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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Understanding a Ships Passenger List

Ruth asked

As suggested by you, in a July email, I went onto ANCESTRY & found some of my ALLISON Family. However, the copy is of poor quality, & so far I have gleaned:

(R ) L ALLISON joiner ......?.. County Antrim Vancouver .?...
John ALLISON labourer " " "
Elizabeth ALLISON nil " "

3 Irish listed. NO sign of Joseph? Ship: Lake Erie 18 Oct. Montreal Quebec T 481 from Liverpool aka BEAVER

I am puzzled re the top left ...?...ed States Steerage.Looks like most were going to the US on a Norwegian ship? Wonder who paid the passage for my unemployed family?I wonder if you are able to clear a few queries up re the blanks or illegible parts?

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Ruth, I appreciate your sending me the image you were asking about but I went to and had a look at the full passenger list for Steamer Lake Erie. You may have noticed that your page of interest is listed as Image 6 of 14. It's always a good idea to look at the first page of any manifest (ships passenger list) for more detail. A check of page one reveals some interesting notes about the non-Canadians who had no family or friends meeting them.

It also shows that the first 5 pages are the lists of Canadians who were returning to Canada. So your names apparently are on the list of non-Canadians who are arriving.

I am not sure where you found the "aka Beaver" but a look through the entire manifest reveals the ship had only one name - the Steamer Lake Erie sailing from Liverpool to Montreal and Quebec. It was part of the Beaver Line, is that where the confusion lies? The Beaver Line was originally part of the Canadian Steamship Line so I am not sure where you saw that it was a Norwegian ship. It was Canadian! In March 1903 it was taken over by the Canadian Pacific line of ships.

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