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Trivia Items from TSL Archives

The following items were posted to TheShipsList. They, along with many other items, can be found in the Archives. However, we have extracted some that we thought might be of more general interest.


The Downs

The Downs is the name given to an area of sea in the English Channel off the town of Deal. Many large ships used to anchor there in sheltered waters and were victualled (and often had passengers board) often from Deal itself. Smaller vessels used to navigate the Goodwin Sands (an area of dangerous sandbanks exposed at low tide, lying off Deal/Ramsgate which used to be known as the 'Ship Swallower') to reach the large ships lying off - the history books tell us that there were sometimes as many as 500 ships anchored out there, which must have been quite a sight!

If you look at your map of England, find the eastern end of the English Channel where the Kent coast line gets quite close to that of mainland Europe. You will find Deal between Dover and Ramsgate - just a small town but holding a very significant place in England's maritime history.

If your family did board from Deal, they were probably quite pleased to get away from the town - it was a rough, hard drinking, hard living place where people had to fight to survive. The local occupation was fishing (and smuggling!).... the fishermen would meet up at the local public houses (bars) to organise themselves into crews .... they were prepared to fight each other for the best fishing positions... there was great rivalry among the crews of the various boats and the local newspapers record drunken brawls sometimes to the point of death! There were also fairly genteel establishments away from the main seashore hostelries so hopefully if they did board from Deal they spent an uneventful night whilst waiting to board their ship!

While you have your atlas open, you may care to follow the coastline roundto Broadstairs, just 3 miles from Ramsgate, which is where my weekend ShipList postings originate! Unspoilt Victorian little town where Dickenswrote several of his books, but which also had a significant shipbuilding yard and from where the British fleet was victualled at the time of the Armada when it was lying off Ramsgate. And Broadstairs's other claim to fame was that due to rough weather the ship bearing the messenger was forced to put into Broadstairs, and the first news of the defeat of Napoleon reached Britain in the Admiralty Office on the beach at Eagle House! There you go, a little bit of Kentish trivia for you! (Debbie Beavis)

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Journal of 1729 Voyage to America - Clinton Company

The voyage, on the George & Ann, left on May 9th 1729 and "discovered land of the Continent of America ye 4th day of October 1729." A total of 139 days form embarktation to the landing at Cape Cod, durning which time 96 deaths occured on board the ship.The original destination of the Clinton Company was to Pennsylvania, but from the terrible mortality on the vessel, and the shortness of provisions growing out of so long a voyage, the passengers were glad to see land at the first available place, which proved to be Cape Cod. Remaining there during the winter, were a number added to the list of dead,they came to New York, where, finding satisfactory terms, they purchased lands at Little Britain ( at that time it was Ulster Co NY, but after 1789 became Orange Co NY. Very near to the Hudson River) where they gave to the State, in themselves and in there descendants, some of the noblest men in its annals.

Just a few quotes of the Journals.

A journal of my Voyage and Travles from the County of Longford in the Kingdom of Ireland to Pennsylvania in America, Anno Dom. 1729. I took my journey from County of Longford on friday the 9th day of May: came to Dublin on the 12th ditto. Entered on shipboard call'd the Groege & Ann ye 18th. Sett sail the 20th....Came to anchor ar Glanrom on th 24th, where Matthew McClaughry and his wife and two of his family went on shoar and quit their voyage. Set sail from Glanarom on ye 25th and came to anchor at Green Castle in the Lough of Foyle on ye 26th, were we stay'd to ye 29th.; then sett sail in company with John of Dublin, bound for New Castle in the same country....On the 30th at night a stron arose yt continued to ye first of JUne at eneninf which Lowered our Bowsprit with hazard to our Masts....On the 3rd ditto my daughter Catherine and son James fell sick of the measels... A strong gale of westerly wind continued to ye 10th ditto...James Wilson child died ye 5th....On the 8th child of James McDowel's died and was thrown overboard...One of ye servt's on board beloning to Gerald Cruise threw himself over deck and was drowned... On the 15th my daughter Mary fell sick of ye measels...A Return of the persons that died on board of ye George and Ann...On Tuesday ye 23d a child of John Brooks died...My own daughter(Mary) on ye 2 of August at night....a girl of Robert Frazer...a son of John McDowel...a son of Robert Frazer...a child of James Thompson...Robert Frazer...John Crook a salior...James Thompson's wife...Widow Frazer's daughter...another servant of Cruise' son James on ye 28th of August, 1729 at 7 in ye morning...Discovered land on ye Contient of America ye 4th day of October 1729.

From History of Orange Co NY 1683-1881 by Ruttenger & Clark publ. 1881 Note: Charles Clinton was the father of Governor George Clinton (the 1st Gov of the State of NY under the constitution of 1777, and later held the office of Vice President of America. (Florence Fulton Wolfe)

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Emigrants From Scotland 1890-1960

There have been a few posts over the last few days regarding tracing Scottish emigrants and the ports which they may have used. If you plan to search passenger lists (1890-1960) for Scottish emigrants, you should bear in mind that would-be travellers often had to journey some distance to board the ships..there are only three choices for Scottish departures.

