Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tepper Family Arrival

Manifest of S.S. Lituania Dec 22, 1907

     Finding the correct manifest for a person or family can be a challenge.  Voyages were usually booked using the Yiddish name or nickname of the traveller.  Transliteration from Yiddish, which is written in Hebrew characters, to English means that there was no consistency of spelling.   It is necessary to match up the information on the Manifest with what you already know to be sure that you have the right family.  It took me a while to find this one.
      On December 22, 1907, Meier Teper and most of his family arrived at the port of New York aboard the ship S.S. Lituania.1  The Lituania sailed from Libau, at the time one of the major ports in the Russian empire.  The family, along with thousands of other migrants, probably reached the port using the network of railways connecting with the port.
    The Manifest contains a wealth of information.  First it lists the family using their Yiddish names as told to the official at Libau who made up the manifest.  It shows their age, sex, marital status, and occupation.   Also, the town from which they came (in this case Baranovka) and where they were going (Philadelphia). On arrival, the relationships among the passengers was added by immigration officials.  Traveling on this trip were the Tepers:
Name           Age   Sex  Relation  Status  Occupation
Meier             56     M                     M        smith
Leie               53      F    wife          M        wife
Avorum         19     M    nephew     S        smith
Schlome        18     M    child          S        smith
Aron              11     M    child          S        child
Ruchel           23     F     niece          S        tailoress
Rivke            16     F     daughter     S        tailoress
Sosse             10     F     daughter    S        child
Miryam           9     F     daughter     S       child

     I was able to identify each of the family members except the niece and nephew.  Meier David and Leie kept their Yiddish names.  The other children became Sam, Harry, Bessie, Celia, and Mary.
     The manifest has other valuable information.  It lists a point of contact in Baranovka as Moschko Weinstein.  I still don't know who that was.  On the second page, it says that Meier arrived with $7.50, and that the family is going to the son-in-law, Mr. E Grosser at 814 South 4th Street Philadelphia.  (see previous blog post for more about Elcon Grosser).  Leie's entry also has a note that she had 4 children already in the U.S.  This note sent me off on an interesting voyage of discovery at the end of which I tracked down a son that I was unaware of.  But more on that experience later. Finally, it gives a town of birth, Miropol, in the gubernia of Wolyn.

Since I knew the names of many of my great-grandmother, Jennie Tepper's siblings, and I knew that she was from Baranovka, this manifest seemed like a good bet.  At the time I found it, I did not know her parent's names (I had photos and a drawing done by my mother, but they were labeled "Zeyda  and Bubbe Tepper").  I did know that my great-grandfather Elcon Grosser had sponsored many of his and Jennie's family members, and I knew where he lived on 4th St. so when I found his name on the manifest I was sure that I had the right family.

1  1907; Arrival; New York, New york; Microfilm Serial T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm roll; R1064; line9; page 133.  Accessed at, on-line database; New York Passenger Lists


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