Travel from Shtetll to Sea Port #ukraine


Ada Glustein
 

My family lived in a small shtetl near Uman, Russia (now Ukraine).  They were a large family and small groups each travelled to a different port of departure on ships that came to Canada, 1910 - 1913.  Does anyone know how much the train tickets would have cost?  Why they would have split up to go to different ports?  (Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp).  I understand that agents came into the area to sell ship passages; did the cost also involve train transport to get to the boats?  How long would such travel have taken?  Would they have travelled in a different way?  Thank you for any info you can share.

Ada Glustein
GLUSTEIN, GLUZSHTEYN, (Kammenaya Krinitsa, Podolia Gubernia; Uman, Kiev Gubernia
PLETSEL, PLETZEL, Ternovka, Podolia


Herbert Lazerow
 

    It was often not possible for people in Europe to save enough money for their trans-Atlantic passage.  I know nothing about Canada, but in Philadelphia, several "banks" were established that allowed persons in the U.S. to make small periodic payments until enough had been accumulated to enable them to bring their relatives over from Europe.  It was the banks that purchased the transportation, and it may have been the banks that decided the port of departure and the shipping line. Whether each bank had a deal with a particular shipping line, I have no idea.
Bert
--
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110 U.S.A.
(619)260-4597 office, (858)453-2388 cell, lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (2d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2020)

--
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110
lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2020)


Marvin Lauwasser
 

I have a bit of a different story on the multiple port question.
The paternal side of my family lived in a town within the Lublin district and, when my grandfather Louis found out that my uncle Dave (at age 15) was about to be conscripted into the Russian Army, they left for America.
I found their 1st manifest showing they were booked on the SS Kursk to depart 9may1911 from the port of Libau, now Liepaja, Latvia.  But their names were lined out and they did not sail.
The 2nd manifest shows they successfully sailed 6jun1911 on the SS Saxonia from (of all places!!) Trieste, Italy,   Overland..over 1100 miles from Liebau.
The rest of the family (GM, uncles, aunts, cousins) would wait out the time required to get passage money and WW1, arriving 1920-23.
So, why were my GF and uncle denied passage?  Perhaps they got into difficulties trying to leave from a port still part of the Russian Empire.  There are also blanks in the spaces designated for whom they would be joining in the US.  A month later, those spaces have scribbling that suggests an NYC destination.

Marvin Lauwasser
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information


Michele Lock
 

The other day, a person posted about the Cowen report, written by a US immigration judge who traveled to Russia in 1906 to investigate various matters pertaining to the Jewish immigration from there. The National Archives has the images of each page of the report available for viewing at: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/602984

The chapter on the immigrant travel routes begin on image 76. The chapter talks about most people holding pre-paid tickets, which means a relative in the US paid for them. My impression reading through this and other documents is that the pre-paid ship tickets included the train trip from the Russian/German border to whichever port the traveler was heading to, and that they had special immigrant trains that made certain that the travelers got to the correct port on time. It seems that immigrants had to pay for their own train tickets for travel within Russia, to get to the border crossing.

I have found the ticket purchase for my grandfather (3 year old Peisach Libman) and his mother and 5 siblings, in the Rosembaum Immigrant bank books, bought in 1907 by my great grandfather, then living in Lancaster, PA. The purchase total was $181 (about $4900 today), and they were ticketed from Libau to Liverpool to Philadelphia. There is an address for their home in Datnova (Dotnuva, Lithuania), where the tickets were sent, or I suppose delivered by an agent. 




--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Lee Jaffe
 

Thank you so much for the link to the Cowen report.  I have only skimmed it, esp. the section on travel you highlighted, and it is very informative and fascinating. It is great to read a contemporary account, so clearly and engagingly written.   I've been trying to learn more about the journey out of the Pale, the mechanics of crossing frontiers, arrangement for the different stages of travel, documents required, etc., to help supplement my understanding of my family's story.   I have the original Russian passports for 2 of my maternal great-grandparents and wondered how someone came by such documents.  This was esp. interesting since my paternal grandfather told me he was smuggled across the Russian border into Germany.  I've read several first-hand accounts of the journey, including a spare rendering in Sholem Aleichem's Motl, the cantor's son, in which he describes the family being smuggled across the border with their household goods, housed at a nearby inn until they can be put on a train to the port when they will embark.   