The passenger lists are boxed as follows:

  • LEITH holds the lists for Edinburgh departures
  • DUNDEE holds those for departures further north on the east coast.
  • GLASGOW holds west coast departures for Greenock and Glasgow

Scottish emigrants can sometimes be hard to find. It is very tempting to assume that Scottish emigrants left from Scottish ports - even when they lived quite near to a suitable port in fact they often travelled south by train and picked up one of the larger, faster and perhaps more comfortable ships leaving from Liverpool, London or even Southampton. (Debbie Beavis)

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Germans To New Orleans

In 1829, Gottfried Duden published Report On a Journey to the Western States of North America . . .1824-1827. From 1829-1840, Duden wrote and published several editions of this guidebook for German emigrants. It was widely distributed in Germany, "significantly influenced German emigration before 1860" and was instrumental in attracting emigrants to midwestern states, especially Missouri. Duden's influential book was translated by James W. Goodrich, et al, and published by the University of Missouri Press in 1980.

The following excerpt, from page 250-251 (1980 edition) is a list of the tools and household goods that Duden recommends bringing to America (1830s-1840s):

Whoever sails for New Orleans should provide himself in Europe with house, field, carpentering, and other implements, and he should take two of each item. Especially let him take: good axes that are approximately five to six pounds in weight, smaller hand axes, broad axes for dressing the timber, wedges for splitting wood, large saws about six to seven feet in length, for timbering, handsaws, drills and planes, including the wedges, coffee mills, large mills to be attached to a base (to be able to grind grain at home in case there are not any water or horse-operated mills nearby); light stoves for wood, also some very long pipe (in order not to need a chimney at the very beginning; it might be worth a great deal over there if one could get under a roof quite quickly, not to mention saving labor with firewood). Mattocks, spades, plowshares and plow chains, heavy chains for dragging timber, copper vessels, iron bedsteads, fire tongs, iron grills, hearth irons for hanging up the cooking pots, spinning wheels, and reels. . . . Whatever a farmer brings along for his own use is free of duty (which in the case of iron implements usually amounts to 20 to 25 percent). Two long shotguns (duck guns) and good rifles should not be forgotten, just as one should bring a pair of riding saddles as well as the bits.

Whoever travels to the Atlantic coast would do best to buy all items there (with the exception of the shotguns), in the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. The difference in price is so little compared to the difficulties and cost of transport. ---However, everybody should provide himself in Germany with enough underwear for several years as well as with ready-made clothing made of woolen cloth, for tailors' wages are high in all of America. Nevertheless it is advisable to buy at the Atlantic coast rather than in the interior. No one should think that these conditions will change quickly. Whoever buys along the Atlantic coast has also to pay attention to careful packing and has to direct the transfer so that wherever he travels by water the items will be shipped by the same boat. If one leaves them to be shipped by merchants all the way to the Mississippi then one will often have to wait for half a year for them. Whoever elects this plan anyway should not forget the insurance, which does not cost much. . . . They do not charge anything for four to five hundred pounds on the steamboats. In general the freight in America is not very high. (Diana Church)

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US War Brides

The ITALIA was bought by the US government on 13 December 1941, renamed JOHN ERICSSON and served as a US troopship. On 7 May 1946 she was chartered by United States Line and commenced New York - Southampton sailings. (Ted Finch)

On many of her voyages in 1946 she was transporting the British 'GI Brides' to the United States - good background information on the girls and their husbands (and often the children) is available at the PRO in Kew. (Debbie Beavis)

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The VOLANT Collision - 1878

The following article appeared in the Portland, Maine, Advertiser in 1878:


The schooner DREADNOUGHT arrived at this port last evening (29 Aug 1878), at 6 o’clock, having in tow the schooner VOLANT of Bear River, Nova Scotia, which had been seriously injured in a collision with an unknown vessel. The VOLANT bore her flag at half mast in consequence of the loss of her captain and steward. We are indebted to the mate, and a passenger for the following particulars.

The VOLANT, Capt. Abraham Balcom, left this port Thursday afternoon for Annapolis, Nova Scotia, with a small cargo of flour. The vessel is 75 tons burden and owned at Bear River. She had a crew consisting of captain, mate, steward and two men, and two passengers: one a young man, a bricklayer, bound for Halifax, and the other an Indian. About 10 P.M., when off Seguin, with lights burning, and a good look out, a large three-masted schooner was seen, bearing down on the VOLANT a few hundred yards distant. The strange schooner was hailed, and every effort made to avoid a collision, but in vain. The three-master, which was going at the rate of six knots an hour, struck the VOLANT on the starboard side, a little aft of amidships, a glancing blow, cutting down all the railing, and carrying away the mainmast and rigging. At the same time the jib boom raked the group standing at the wheel of the VOLANT, consisting of the captain, the Indian, and the steward, who was at the helm, knocking them overboard. The mate crawled forward on his hands and knees to the look-out in the bow, expecting every minute to be struck by the falling spar.

As the vessels collided, the other hand and the bricklayer ran up from below, and the latter threw a line overboard and then jumped into the chains of the strange vessel assisting them to cut away from the wreck. Some of the stranger’s crew lowered a boat and picked up the Indian and took him aboard their vessel, but as soon as the captain had cut his craft free he compelled the bricklayer and Indian to return to their own vessel, although he did not know the extent of the damage he had done, and then fled away, the only damage his vessel had received being the loss of the jib boom. The captain and steward were heard but a moment after they were knocked over-board. The captain sang out, “Keep her to,” and the steward, “My God.” The captain was 45 years of age and leaves a wife and two children at Annapolis. He is said to have been a fine man. The steward, George Isles, was a married man also, belonged to Bear River. After cutting away the hamper, the VOLANT managed to keep off shore until 10 o’clock yesterday morning when the DREADNOUGHT met her and towed her to Portland. It is thought the name of the three-master was the LOTTIE M. KIMBERLY, but no such name is to be found in the Records. It appeared to be an ice schooner bound to Boston. (Stuart Balcomb)

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Extracts From New York Times of 1871

The New York Times cost was a nickel. Public debt was reduced by $7,103,349.91 for the month of June; coin balance was $96,683,900; currency balance $9,533.363; coin certificates $19,886,300.

