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Passenger Record Codes: These numbers within the ‘Demise’ column do not imply they died! — Begin Researching | The Global Today

Wanting on the instance passenger listing above, within the column titled “Date and Reason behind Demise”, there’s a sequence of numbers together with “4 -2”, “2 – 1”, “1-0”, and “6-4”. it was a superbly cheap assumption to assume they might be associated to a demise on the ship’s voyage, as they seem on this column.

Maybe a “4 – 2” means the person died the 2nd of April. Nevertheless, on this occasion the ship SS. La Champagne arrived at Ellis Island on December 17, 1895 – a voyage which might not have taken greater than eight months to finish. There is no such thing as a chance they died on the ship in April. Following this logic the numbers “2 – 1” and “1 – 0” couldn’t imply the passengers died in February or January, because the ship was not crusing then. In the event you return a number of pages, you’ll see increased units of numbers like “17 – 8”, which might affirm the primary quantity isn’t associated to a month.

In actual fact, these numbers don’t have anything to do with any date, nor have they got something to do with the column about the reason for demise!

I reached out to a different genealogist throughout my analysis on this, they usually found a relevant discussion on a forum of JewishGen. On this remark thread from a number of years in the past in 2020, skilled Marian Smith shares that “These numbers within the Reason behind Demise column on Customs Lists have lengthy been a supply of confusion. They’re annotations made later by gov’t statistical clerks when “coding” the paperwork for official US immigration statistics. Clerks used that column for this knowledge as a result of it was often the biggest block of accessible empty house on the web page…”

Nice! However what do they imply?

Commenter David Rosen says “these numbers within the final column are a depend of the males – females on the passenger listing….On the backside of the final column there ought to be a complete, e.g., 16 – 11 – 27” and one other, Stephan Parnes, agrees. Parnes expands on that it’s a “tally of the passengers by nationality. Thus, on this web page, for instance, there are 2 males and 0 females from England, 1 male and 0 females from Bohemia, 2 males and 1 feminine from Holland, 9 males and 5 females from Germany, and so forth.”

Why did they really feel the necessity to calculate the variety of women and men of every nationality that arrived within the US?

Nicely, the immigration ship’s captain was required to trace and report such data for the reason that Steering Act of 1819:

“Statistics relative to immigration to the US date from 1819, when the primary United States regulation regulating the carriage of steering passengers at sea was enacted Along with the necessities respecting the carriage of steering passengers, the act of 1819 offered that the captain or grasp of any ship or vessel arriving within the United  States from any international place ought to – ship and report back to the collector of the district through which such ship or vessel ought to arrive, an inventory or manifest of all of the passengers taken on board of the stated ship or vessel at any international port or place; through which listing or manifest it shall be the responsibility of the stated grasp to designate, notably, the age, intercourse, and occupation of stated passengers, respectively, the nation to which they severally belong, and that of which it’s their intention to turn out to be inhabitants…..”

– United States, from the “Statistical Assessment of Immigration to the US, 1820 to 1910,” pg. 55.

Copies of those manifests got to the Secretary of State, who would report on this statistical knowledge to Congress. Varied authorities departments tallied the information over time, as “statistics of immigration had been collected by the Division of state from 1820 to 1874 and by the Bureau of Statistics from 1867 to 1895. Since 1895 they’ve been gathered solely by the Commissioner-Common of Immigration, whose bureau started the gathering of those statistics a number of years previous to that date” (United States, “Statistical Assessment..”)

So in our instance of an 1895 passenger arrival listing from Ellis Island in New York, the tally marks we observed within the ‘demise’ column had been both made by authorities clerks from the Bureau of Statistics or the division of the Commissioner-Common of Immigration (as there was some overlap) for the aim of a authorities report. To my data there have been no immigration laws or quotas at the moment, however they later could have been primarily based on a few of this data.

Now that we all know who made the tally marks and why, can we discover the studies they created from this knowledge?

Within the authorities summary, “Statistical Assessment of Immigration, 1820 to 1910” we see a number of charts displaying the knowledge collected over time. I discovered one with a male / feminine breakdown by nation of origin, pictured partially under:

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