Until this recent finding, I've been able to find only anecdotal accounts, sometime fictional, or bits and pieces about critical points of the journey.  Someone has already mentioned the immigrant banks in Philadelphia: there is some information about the payment scheme and the system for delivering tickets via local agents to the travelers attached to those collections, I believe.  Perhaps more relevant to the original question, I've also read (sorry, but I can't put my finger on the source) that the immigrant trade was very lucrative and there was sometimes fierce competition for business.  This included not only the steamship lines but also the countries where the ports were located. Thus, travelers passing through Germany on their way to Antwerp were often harassed by officials along the way.  My grandfather said his train was delayed by officials, causing him to miss his ship, forcing him to wait until the next available passage.  This was documented in the Cowen report.  Perhaps choosing different routes depended on such factors, affecting the relative difficulty or ease of reaching one port or the other.  Or those with more money or easier access to official papers would take one route and those with few means had to take another.

Just a heads up to those of you who plan programming for a JGS or research institution, that a presentation on this topic would be very welcome.  

Lee 
--

Lee David Jaffe

Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland

 


Ada Glustein
 

Thank you all, so much, for the informative and helpful responses.  I've been making my way through the Cowen report and am so impressed with all the stories and persons that Cowen engaged with.  It really does give a good picture of the hows and whys of emigration and the extreme difficulties in leaving a shtetl until boarding a ship -- not to mention those difficulties, too. He is talking about 1906, in particular, and I imagine there would be some changes by 1910 - 1913.  I appreciate that there is some mention of people leaving for Canada, as well.  I will try to find out more about prepaid tickets, banks, etc. here.  

Again, many thanks!

Ada Glustein

GLUSTEIN, GLUZSHTEYN, Podolia Gubernia; Uman, Kiev Gubernia
PLETSEL, PLETZEL, Ternovka, Podolia


Jx. Gx.
 

Thank you Michele for sharing the link to the Cowen Report.  My grandfather came over in 1906 so this report is like finding a gold mine.

Did anyone else have problems trying to download the report or is it made not to be downloaded?

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona  


billie.stein@...
 

Thank you Michele. The Cowen report is fascinating, but much too long to read online in a single sitting. I tried to download it using the export button, but only managed to get a 3 page description of the report. It's also possible to download one page at a time, but I haven't found a way to get the full 193 pages in one pdf.  Has anyone else figured out how to do it?

Billie Stein
Givatayim, Israel


Peter MacDonald
 

There appear to be two ways to download the whole file.

1. Scroll down the page and just below the document window there is an icon with a down arrow. Click it.
2. Scroll down the page until you see the red icon "PDF."  Click it.

--
Peter J. MacDonald
Kishinev, Bessarabia: FRAYNT, FRANT
Chicago: FRIEND


Susan&David
 

This is the site with the Cowen Report PDF. Scroll down to see it.
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/602984

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 5/28/2021 8:57 AM, Peter MacDonald wrote:
There appear to be two ways to download the whole file.

1. Scroll down the page and just below the document window there is an icon with a down arrow. Click it.
2. Scroll down the page until you see the red icon "PDF."  Click it.

--
Peter J. MacDonald
Kishinev, Bessarabia: FRAYNT, FRANT
Chicago: FRIEND


Richard Gordon
 

Hello Ada,

If you are looking at the pdf document online, within your browser, click on File / Save As... and you will save the entire pdf (108.9 MB) to wherever you want it.

Richard Gordon
Northern Ireland.


Jim Peskin
 

Under US Immigration laws the steamship companies were legally responsible for every passenger who boarded one of their ships. The steamship companies knew the medical and financial requirements that the US government had because they would be fined $100 (current value is $3,000)  if one of their passengers was rejected in the US.  As a result there were very careful screening of boarding passengers in the European ports.  Hamburg and Antwerp both have museums that document the process.

One of the most frequent causes for exclusion was if the passenger had a "loathsome or contagious infectious disease." The companies had a whole retinue of doctors and medical tests that every passenger had to pass prior to boarding. A possibility is that one of the party was ill or had a condition that was excludable and the Latvian inspections were very thorough. If was something short term they could have gotten over it on voyage to Trieste or they decided to make another attempt and conceal the problem. 