The SS Wyoming arrived July 2, 1871 and was planning on returning to England on July 12, sailing at 2:00 PM. The Liverpool and Great Western Steam Company had ships leaving every Wednesday. Their complement included the Wyoming (Captain Whineray); Minnesota (Captain Freeman); Idaho (Captain Price); Colorado (Captain Freeman); Wisconsin (Captain Williams); Nevada (Captain Green). Cost was $80.00 gold for Cabin, $30.00 currency for Steerage. They also carried the US Mail.

Other lines advertised were the General Transatlantic Company, with the Lafayette, St. Laurent, Ville de Paris, and Periere. Passage here was $140 gold for first cabin, $75.00 gold for second cabin. They had no steerage.

The Inman Line had the City of Brussels, the Nemesis, and the City of London. Passage was $75.00 gold First Cabin, $30.00 currency for steerage.

Anchor Lines had Anigilia, Australia, Britannia, Europa, India as 'express' steamer, and the Assyria, Dacian, Iowa, Ismalia and Caledonia as 'extra' steamers, departing every Wednesday and Saturday. Costs were Cabin $65.00 - $75.00 currency; Intermediate $33.00; Steerage $28.00. You could also get cabin excursion tickets good for 12 months for $130.00.

The White Star Line had the Atlantic and Oceanic. "New and full-powered steamships, the 6 largest in the world." Saloon state rooms, smoking room, and bath rooms in midship $80.00 gold. Steerage $30.00 currency.

On another note, under 'miscellaneous' I found that Captain Whineray of the Wyoming reported that during his voyage, on June 23, 200 miles West of Fastnet, he sighted a vessel flying a distress flag. It was the brig James Curtin, Captain Sheehan in command. The Wyoming took the crew off, who were all exhausted from manning the pumps. They also passed the steamship the City of Antwerp, City of Dublin, the bark Elgin, and ship Michael Angelo, and an unnamed brig-rigged steamer bound east. (Warren White)

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Extract From New York Law For Alien Passengers

Taken from the Immigration Report of 1838 for Quebec, Canada.

New York Law for Alien Passengers
An Act relative to Alien Passengers arriving in this State, passed 10thFebruary 1838.

Section 1. The authorities of any town are authorized to tax the master, owner, agent or consignee of any vessel arriving there from any foreign country from one to ten dollars for every alien passenger.

Section 2. Makes it the duty of the master of the ship so arriving to furnish the town authorities with a list of his passengers, their respective ages, occupations and places of birth, within twenty-four hours, under a penalty of 500 dollars.

Section 3. Provides that no passenger shall be landed unless permitted from the city or township uthorities, under fifty dollars penalty for each passenger so landing without permission.

Section 4. Enacts that the town so giving permission shall support any passenger who is or shall become sick, infirm, or otherwise incapable of providing for his or her maintenance, so long as the inability continues.

Section 5. Provides that the aforesaid penalties shall be sued for in any competent court, in the corporate name of the town where the forfeiture may have accrued; that the defendant may be held to special bail; and that the town may compound for the penalties either before or after suit, at its discretion.

The remaining Sections provide that this Act shall in no respect impair the existing powers of corporate towns.

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Portsmouth to New York, 1835

thought you would enjoy this ggrandfather's trip (George Hopkins) created from notes from his brother's diary....janet d. arizona

The lamplight burned late in their simple cottage as George pored over the numerous books and pamphlets written to provide traveling hints for American emigrants. Knowing Jane's resistance would relent, as she was an obedient wife, he negotiated with his younger brother, John, to sell his life interest in the yearly land allotment which had descended to him and would revert to the Lord of the Manor when he died. With this money he made arrangements with a Portsmouth ship captain for steerage berths, bought the necessary provision for the trip and reserved the remaining funds for the family's expenses in the New World.

Jane sadly prepared for the trip, comforted only by her equally unhappy sister-in-law, Jane "Ann" Holt. They sold their furniture, packed supplies and crated family treasures, making ready to set sail In May, 1835. The older children, George W., David, and Ann's three boys were filled with anticipation and excitement, dreaming of the adventures they would have. It was when they reached the harbor at Portsmouth that Jane fully felt the importance of the step they were taking. The dismal reality of leaving the prospering British empire for an unknown wilderness was magnified upon viewing for the first time the massive sea-going ships like forest trees crowding the port as far as the eye could see.

George and Thomas secured passage on the British Barque called the "Union", owned by Master Richard Henderwell, bound for New York City, America. Great crowds of people rolled goods and supplies aboard the ship. Four year old David remembered it all as "the greatest thing [I] had ever seen. When all was on board, the ship moved away from the land. While Jane and Ann cried, waving their handkerchiefs towards friends, family and homeland, the exhilarated children romped on the broad wooden deck, heedless of their mothers' tears.

A favorable wind took their ship out to sea and the shore was soon lost from sight. Jane looked enviously at the ships moving into the harbor and followed them one by one until her eyes grew tired. Finally with baby Mercy, in arms, she went found her way to their narrow berths and resolved to be reconciled to her new situation. She busied herself with the domestic chores necessary to ensure the comforts of her active brood and guaranteed to soothe the doubts and fears she had about her husband's decision. It was a trip of many trials, mostly small....but enough of them to put the apprehensive women on edge. Cooking arrangements for the steerage passengers provided both Jane and Ann with a challenge at every meal. They cooked the family meals in the "cabboose", over a fire supplied by the ship's owner, shared by the jostling crowd of sometimes uncouth emigrants. Timely meals were forgotten as they heated their meager stock when space was available at the fire side.

