traveling alone at 16 or 18?

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Karenmurphy
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traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Karenmurphy » 11 Apr 2009, 22:49

My Grandfather said he was 18 when he came to the US by himself in 1907 from Italy. However, I think he was really 16. At what age could children legally travel by themselves all the way to another country? (Gads, I can't imagine doing that by myself or my grandson doing such a thing either!)

Thank you.
Karen

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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Italysearcher » 12 Apr 2009, 20:19

I did a search once where an 11 year old was given money by the town for transportation to Naples and some extra for food. His travel doc. stated he was a labourer. He traveled alone. As far as we know he had no relatives in Naples. This was before 1900.
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby PeterTimber » 12 Apr 2009, 20:51

While there are always exceptions, the rule generally was that minors were required to be in the company of a consenting adult. Particularly as it related to female children. Unmarried women destined to families or prospective spouses were normally chaperoned as well.=Peter=
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Karenmurphy » 12 Apr 2009, 21:47

Hi, Peter,
Would Italian minors have been consided an adult at 18 or 21? Was it the same for both males and females?
Thanks, once more.
Karen

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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby PeterTimber » 12 Apr 2009, 22:36

Conscription for men into the Italian army commenced in 1865 for males aged 18. Presumably they were legally no longer minors when they attained that age.

In 1869 The Italian government began requirting people to obrtain passports to move within Italy. However, the USA and other countires did not require passports so many Italians emigrated without an official passport. The Italian government used passports to ensure that young men did not emigrate to avoid the military draft. Thus 16 year old males would most likely have been minors travelling with a consenting adult.

Females were dealt with as minors socially until marriage. They would likely emigrate with a consenting female adult or family member. I am not aware of the legal age for women at that time but since marriages occurred between 18 and 25 while men married intheir 20's permission to marry would have been a socially accepted practice for both. =Peter=
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Karenmurphy » 12 Apr 2009, 23:31

Peter,
My grandfather had a number written above his occupation as a laborer (8-47458) on the ship's passenger's list when he came to US in 1907. Could that have possible been his Italian passport number for some reason? Or do you know what else the number could be used for? Ther are 3 other men with numbers above their occupations but there are many young men on the same page.
Grazie,
Karen

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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby PeterTimber » 13 Apr 2009, 00:34

Perhaps the guide to interpreting Passenger list annotations might be helpful. Go to www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Manifests/

As for your question about the numerals appearing on his manifest, there was a period when the manifest became the controlling document to thwart fraudulent US citizenship claims prior to WW11 when naturalization would be confirmed with US immigration placing his citizenship file number on the original manifest with which he entered the USA as an immigrant in 1907. =Peter=
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Karenmurphy » 13 Apr 2009, 02:01

Gosh, You are right! The number appeared on his certificate of arrival when he applied for citizenship in 1931! Thank you, Master, so much for taking the time to explain it to me!
Karen

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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Sal » 13 Apr 2009, 13:18

I have seen quite a few instances (including relatives) coming to the US in their teen years. Generally, they were allowed to come, but had to be picked up at the port in New York by a relative. For example, my wife's grandfather came at 15 to join his father. He was held at Ellis Island until his father came to pick him up. If you find your gf's Ellis Island manifest, scroll to the end of the film (or online Ellis Island site) for the passenger list of the ship. Those who were detained for any reason are usually listed at the end of the manifest.

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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby donnawright » 14 Apr 2009, 03:33

My aunt was 16 when she traveled alone. I could find no reference on the manifest to anyone with her name or her grandmother's name. In fact, no one from her town was on that ship either. Her manifest listing has an "X" in the first column, which according to the annotation guide referenced earlier in this thread, meant she was detained. I don't have knowledge of any other details... but 16 she was!
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Marlena » 14 Apr 2009, 21:12

My great uncle, Giuseppe Rubino, came by himself at 11 years of age, yipes. Unimaginable in todays world.
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Apr 2009, 03:29

I find it difficult to believe that minors were boarded upon vessels without some sort of custodial relationship real or imagined while on board, particularly for young minor girls. There may have been more leeway granted to young minor males but all had to meet with USA immigration laws at time of entry and woukld be held until a relative or prospective spouse would show up to assume cusotdy and relieve the shipping lines of their obligations to minor passengers. =Peter=
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Re: traveling alone at 16 or 18?

Postby Karenmurphy » 16 Apr 2009, 19:16

I would hope someone would be onboard to chaperon. I would think it possible for a child to be traveling with friends or cousins of the family that we might not even know about.
Thanks for all the feedback.

Karen


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