Monday, 26 January 2015

Passengers - Part I

I have two great-great-grandfathers who came to Canada with their young families around the same time. I don't know exactly when, just before 1865. Passenger lists are few and far between before 1865, as before that time the master of vessel was not required to keep the manifests. But, even though I do not find my ancestors on a passenger list, there are clues to help me narrow down the time they arrived in Canada.

~ My 2x ggf George King was on the 1851 census for Devonshire, England, working as a miller in Woodleigh.
~ Their marriage banns were read in May 1853 and the wedding took place January 1854 in Woodleigh, Devon.
~ In September of 1856 there was an Auction notice in the Exeter Newspaper for the sale of the property and animals of George King. (There was also a notice in the paper 5 months later for the business of his brother-in-law and sister.) 

~ Their first son was born in nearby Washbourne that December, and baptized January 1857. That was the last I find of them in England.

For some unknown-to-me reason, around the same time 4 of George's siblings went to Australia and George is the only one that came to Canada. Their mother had died 10 years past , but their father was not to die for another 7 years.

My 2x ggf Alexander Mavor came from Ellon, Scotland.

~ He was last on a census in Scotland in 1851, working with his brother Francis as a farm servant 8 miles north of Ellon, in Methlick.
~ His marriage banns were read in Ellon in May of 1853 and he was married in New Deer (home of the bride's family) in August 1853.
~ Their first child is born October 1853. That was the last I find of them in Scotland.
(Alexander's brother followed him to Canada years later, in 1873, with a wife and 10 children in tow.)

Both families had a daughter born in Canada in 1859, one in April and one in October.  So I know My Kings arrived between January 1857 and April 1959, and my Mavors arrived sometime between October 1853 and October 1859. So far that's the best I can do. 

Other places you can look when you don't have a passenger list are immigrant societies and perhaps voyage accounts by passengers.

Some passenger lists have been uploaded to Internet Archive.
*Index to passenger lists to various US ports - some are lists but others are cards with passengers information on them.  Even though they are not in alphabetic order, they are all of one letter in a file (ie opening the file the first name begins with R, they will all be R names).  It may be a chore to go through them, but hey, no one said genealogy was easy!

1 of a batch of cards of passengers arriving at Baltimore 1820-1897.

There are also some websites where volunteers have researched and transcribed passenger lists for us. (Big YAAAY and thank you for the volunteers!!!)

Relevant Links

The original lists of persons of quality, emigrants, religious exiles, political rebels, serving men sold for a term of years, apprentices, children stolen, maidens pressed and others, who went from Great Britain to the American plantations; 1600-1700

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