With Mercy, just under one year of age, and the other children all under ten years of age, their work was never done and the dangers of ship life kept them anxious. The stories whispered among the passengers of strange sicknesses and mysterious diseases ravaging entire ships, leaving no one to tell the final tragedy. . . of shipboard accidents that left death and disfigurement in their wake. . . repeatedly kept each mother awake at night, heart pounding, desperately wishing to be home, safe in her own familiar cottage.

George, Thomas and the children were in a different world. The trip brought astonishing sights, adventure and powerful events that would shape their lives. Young David turned five on June 15, 1835, some weeks into the ocean voyage. His father took him to the railing overlooking the sea and said, "David, today your are five years old and we are 1000 miles from land."

For two days thousands of silver flying fish engulfed the ship as it continued west. The 20 inch fish arched through the air, and left a rainbow spray behind them. Dolphins led the ship for another three or four days. To David's wondering eyes, they looked like, "ugly black big hogs that weighed 3-400 pounds...with skin like a catfish." They swam in ranks three and four deep like soldiers as far as the eye could see to the right and left, passing by the thousands and disappearing all at once. Several weeks later, a small child died aboard the ship. The boys were distressed by the event and thought their parents would prevent the burying of the body in the ocean. They apprehensively watched the burly sailors cut and sewed a small canvas coffin. The child was placed in the middle of it, sand was poured in around the body and the coffin was sealed. They then placed it in a larger canvas coffin, filled the remaining space with sand and sealed it up. A plank was extended over the water off the side of ship. A solemn crowd gathered as the crew hoisted the heavy package onto the plank's end and the Captain lifted the inner end of the board and rolled the child's body into the sea. After the child was buried, a large shark followed the ship for two days. Jane trembled as thoughts of the death and burial of her ten month old son John, a year and a half ago, crowded her mind. He had been the first of her children to die . . . and, she thought passionately, the last!

During the first weeks of the voyage, the weather was calm. However, some days after the burial of the child, a heavy gale began to blow from the north-west and sky grew very dark. The sea became increasingly rough, huge foaming waves crashed against the sides of the ship as if to destroy it. Soon after the storm began, the Union was blown off course and for three days the crew did not know where they were. All on board feared they were lost.

One morning about 4 A.M., some old sailor told the Captain that he thought the ship was nearing land. Sounding the water, they found themselves in shallow water and weighed the anchor until daybreak. As dawn broke the sailors could, with the aid of glasses, make out the dim outline of land. They launched a distress signal which was soon met by rescue ships sent from the shore. The ship had landed near the coast of Canada. Almost out of supplies and sick from the tossing storm, the passengers gratefully accepted the ministrations of the kind and generous Canadians. In a few days, they were on their way, sailing down the coast of Canada to New York City. When they reached quarantine in the New York Harbor, a doctor and an inspector came aboard the ship and found it to be free from disease. They were able to go into harbor in a week and landed in New York City on July 16, 1835. (Janet David)

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Panama Route In 1849

From a book called Perils, Pastimes, and Pleasures of an Emigrant in Australia, Vancouver's Island and California published in 1849 comes this information.

The route across the Isthmus from Panama to Chagres is perfectly easy at almost all seasons of the year, and may be accomplished in about 28 or 30 hours, with due diligence and energy on the part of the traveller. The land-portion of the journey is about 21 miles from Panama to Cruces; the remainder is effected by means of the river Chagres, which is navigable for small boats at all seasons, and admits even heavy-weighted canoes to sail on its bosom for a considerable portion of the year, The best route to take from Panama is to Gorgona, and not Cruces, as the road, except in the rainy season, is more easily traversed by the mules; while the latter is stony and in a roughly broken-up condition. The Cruces' road, as its condition clearly indicates--excellent materials lying scattered about in almost every direction shewing that it must have been expensively constructed--was the old route of the Spaniards, before the colonies were separated from the mother country, and the common high-way between the pacific and Atlantic oceans. ...

The road branches off about three leagues from Panama, to the right towards Cruces, and to the left towards Gorgona. Before you reach this point you lose sight of the Pacific, which lies spread out before you with its indented shores, its islands, and its countless beauties, presenting, at almost every turn of the road, a fresh and enchanting landscape to the view. Gorgona is a small place comprising a few shabby tenements built principally of the reeds, which grow so abundantly and so richly throughout the Isthmus; and the occupation of the inhabitants is generally as muleteers, store-keepers, boatmen or bogos, the remainder are employed in agricultural pursits, simply to gratify their limited wants. From Panama to Gorgona the road is excellent in summer, or the dry season, but impassable during the rainy season, which last from the end of July to the beginning of December. The distance from Gorgona to Chagres may be accomplished in about eighteen hours in favourable weather, that is when the currents of the river, which winds about in so many directions, are not effected by the winds which blow with terricic violence during the rainy mounths. The scenery on the banks of the Chagres, when it flows evenly on its course, is richly picturesque; its wanter is pellucidly clear, and you may trace the bottom with ease as you silently float along in the canoes, undisturbed by a single object, if you except the dip of the paddle or the buzzing nuisance of musquitoes. The cost of a journey from Panama to Chargres, with a moderate allowance of baggage, is about 18 dollars--

From Panama to Cruces or Gorgona, with two mules, one for saddle, the other for luggage 8 dollars
From Cruces to Chagres by a Cayucu 10 dollars
Total 18 dollars

The Cayuca is a small boat or canoe which is the quickest conveyance for a single passenger with little luggage; but a canoe is necessary if you have a large quantity of packages and of considerable weight. The latter are conveniently built for navigating rivers, and are worked by negro watermen who paddle them along with consdierable dexterity; some of these canoes are laden with 60 or 80 bales, averaging 150lbs. weight each, besides a bed or two, luggage for the travellers, and an awning, or toldos, made of cane and leaves, to keep out the sun and rain, which adds considerably to the weight and draft of the canoe.

