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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finding a Death at Sea

Angela wants to know
My g-grandmother is listed on the manifest at Ellis Island June 14, 1897 with her 4 small sons. Final destinations - New Orleans, Louisiana. Her husband is already in the United States.

Looking for any records/information on passengers who may have died before arriving at port or deported back to her homeland for some reason. There were no markings or notations on the manifest indicating a passenger died on the ship. I have been searching for an answer for at least 7 years.

I can only surmise that something happened to her. Husband remarried a year and half later to help raise the boys. I have their marriage record.

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Angela. That's terrific that you found your ancestor on a ships' passenger list! If a passenger died on board ship, that fact would be entered on the passenger list. It might be noted beside the name of the individual on the list or it might be noted on the last page of the entire manifest. But it will be noted somewhere.

If you have checked every page of the manifest without finding a record of anyone dying on board, then she very likely died sometime in that 18 months after her arrival and her husband's remarriage. Have you searched for her death record or notices in newspapers in New Orleans for that time period 1897-1898?

There are some pre-1911 death records online at Lousiana Secretary of State Archives. There is also a New Orleans, Louisiana Death Records Index, 1804-1949 online on Ancestry.com Searching for her death in Louisiana would be my next research course of action if it were my ancestor.

Also, take a look at the Ancestor Death Record Finder for more ideas of other places to hunt for an ancestor's death record.

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