09 January 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Louis Liebross' 1895 Passenger Manifest

When I'd first located the 1897 passenger manifest for Louis Liebross (my great grandfather), I almost stopped looking for others. Somehow I found this second one - or should I say earlier one from 1895. [1] This manifest provided yet another creative spelling of Liebross: Liberos.

On 16 May 1895 Leser Liberos landed in New York Harbor on the S.S. Lahn. The Lahn had traveled from Bremen, Germany.

Detail of left side of manifest.

No.: 320
Ticket No.: 553
Name in Full: Leser Liberos
Age: 35
Sex: m
Married or Single: m
Calling or occupation: laborer
Country of which they are Citizens: [blank]

Detail of right side of manifest.

Native Country: Austria
Intended Destination or Location, State or Territory: Brooklyn, NY
State of Passengers other than Cabin, whether Citizens of the United States: -
Transient, In Transit or intending protracted sojourn: NY
Location of Compartment or Space occupied forward amidships or alt.: Steerage Comps 3
Number of pieces of baggage: [check mark]
Prt of Embarkation: Bremen
Date and Cause of Death: 1-0 [marking likely unrelated to this passenger entry]

How can I be sure this was, indeed, my Leiser Liebross? The proof is somewhat circumstantial. My Leiser arriving in 1897 indicated he was 37 years old. This Leser in 1895 (two years earlier) shows an age of 35. 

We know that Leiser's brother Simon was in Brooklyn as early as 1892: at that time living at 26 Moore Street. In an 1893-4 Brooklyn city directory, Simon is living at 203 Boerum, Brooklyn. [2] In an 1897-8 city directory, he is at 244 Boerum, Brooklyn. [3] On this 1895 manifest, Leser states he is going to Brooklyn. No other Liebrosses are listed in any directories in Brooklyn (or in New York City, for that matter).

The 1897 Leiser indicates that he is a merchant. The 1895 Leser says he's a laborer. There is a chance he changed his profession between 1895 and 1897, but, no one was likely to check the occupations claimed by immigrants. And there are studies indicating that the quality of immigrants' occupational reporting was low. [4] At this point, I have no way to evaluate the two responses to the occupation question or resolve the conflict.

My hunch is that this 1895 trip was a visit by Leiser to the United States either in advance of making a decision to move the family or in preparation for such a move.

1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 5 September 2009), manifest, Lahn, Bremen to New York, arriving 16 May 1895, Liberos, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 641; Line: 5; Page Number: G.
2. Lain's Brooklyn City Directory, 1893-1894 (Brooklyn, New York: Lain and Healy, 1894), 747, entry for "Liebross Sam'l"; digital image, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : accessed 3 April 2010).
3. Lain's Brooklyn City Directory, 1897-1898 (Brooklyn, New York: Lain and Healy, 1898), 908, entry for "Liebros Simon"; digital image, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : accessed 24 July 2010).
4. Joel Perlmann (1996), "Selective Migration as a Basis for Upward Mobility? The Occupations of the Jewish Immigrants to the United States, ca. 1900," Levy Economic Institute, Working Paper No. 172.

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