Time required from England to Lima via Panama:
England to Jamaica by Steam 23 days
Jamaica to Chagres 4 days
Chagres to Panama 1 day
Panama to Lima 9 days
Total 37 days

Time required vis Cape Horn 73 days (Marjorie Kohli)

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List of Second Cabin Passengers per Sarmatian - 1903

Hope this is of use to someone. Material was taken from passenger's list printed at time of departure and recovered from some of the Keller family souvenirs. (Dave McFall)
Lieut. Ed. Pitts, R.N., Commander
18th. April, 1903
Second Cabin
Mr. J. D. L. ArmourMr. Robert Cole
Mr. William BarnettMr. David Cook
Mr. Charles BriteeMr. John Cook
Mr. Archd. BrownMr. Geo. Crammond
Mrs. BrownMr. Robert Crammond
Master Archd. BrownMr.Peter A. Cruickshank
Mr. Thomas D. BrownMrs. Cruickshank
Mr. Ernest CampbellMiss Annie Cruickshank
Mr. Edgar CochraneMiss C. B. Cruickshank
Mr. John ColeMr. J.H. Davies
Mr. George DickMr. Edward Gray
Mrs DickMr. Richard Hetherington
And InfantMr. William Holt
Mr. Adam DicksonMiss Lizzie B. Horn
Mr. William FaicnieMr. Henry Hulme
Mrs. Faichne Mr. David Inglis
Mr. David Farmer Mr. H. Keller
Mr. John FergusonMrs. Keller
Mr. Thomas FinlayMiss J. W. Keller
Mrs. FinlayMaster V. Keller
Mr. Andrew Forrester Miss E. Keller
Mr. Samuel L. FultonMr. Wm. Kennedy
Mrs. FultonMrs. Kennedy
Mr. William FultonMaster Daniel Kennedy
Mr. Robert S. Fulton.Master Alex. Kennedy
Miss Eliza B. FultonMr. James Laird
Mr. George FyfeMrs. Laird
Miss L. GallowayMr. J. A. Laird
Mr. Alex. GibbMrs. Laird
Mr. James M. Gibson Mr. G. W. Laird
Mr. David GlendayMr. H. J. Laird
Mr. Robert Lang Mr. John Mackay
Mr. Robert LaurieMr. Archibald McKenzie
Miss Marion LaurieMr. Daniel McKenzie
Miss Jessie LaurieMr. John McKenzie
Mr. James LaurieMr. John McLean
Miss Maggie LaurieMrs. McLean
Mr. Wm. LaurieMiss Mary H. McLean
Mrs. Nellie Laurie Miss Jeanie McLean
Master Robert Laurie Miss Agnes McLean
Miss Annie LaurieMiss Nellie McLean
Miss Mima LaurieMiss Lizzie McLean
Miss Jeanie LaurierMr. Wm. McNiven
Mr. Thomas LawsonMr. T. McQueen
Mr. Alex LockhartMr. Robt. J. Main
Mr. Alex McAdamMr. Wm. J. May
Mr. James Macarthur Mr. Neil Meiklejohn
Mr. Matthew McAtheyMiss E. Meldrum
Mr. Gavin McCollMr. Alex Melville
Mr. John McDonaldMr. James Miller
Mr. John McGibbonMrs. Miller
Mr. Hugh MacintyreMiss Elizabeth Miller
Miss Isa. MillerMr. James Ruddman
Mr. James MitchellMr. Robert Scott
Mr. James MoffatMrs. Scott
Mr. Robert MowbrayMr. Archd. G. R. Scott
Mr. Alex H. MoyesMiss M. J. Scott
Mr. Fred PlantMiss G. Scott
Mr. Alex. PrenticeMaster Robert Scott
Mr. Peter RamsayMiss E. Scott
Mr. Wm. RatcliffMaster David J. Scott
Mrs. RatcliffMr. Donald Scott
Miss RatcliffMrs. Scott
Master James RatcliffMr. John Scott
Master Thomas RatcliffMr. Walter Scott
Master Alex. RatcliffMr. Angus Scott
Mr. Colin RattrayMaster Donald Scott
Mr. Michael ReynoldsMiss Jeanie Scott
Mr. Robert S. RobertsonMr. Wm. B. Shepherd
Mr. John RodgerMr. John Steeves Jr.
Mrs RodgerMrs. M. Steeves
Mr. Alex. RonaldMiss Annie Steeves
Miss Janet RossMiss M. F. Stewart
Mr. George Simmers 
Mr. Alex J. Swan 
Mr. Wm. Taylor 
Mr. Alex Waterston 
Mrs. Waterston 
Miss Waterston 
Mr. David Yarrol 
Mrs. Yarrol 
Mr. Robert Yarrol 
Mr. Alex Yarrol 
Mr. Robert Young 
Mr. John Yuille 

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Food Stuffs For A Voyage In 1817

This is taken from a voyage account of the Mary Bell, Dublin to Quebec in 1817. Of interest may be the account of food stuffs:

