14 February 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Liebross Family Manifest

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 13 May 2009), manifest, Britannic, Liverpool to New York, arriving 1 July 1898, Libros, citing National Archives Microfilm SerialT715; Microfilm Roll: 25; Lines: 20-28; Page Number: 2.

Early on in my family history work (circa B.A., i.e., Before I had an Ancestry subscription), it was this record that made me start to think that one must have a knack for success at this genealogy stuff. Liebross is one of those surnames that make genealogists salivate: it's unusual. But, it's also been spelled every which way and can be a challenge to find.[1] As I struggled through the Ellis Island database seeking Liebross, I started to get creative. I tried several variations and then "Libros." Bingo!

It looked like the bugs got there before the microfilm photographer. There were no longer any first names on this portion of the manifest.
Surname: Libros
Ages: 30, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 5. It was clear there had been more children listed, but that portion of the page was gone.
Nationality: Galicia
Last Residence: Radautz 
Final Destination: New York
Person who paid for their tickets: husband
Relative would they join in the USA: Husband (and father) Leiser Libros, New York
I knew there had been 8 children in the Leiser and Breindel Liebross family. Only 5 were visible. The 10 year old was about the correct age to be the oldest child, my grandmother Tillie. But this was no easy call. Yes, it looked right, but considering the paucity if information, one could not be certain.

About a  year later I was able to confirm that this record did, indeed, record the arrival of Bertha (Breindel) Leibross and her children. Lucky for us, they'd started their trans-Atlantic voyage from Liverpool. Find My Past held two images of manifest pages for the Britannic kept in the United Kingdom. All the family except the youngest child, Irving (listed on another page of the manifest as Isaac) were on one page with names and ages listed. [2] [3]

Breindel Libross, Tovi, Regina, Marcus, Sigmunt, Hermann, Janos, Zila

Breindel (30), Tovi (10), Regina (9), Marcus (8), Sigmunt (7), Hermann (5) Janos (3), Zila (4)
It is an interesting list, however, since it is the only indication we have, thus far, of the names that they went by in Radautz when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The main language in Bucovina area at that time was German. Breindel became Bertha in the United States; Tovi - Tillie; Regina - Rose; Marcus - Max; Sigmunt - Sidney; Hermann - Harry; Janos - Joseph Jerome; and Zila - Celia. Isaac became Irving.

One other interesting note: the family was processed for immigration at the Barge Office, not Ellis Island. On 15 June 1897, the buildings at Ellis Island suffered a devastating fire. The old Barge Office (which had been used for a short time previously as an immigrant processing center) was pressed into service until Ellis Island was reopened 0n 19 December 1900.

1. Over the years of research I've located 24 different spellings of the name. 
2. The UK, at that time did not require the same depth of information on their manifests that the United States did. The British pretty much listed names and ages and not much else. But, in this case, it was all I needed! 
3. "Passenger List Leaving the UK, 1890-1960," digital images, FindMyPast.com (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 1 January 2009), manifest, Britannic, Liverpool to New York, departing 22 June 1898, Breindel, Tovi, Regina, Marsus, Sigmunt, Hermann, Janos, and Zila Liebross, citing The National Archives, London England; page 2, ticket number 24282.
"Passenger List Leaving the UK, 1890-1960," digital images, FindMyPast.com (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 1 January 2009), manifest, Britannic, Liverpool to New York, departing 22 June 1898, Isaac Liebross, citing The National Archives, London England; page 3, ticket number 17724. 

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