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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Emigration during wartime


macfarro
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Acoording to the Ellis Island foundation one of my relatives who emigrated to the US in 1920 claimed (on her immigration papers) to have been in the US between 1916 and 1919.

How much civilian trafffic was there between Ireland/UK and the US during war time - were there any restrictions on travel?

thanks

Rob

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Quite a lot of civilian traffic I think Rob - especially in the early part of the war. Find My Past has shipping records ex UK and for an indication I used just the name Kelly (as a good old Irish name!!) to the US in a search and it brought up the following numbers

1915 - 255

1916 - 184

1917 - 42

1918 - 25

If you have a name I'd be happy to see if she can be located

Cheers

Sue

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Sue

Many thanks for the offer.

Her name was Agnes Mitchell born around 1875 in Balleymena Ireland and she arrived in New York with her 9 year old daughter Annie, on 13th Dec 1920 on Kaiserine August Victoria. According to the ship manifest she had been in the US from 1916 to 1919, at the time she had a sister (Sarah Curry) living in Leonard bridge/lebanon Connecticut.

It is the 1916 - 1919 vist that intrigues me, who travels in wartime without very good reason? mind you America was still neutral so maybe US registered ships were safer

thanks

Rob

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She could have gone over as crew (for example as a stewardess) and stayed as she managed to get a land based position there. That is just one of the possible scenarios.

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Rob,

Theres this lady:

Name: A MITCHELL

Date of departure: 16 November 1918

Port of departure: Liverpool

Passenger destination port: New York, USA

Passenger destination: New York, USA

Date of Birth:

Age: Adult

Marital status:

Sex: Female

Occupation: Hwife

and her companion:

Name: Edith MITCHELL

Date of departure: 16 November 1918

Port of departure: Liverpool

Passenger destination port: New York, USA

Passenger destination: New York, USA

Date of Birth: 1864 (calculated from age)

Age: 54

Marital status:

Sex: Female

Occupation: Domestic

Only A MITCHELL that I can see

Grant

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Rob - I'm afraid her earlier journey is not jumping out at me on a quick search so far - though on the 1920 sailing they had been mis transcribed as MICHELL (and I can see why from the writing on the original) and Agnes could have been again on the earlier journey

The 1920 record didn't give any more info on them unfortunately.

Have you found them on the 1911 Ireland census that is free - http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/

If you have - were they the family at Park Head, Ballymena Town, Antrim with Agnes as Head, 6 boys (John 14, James 13, Herbert 11, Edward A 9, Harold 6, Ivan 2 ) and then Annie as the youngest - 1??

I'm presuming you have already looked on Ellis Island records for the earlier arrival without success - so I wonder if she possibly went to Boston or even Canada that time

I'll keep looking but in the meantime if you can get access to Worldwide Ancestry (through a library or signing up yourself for a free trial) they have indexed Boston and Canadian shipping records as well as Canadian border crossings where you also might find her.

Like you the thought of crossing the Atlantic - or travelling further afield by ship in wartime seems strange with hindsight - (especially if this is the same Agnes and she left all those children behind??) - but looking at the sailing lists there were certainly plenty of people doing it - I wonder if anyone has ever made a study of it??

Cheers

Sue

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Per adua - were there stewardess' back then? I thought male stewards were the norm (perhaps that's education by TV or film for you)

Grant - many thanks for looking but I'm fairly certain thats not my Agnes as 1920 manifest seems to indicate she was there from 1916 to 1919

Sue -also thanks for looking - you are right that is the family in 1911 and yes she did leave all the children behind, one of whom (Harold) left home and signed up under age and under a false name in the Royal Irish Rifles only a year or so after his mother left

I will try the Worldwide Ancestry and check the Boston route

regards to all

Rob

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According to the 1930 US Census she was living in the household of William F Curry, a dairy farmer, in Church Street, Lebanon, New London County, Connecticut. The date given for year of immigration is 1921.

The following figures show the dramatic reduction in emmigration from Ireland during the course of the war:

1913 - 30,967 (21,758 to the USA)

1914 - 20,314 (15,272 to the USA)

1915 - 10,659 (6,681 to the USA)

1916 - 7,302 (4,207 to the USA)

1917 - 2,129 (88 to the USA)

1918 - 980 (12 to the USA)

Aled

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As part of the United Kingdom there would have been an increase in employment for war work in Ireland; in addition to the increase in hazards of the journey.

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