And 1st Oatmeal, and cutlings are much used, molasses also; potatoes are of the greatest value, nothing more so in my judgment. Salt, or hung beef, pork, bacon or hams, are all excellent in their use; veal when salted, and afterwards watered, then boiled with beef or bacon, will produce a soup very desirable. One family here, brought a quantity of fowl in pickle, which when watered, eat very delicious. Coffee is much preferable to tea, the water being so bad, as to render the tea rather insipid and tasteless: bottled ale is good for drink, but in my opinion, cyder when mixed through water, is a much better and cooler drink for the stomach than any other; a constant thirst being common to all on sea. As to spices, pepper, and ginger is mostly used. Flour is essentially necessary; cake bread or pan cakes being very applicable to weak constitutions. Eggs are much used, and when well grazed, or put in salt pickle for six hours, and well packed, will keep fresh a considerable time, this I found by experience. Good port wine is very reviving on sea, when used moderately; but spirits is not so very necessary here. I conceive pickled cabbage to be very useful, such kind of diet only answering whilst sickness prevails; I therefore recommend it. Biscuit is much used by seamen, and the only way for passengers to take it is, to pour boiling water on it, and when steeped a few minutes toast it before the fire, then butter it, and it will eat as pleasant as loaf bread, but not otherwise: oat bread well baked in an oven, will answer well with either tea or coffee; cheese will be very needful; split peas for soup; and lastly, vinegar, butter, and potted herrings.

To preserve new milk for a voyage, take a large or small jar or jars, and clean them remarkably well, and when done, put the mild therein, and after securing it well by corking it close, put the jar or jars into a large pot of water, and boil them over a good fire, and when done, pack them in a hamper, or some other place, and it will keep sweet the whole of the passage. This has been tried by a man of truth and credit, who went last season to Philadelphia, and used the mild there after his arrival, it retaining its natural sweetness. There is a diet much used here, vulgarly called "beggars dish," composed of peeled potatoes and either beef or bacon cut in thin slices, and mixed through them, affords a pleasant meal, the soup is much esteemed, being seasoned with pepper. Delft ware will not in any wise answer in common use, I would therefore recommend tin poringers, or small wooden noggins and trenchers, these will be found best at sea, as the constant motion of the vessel will have a tendency to break any other: a tin kettle in the form of a D will be found very useful in boiling meat or any other food, as it can hang on the bars of the grate at any time, this will be highly accommodating, especially where so many families are boiling their food at one time. The kind of apparel I would recommend to male passengers would be, short jackets or waistcoats with sleeves, a dark handkerchief for the neck, and coarse trowsers:-for women, a long bed gown, or wrappers with dark shawls or handkerchiefs, as cleanliness cannot be observed with any degree of precision. It is necessary to provide strong chests or boxes for a voyage, well secured with good locks and hinges; or otherwise it is impossible to preserve property.

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Sovereign Of The Seas

This information is from July 4, 1853, published in the Liverpool Albion:

Arrival of the Clipper-Ship Sovereign of the Seas.--
The celebrated American clipper-ship Sovereign of the Seas, Captain M'Kay, arrived in the Mersey on Saturday evening, from New York, having made the run in a shorter time than ever previously accomplished by a sailing ship. She departed from New York, in tow of a steamer, at 3 p.m., on the 18th ult., and averaged 296 miles per day, or 12.73 knots per hour.

The Sovereign of the Seas was built by Mr. M'Kay, of Boston, the builder of the celebrated clipper-ships Staffordshire, Flying Cloud, Flying Fish, etc., and was named after a ship built at Woolwich Dockyard, in the year 1637. Her tonnage corresponded with the year, and she was the first vessel built with 'flushe decks,' and the largest, up to that period, belonging to the English navy. Her keel measured 187 feet 9 inches; her main bredth of beam was 48 feet 4 inches, and she had three decks, a poop, and topgallant forecastle. She was pierced for 126 guns. It will thus be seen that Mr M'Kay could not have selected a better name for his ship, its historical associations being full of instruction.

The Sovereign of the Seas has a dead rise of 20 inches, and concave lines, but has the longest and sharpest bows of any ship or ocean steamer afloat. Her dimensions are as follow: -- Length between perpendiculars, 258 feet; over all, from the knightheads to the taffrail, 265 feet; extreme breadth of beam, 44 feet, about 20 feet forward of the centre; breadth at the gunwale, 42 feet; depth, 23 1/2 feet, including 8 feet height of betweendecks; deck rise, 20 inches; sheer, nearly 4 feet; and registered tonnage, 2,421 tons. Considering the sharpness of her ends, she has large tonnage capacity for a clipper, great surface and length of floor, and is very buoyant and easy under canvas. She is sheathed with yellow metal up to 20 1/2 feet forward, and to 21 1/2 feet aft. Her bulwarks are 5 feet 2 inches high, surmounted by a monkey-rail of 18 inches, and the space between the main and rack rails is filled in with a heavy clamp, bolted both ways. All her accommodations are on deck. She has a full topgallant forecastle, a large house amidships, and a spacious trunk cabin, in two divisions, built into a half-poop deck, with steerage-room abaft. Her construction, for solidity and strength, is of the highest order; her frame is entirely of seasoned white oak, and all her planking and ceiling, as well as her deck frames and lower deck, are of the best of hard pine, and she is copper fastened, square bolted, and trenailed through. In her hold all her knees are of oak, and all her hooks throughout; in the between-decks, the knees are all constructed of hackmatack. She is 11 feet 8 inches through the backbone, including the moulding of the floor-timers, which is 19 inches. And all her keel and kelson fastenings are of 1 1/2 copper and iron bolts, driven in the strongest style, and rivetted. Her keel is sided 16 inches; and, besides the midship kelsons, she has double sister-kelsons, one over the other, on each side, which combined side 15 inches, and mould 30. She has, moreover, the stoutest and most beautifully proportioned set of spars that ever towered above a ship's deck, which spread about 12,000 years of canvas. All her lower masts are 'made' from the head to the step, each mast in five pieces, bolted and hooped together. Her bowsprit is also a 'made' spar, all the outside pieces being of hard pine. Her masts rake, commencing with the fore 3-8ths, 4-8ths, and 1 inch respectively to the foot. Her foremast is 41 inches in diameter, 89 3/4 feet long; topmast, 19 inches diameter, 50 feet long; topgallantmast, 14 inches diameter, 27 1/2 feet long; royal, 11 1/2 inches diameter, 18 feet long. Minmast, 44 inches diameter, 92 3/4 feet long; topmast, 19 1/2 inches diameter, 54 feet long; topgallantmast, 14 3/4 inches diameter, 30 feet long; royal, 12 inches diameter, 20 feet long; and sky sailyard, 10 inches diameter, 14 feet long. Mizzenmast, 34 inches diameter, 82 3/4 feet long; topmast, 16 inches diameter, 43 feet long; topgallantmast, 11 inches diameter, 24 feet long; and royal, 9 1/2 inches in diameter, and 17 feet long. (Marjorie Kohli)

