In need of a history lesson

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
EllenCatusco
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In need of a history lesson

Post by EllenCatusco »

I was wondering why my Great grandfather left for America from the port of Bordeaux, France instead of the closer port of Naples? This was in the year 1882, is there a significance with leaving from this port. He was by all accounts a peasant. And traveling to France in those day I would imagine could be expensive. He was traveling with his younger brother and both arrived on same ship in America. His Wife and at least 1 child were still in Marsico nuovo at this time. He went back and got them a few years later.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

Post by Tessa78 »

Can you post the link to the manifest?

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Re: In need of a history lesson

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Re: In need of a history lesson

Post by EllenCatusco »

The manifest itself shows nothing. It just seems like a long journey to make. Especially with Naples so close.
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From what I could find about the steamship line that owned the Chateau Leoville - the routes were Bordeaux to New York and also some Naples/Palermo to New York voyages.

It is POSSIBLE that the company transported passengers from Naples/Palermo to Bordeaux and then to NY.

http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines ... aise.shtml

Just for your records, here is the first page of the manifest for the Chateau Leoville for the voyage on which your ancestor sailed. Definitely originating in Bordeaux - but maybe only for the last part of his journey :-)

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/74 ... 7_451-0626

And here is the transcription of the entire manifest by the Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild
https://immigrantships.net/v2/1800v2/ch ... 20120.html

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Re: In need of a history lesson

Post by EllenCatusco »

Thank You Tessa,

It makes sense to leave Naples and then on to France and then to NY. I couldn't see the sense in traveling all that way, when Naples was right there.

the ISTG is from January. But again just saying France departure.

Did they register at every port? Or did they change ships, like running through an airport to catch your connecting flight. I can't even imagine what it was like to take these voyages.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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EllenCatusco wrote: 09 Feb 2019, 18:58 Thank You Tessa,

It makes sense to leave Naples and then on to France and then to NY. I couldn't see the sense in traveling all that way, when Naples was right there.

the ISTG is from January. But again just saying France departure.

Did they register at every port? Or did they change ships, like running through an airport to catch your connecting flight. I can't even imagine what it was like to take these voyages.
I have done research on passengers who boarded ships in Palermo, and the ships then stopped in Naples and other ports to pick up additional passengers before making the Atlantic crossing. I have also read references/situations where immigrants could not book passage from Palermo, but were able to travel by boat from Palermo to Naples to board a NY bound steamer.

In some cases, immigrants had to wait in a city (such as Naples) for a day or so before the ship sailed. I agree, it is hard to comprehend the hardships some faced to make this travel.

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Re: In need of a history lesson

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I have heard that the French authorities were more lax about travel/identity documents. If he was of an age that he should be doing military service his local authorities would not give him permission to leave.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

Post by EllenCatusco »

Tessa,

I had heard this before. And I wondered if that was the case. As far as I can tell he does not go back to Italy for another 5 or 6 years and then brings family over. I wasn't sure what conflicts were going on at that time. And this could be the very reason he goes to France.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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Census records show that, compared to immigration from other European countries, Italian immigration to the U.S. was relatively low until the mid 1880s. That's why major shipping companies didn't offer direct service to the U.S. from ports like Naples, Genoa or Palermo. For example, 1870 was the first year the number of immigrants from Italy rose above 2,000 (it was 2,891). That same year 30,742 Scandinavians and 56,996 Irish entered the U.S. But German immigration in 1870 outpaced everyone else at 118,225; for every Italian entering the U.S. that year there were 40 Germans doing the same. So before the big shipping companies started direct service from Italy, the few Italian immigrants wishing to go to the U.S. first had to travel to French ports like Bordeaux or Le Havre. Some even went as far as Bremen or Liverpool. To us this seems strange, but until about 1880, these were the nearest ports offering routine transatlantic service. Indirect travel like this was known as transmigration. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... 01.9668313)
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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joetucciarone wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 12:14 Census records show that, compared to immigration from other European countries, Italian immigration to the U.S. was relatively low until the mid 1880s. That's why major shipping companies didn't offer direct service to the U.S. from ports like Naples, Genoa or Palermo. For example, 1870 was the first year the number of immigrants from Italy rose above 2,000 (it was 2,891). That same year 30,742 Scandinavians and 56,996 Irish entered the U.S. But German immigration in 1870 outpaced everyone else at 118,225; for every Italian entering the U.S. that year there were 40 Germans doing the same. So before the big shipping companies started direct service from Italy, the few Italian immigrants wishing to go to the U.S. first had to travel to French ports like Bordeaux or Le Havre. Some even went as far as Bremen or Liverpool. To us this seems strange, but until about 1880, these were the nearest ports offering routine transatlantic service. Indirect travel like this was known as transmigration. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... 01.9668313)
Those numbers are actually incredible. I wasn't aware that such large numbers were immigrating to the US in 1870. The total US population was only 38 million in 1870, so 200,000+ immigrants would have been extremely significant.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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You're right - the immigration numbers are fascinating and tell an incredible story. By the way, you can see them on page 57 of this page:

https://www2.census.gov/library/publica ... 57-chC.pdf

The year of Italian Unification, 1860, shows how slight Italian immigration to the U.S. was compared to that of other countries. That year, only 1,019 Italians entered the U.S. compared to 48,637 from Ireland and 54,491 from Germany! Within 50 years, those figures changed dramatically. In 1907, 285,731 Italians entered the U.S. That was the greatest yearly number of immigrants from any single country in the world at that time.
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Re: In need of a history lesson

Post by MarcuccioV »

That all makes a lot of sense. My grandfather departed from Naples in 1910 (Born in 1891, and left before that year's birthday, so he would have still been 18). What an experience that must have been for a young Italian peasant..!
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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MarcuccioV wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 16:08 That all makes a lot of sense. My grandfather departed from Naples in 1910 (Born in 1891, and left before that year's birthday, so he would have still been 18). What an experience that must have been for a young Italian peasant..!
My GGF arrived in Pennsylvania at age 17 and went right to the coal mines. His life would put things in perspective for a 17 year old in 2021!
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Re: In need of a history lesson

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qualdom wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 16:42
MarcuccioV wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 16:08 That all makes a lot of sense. My grandfather departed from Naples in 1910 (Born in 1891, and left before that year's birthday, so he would have still been 18). What an experience that must have been for a young Italian peasant..!
My GGF arrived in Pennsylvania at age 17 and went right to the coal mines. His life would put things in perspective for a 17 year old in 2021!
No kidding, right..? My Gf stayed in Philly a short time then moved to Detroit. Began pushing a broom at Ford Motor Co around the time Henry invented the assembly line. After 2 years in the US Army (WWI) he returned and finally retired in 1956 (age 65) as a large body stamping press operator. He had been a machinist and various other engineering-related tasks prior to that for many years (40 years at Ford total). Spent his retirement years in SoCal.

I take after that ethic. I started my construction trade in my early teens and am still at it at age 58...
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