Ira A. Glazier, ed. Germans to America (Series II), vol. 6, April 1848-October 1848: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 2003. xxxv + 435 pp. $90.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8420-5086-9.
Reviewed by Giles R. Hoyt (Max Kade German-American Center, IUPUI)
Published on H-German (October, 2004)
The inaccuracies, errors and omissions in series 1 continue in series 2 of Germans to America as evidenced in volume 6, "Passenger Lists of Arrivals of Germans in American Ports from April 1848-October 1848." The problems with the transcriptions and listings of these passenger lists, required of ship captains by law starting in 1820, have been chronicled by a number of other reviewers over the years. The problems remain consistent and constant in these volumes that could provide accurate scholarly renditions of the passenger lists of all the people arriving in the American harbors between 1820 and 1897, but do not.
This reviewer did a spot-checking of the Glazier lists against the original passenger lists from the National Archives available on microfilm in a number of libraries, such as the Fort Wayne-Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Errors were frequent. Some involve errors of transcription, e.g., on the ship Tremont arriving June 1, 1848, Jacob Kramer is actually Jacob Kreiner and N. Messenauer is N. Kessenauer; on the ship Anna arriving in New York on May 17, 1848, Ch. Hepper should go with the Hepfer family group. Umlauts are handled with general inconsistency harming reliability: from the ship Corsaire arriving from Bremen in New York on July 12, 1848, the Kursteins are actually the Duersteins. BA. Kraemer's umlauted name is picked up, but Wm. Loewe's is not. Typographical errors, such as Cath. Hilelr (Hiller) and G. Stke (Starke) and family are carried over into the index of names. So also is Jos. Herber (Hueber). Thus the names of fourteen people on the Corsaire are not findable. Alphabetizing problems are also present in great numbers, but at least by looking through the list one can eventually find the name one is looking for.
Generally Swiss Germans are not included, except sometimes. Some ships carrying Germans do not appear in Glazier's list at all, e.g., the Brig Basserman that arrived in New York from Bremen on June 12, 1848. Thus, such people as the Deuschle farming family or Hermann and Maria Beckmann do not appear in the index along with the hundred or so others who arrived in New York on that ship. If you have one of them as an ancestor or are doing research on a particular individual or family arriving on that ship, you will not find them, creating a problem for your work.
On the list for the Noemie arriving in New York from Havre on July 15, 1848, Joseph Graf's profession is clearly listed as "carver," but it remains unknown in Glazier. Madeline Mueller has the misfortune to be listed before her male relative Frederic from "Prussia." There is no country of origin listed for her, but Glazier gives her Poland, presumably because of the person preceding her in the ship's list who is from that country.
Finally on the next ship checked, the Bowdith, arriving in New York on July 15, 1848, little Adam Dantza is listed as an infant traveling alone, rather than being included with his family "Danza" because of a slight inconsistency in the ship's list's spelling. We can forgive that because Glazier's list is supposed to bring exactly what is in the original, and let the chips fall where they may. Unfortunately the infant daughters Anna and Ursula Killias are not joined with their family because Glazier's team transcribes their family name incorrectly as Killeas.
For most of the ships I checked against the original ship manifests, there were these kinds of errors, sometimes only one or two, other times more. This means that one might be able to use the list as a starting point for finding someone, especially if that person is listed and listed correctly in the index. However, either scholarly or genealogical accuracy will require that one repair to the original lists.
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Giles R. Hoyt. Review of Glazier, Ira A., ed., Germans to America (Series II), vol. 6, April 1848-October 1848: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports.
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