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Cost of Fare see also Passenger Ship Fares (under construction)

This could vary pretty wildly. There were "price wars" even in the 1870's to mid to late 1800's ... ca. 1870, 1st and 2nd cabin prices from Liverpool to New York could range from 15 to 20 + Guineas [one Guinea = £1.01 shilling], Steerage about £5.00. This, [steerage] dropped to about £2.00 in the mid 1880's.

Hamburg to New York ca. late 1870's was "First cabin" $100.00 gold, and "Second cabin" $60.00 gold via Hamburg-American Packet Company. At the same time, Liverpool, London or Queenstown to New York were 10, 12, and 15 Guineas, according to accommodation, via National Line.

To Australia from England, the fares ranged, depending on the company and the ship, here are some 1888 examples;
To Sydney: 1st. £52 to £70, 2nd. £30 to £42, 3rd. £16 to £21. (Sue Swiggum)

These quotes are from the New York Times of 6 August 1889, in the advertisements for various shipping lines.

Hamburg-American Packet Company Express Service on the Mail Steamer Hammonia and the Express S/S Augusta Victoria, with Regular Service on the Rugia and the Bohemia: First Cabin $50.00 and upward; steerage at low rates.

White Star Line for Queenstown and Liverpool, ships Britannic, Celtic, Teutonic, Germanic, Adriatic: Saloon Rates, $50.00 and upward; Second cabin, $35.00 and upward; according to steamer and location of berths; Steerage $20.00.

Inman Line S.S. and Royal Mail, ships City of Paris, City of Chicago, City of New York, City of Berlin: Cabin passage $60.00 and upward; second cabin, outward, $85.00 and $40.00, prepaid; steerage $20.00.

The Short Line to London, Norddeutscher Lloyd Mail S.S. The ships Aller, Elbe, Elder, Werra, Saale, Ems: First cabin $75.00 and upward per berth, according to location; 2nd cabin $50.00 an adult; steerage at lowest rates.

Cunard Line. Ships Servia, Etruria, Aurania, Bothnia, Umbria, Gallia: Cabin passage $60.00, $80.00 and $100.00; intermediate $35.00. Steerage tickets to and from all parts of Europe at very low rates. (Carl O. Smarling)

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New York Herald, Oct 26, 1853 - Arrivals

From the NY Herald of Oct 26, 1853 comes this: "

Among the arrivals at this port of emigrant ships during the past few weeks, a very large number of deaths have been reported. In one vessel, the Charles Sprague, the unusually large number of forty-five persons died on the passage from Bremen; and in another, the Winchester, from Liverpool, the number of fatal cases amounted to no less than seventy-nine. The following is the number of cases at this port from September 9th up to the present time:--
ArrivedShipsWhere fromPassengersDeaths
Sept 9ZerichHavre3582
Sept 11Lucy ThompsonLiverpool800 35
Sept 15NiagaraLiverpool249 38
Sept 21Charles SpragueBremen280 45
Sept 26OderHamburg23714
Sept 27WinchesterLiverpool46379
Sept 29Kate HunterLiverpool3421
Sept 29RhineHavre56624
Sept 30TalleyrandHamburg15211
Sept 30LouisianaHamburg1423
Oct 11Harvest QueenHavre3675
Oct 12CopernicusHamburg15219
Oct 14OrphanBremen2804
Oct 14MarmionLiverpool29534
Oct 17WaterlooLiverpool2944
Oct 17James WrightLiverpool4301
Oct 19Statira MorseGlasgow 2012
Oct 20Sir Robert PeelLondon4076
Oct 20CordeliaBremen3393
Oct 20LondonHavre2292
Oct 21New YorkLiverpool40016
Oct 21Benjamin AdamsLiverpool62015

