship.

For Lithuanian maps, the well named lithuanianmaps.com site is also brilliant.

Adam Sugerman
Kilauea, HI

Zuckerman/Sugerman in Kovno
Torlowsky/Tarlovsky in Grodno
Goldstone in Bialystok
Goldman in Izabelin, Belarus
Sandler in Vilna and Bielozorka
Miller in Vilna