If you look at the manifests of arrivals at Ellis Island  there are some codes that indicate the reason for detention and exclusion. Look carefully at the original manifest and see if there are any clues. Also have a look at the arriving manifest in the US, the problem might have persisted and dealt with in the port of entry. 

Jim Peskin


Michele Lock
 

There seems to be a good amount of interest in first-hand or contemporaneous accounts of immigration journeys, which certainly act as a counterweight to the family stories one hears.

For reasons that are unclear to me, my grandfather used to say his older brother Eli missed the boat from Liverpool to Philadelphia, because Eli ran after a man he thought was his Uncle Max at the dockside in Liverpool. Except - I found the ship passenger list for the trip from Liverpool, and little Eli was on the boat, along with the rest of the family. I don't know how these stories get started.

For some other first-hand accounts - 

A young Jewish woman named Mary Antin, who immigrated with her family from Polotzk, Belarus, to Boston in 1893, wrote a memoir about their lives there and in the US. The entire book has been digitized, and it is the chapter called 'Exodus' that describes their journey:
https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/antin/land/land.html

Not for the faint of heart - Here is a 1909 report by the US Immigration Commission on steerage conditions on immigrant ships. The best that can be said - at least on the bigger ships, there was kosher food:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=chi.083689176&view=1up&seq=1

And on the legal status and conditions for Jews in the Russian Empire, written in 1906 by a US foreign service office from the embassy in St. Petersburg:
https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1906p2/d409
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


estherahr@...
 

What route was taken to get from the Ukraine (Chekassy) to England? What route was taken to get from Simferopol to England, the USA?
Esther Rechtschafner (researching:
H(G}erschman from Vitebsk and respective area
Pass from Rezekne, Latvia and respective area
Marcus from Sveksna , Lithuania and respective area
Goldin(g) from Cherkassy, Ukraine and respective area
Feivel from Sokal, Poland -Ukraine and respective area
Rechtschafner from Lvov, Poland -Ukraine and respective area)


Susan H. Sachs
 

Thank you, Michele Lock, for posting the link to this report on steerage conditions on immigrant journeys!!  It seems like it can add greater depth and understanding to the family history of that era for anyone who has found that their elders traveled steerage class (as reported on the ships manifests). 

Susan Sachs


Jx. Gx.
 

Michele has once again generously shared with us two additional resources that give excellent accounts of the hardships our ancestors endured living inside the Pale and during their voyage to America.

As a corollary to Michele's suggested readings, I recommend the book "Life is With the People: The Culture of the Shtetl" by Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog. As its subtitle indicates, it is a cultural history that describes in detail the everyday life of Jews living in the Shtetl. Its an old book so you might have a little difficulty finding a copy. 

https://www.amazon.com/Life-People-Culture-Mark-Zborowski/dp/0805200207/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Life+is+with+the+people&qid=1622482607&s=books&sr=1-1

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona


Esther Brill
 

Hi Ada - I am working on a report for a course I took on JewishGen on Immigration and have come across several good websites.  Do you have the manifests?  - they might have costs, ticket agency etc 
One deals with ships, their history, ports, immigration laws, etc and can be found at Historical Ephemera Collections 1880s - 1950s | GG Archives (gjenvick.com)

Another great article, that I think someone alluded to is Szajkowski, Z. (1977). Sufferings of Jewish Emigrants to America in Transit through Germany. Jewish Social Studies, 39(1/2), 105-116. Retrieved April 19, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4466952

My pgm went on Holland America in 1917 and I was lucky to get in touch with someone who writes a blog for them and he was able to get in touch with him and he was able to read the manifest and noted that my gm and her 4 children paid "
192 Dutch florins for the whole party of  which 75 florins was commission for the booking agency) 

I also wrote to the Museum of Polish History and a resource person there kindly directed me to the following map of the railway system  

Kolej_w_Kongresówce_1842-1918.png (1187×1403) (wikimedia.org)

Feel free to contact me privately for other notes I found which I am now trying to figure out where I got them 

Esther Levine Brill