Although the captains, in their reports, with one exception, merely mentioned the fact of such a number having died, it is pretty certain that the disease which carried them off was cholera, that fatal malady which is making such havoc among the shipping in Europe. Several, no doubt, died by the common diseases, but that cholera was raging on board many of the above-named vessels is beyond all question, from the fact that thirty-three persons who were landed at quarantine were suffering from that epidemic. The sickness on the Benjamin Adams was decidedly cholera; and, in addition the ship Sagadahock, from Gottenburg, which arrived at Boston on the 24th ult., reports the loss of seventy passengers by the same disease. In reference to this matter, a committee of the American Medical Association has drawn up a memorial to Congress, urging the necessity of compelling all emigrant-vessels to carry a surgeon. (Marjorie Kohli)

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The Washington of Baltimore, Maryland and the British Emigrant Mutual Aid Society - 1845

In the latter part of 1844 a group of 94 persons calling themselves The British Emigrant Mutual Aid Society chartered the Washington of Baltimore, Maryland, a three-masted sailing vessel on which the colony sailed. It was warped out of St. Catherine dock on the 14th day of February, 1845 and towed down to Gravesend where she was anchored until the 17th of Feb.when she set sail for New Orleans. The vessel was manned by Capt. Madison, 1st Mate Winkley and 2nd Mate Brown and 13 sailors making a total of 110 persons on the vessel. After an uneventful voyage of seven weeks and three days, except for being in a calm for a few days during which time she drifted out of her course as far south as Martinique, landing at New Orleans on Saturday, the 10th day of April. After staying in New Orleans for three days they came up to St. Louis on a slow boat called the Big Louisiana, taking 12 days. After waiting several days in St. Louis in order to get a boat that did not draw much water to ta! ke them to Burlington, Iowa, but were unable to get one that would take them farther than Keokuk because of low water on the Des Moines rapids in the Mississippi. From family records I have the complete list of the 94 passenger, their trade, and family members. The entire report is quite lengthy, however any who want additional information may contact me.Some of the family names are: Bateman, Thomas, Langwith, Lightfoot, Clark, Taylor, Green, Rogers, Burgess, Shepperson, Cook, Silence, Daws, Lambert, Walker, Middleton, Miller, Hill, McAvoy, Gould, Brockalas, Blaney, Pipe, Humphreys, Ware, Chippendale, Cook, and Ware (My relative).

Several inquiries have been sent in regard to the passenger list of members of the British Emigrant Mutual Aid Society aboard the Washington of Baltimore. Instead of answering each individually, I will post the list as follows:

  • WILLIAM BATEMAN SR (Blacksmith) wife, Jane; sons Joe & William; daughter, Susan; stepdaughters, Sarah, Mary & Jane Bristow.
  • WILLIAM THOMAS SR (Weaver) wife, Mrs. Thomas;sons, William Jr., Mathew.
  • EDMUND LANGWITH (Shoemaker) wife, Sarah; daughter, Mary; one child buried at sea.
  • JOHN LIGHTFOOT (Cabinet maker) wife, Mary; daughter, Jane; sons, John, Edward; daughter, Mary.
  • EDWARD CLARK (Farmer) wife, Sarah; sons, Jerome & James; Infant died in Gulf of Mexico, buried in New Orleans.
  • WILLIAM CLARK (Carpenter) wife, Mrs. Clark; daughter, Fannie; son, William; infant no name given.
  • MR. TAYLOR (Saddler) drowned at Bentonsport, Iowa.
  • MATHEW GREEN (Carpenter)
  • MR. ROGERS (Bell hanger)
  • MR. BURGESS (Tanner)
  • MR. SHEPPERSON and wife; came in the cabin with the Captain, and he died at Kahoka, Mo.
  • MR. COOK and wife; one grandparent, and 4 small children; not members of the Society but came on the ship and went to Quincy, Illinois.
  • THOMAS SILENCE (Tailor) went to St. Louis, Mo.
  • MR. DAWS (Tailor) returned to the old country.
  • THOMAS LAMBERT (Baker) died at St. Louis, Mo.
  • THOMAS WALKER (trade not known)
  • MR. MIDDLETON (Tailor)
  • MR. MILLER (Baker) and wife.
  • MR. HILL
  • MR. McAVOY and wife & 3 children.
  • MR. BROCKALAS SR (Tailor)
  • MR. BLANEY (School teacher)
  • JOHN GREEN (Blacksmith) wife, Mary; He died in Texas, she died in Bonaparte.
  • GEORGE PIPE (Bricklayer) wife, Charlotte; sons, Edward, Alfred & Bell. Bell died on river coming to Keokuk.
  • WILLIAM HUMPHREYS (Painter) wife, Hannah; daughter, Sarah; son, William;daughter, Mary Ann; son George.
  • JAMES WARE (Miner) wife, Ann; son, William; daughter, Charlotte; sons, John, Isaac.
  • JOHN WARE (Stonemason) wife, Margaret.
  • MR. CHIPPENDALE (Carpenter) and wife and 4 children.
  • MR. COOK (Tailor) and wife and one daughter. Two other children buried at sea.
  • JOHN PIPE (Carpenter)

A MR. NEWALL of Burlington, Iowa was the promoter of the British Emigrant Mutual Aid Society, telling those in the London and Manchester areas of the great opportunities in the southeastern part of Iowa in what is now Des Moines, Hering, and Lee counties and of the land grants. In England a 10 acre patch was intensely farmed, and enough for a family livelihood, and many of the Society thought that 10 acres would be ample to support a family in Iowa. From the list you will note that very few were farmers, so after trying to clear land and grow crops many of them drifted into nearest cities to ply their trade.

The above information was obtained by J. Berry Ware from the Ware family in Iowa and was sent to his niece (my mother) Alice Jane (Kennedy) Lill in a letter postmarked Jan. 16, 1915. (H. Lill)
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