1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 15, 2019 1:21 PM by Becca Simons

    Seeking ship information from Germany to US in 1912


      My father immigrated from Germany to America around 1912. Looking how he got here. On his naturalization paperwork, it states he was a deserted seaman. What ship would he have come in on then? Also, we don't know anything about his family in Germany. Is there a way to go to a German website that is in English to get that information? His name was Henry Weingartner and he was born in 1888.


      Thank you so much for your help.

      Janet Weingartner Delmas

        • Re: Seeking ship information from Germany to US in 1912

          Dear Ms. Delmas,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Technically, crew lists did exist in the 1912 time frame so Henry may have been recorded, but it was not until 1917 that laws required specific documentation about alien seaman aboard vessels.  Beginning in the 19th century, the captain of the ship was required to present a crew list at the port of embarkation and any subsequent port(s) of arrival. Crew lists are maintained as part of the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36) many have been digitized online. Sometimes the lists have names that have been crossed off or a “D” (for deserted) has been inserted next to a crew members entry. These are strong indicators that the individual left the vessel.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog but were unable to locate Henry Weingartner in the Population Schedules for the 1920 Census, and the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census as digital images have not yet been added to the Catalog. Therefore, we searched Ancestry and located a Henry Weingartner and his wife Lena on the 1920 and 1930 census in New Jersey; they were very consistent in 1912 being the date recorded for their arrival in the US - both census records have 1912 as their year of arrival. You may wish to browse the passenger arrival and crew lists online for 1912 since a standard name search did not provide a clear result. 


          If Henry was naturalized after September 1906, those filing a Declaration of Intention were required to obtain a Certificate of Arrival to verify their entry into the US.


          When a desertion occurred, the caption was required to report it to the U.S. Consul at the port.  If you are able to narrow to a more conclusive port of arrival, staff at the National Archives at College Park may be able to assist in determining whether reports of that incident or voyage appear in NARA’s Department of State holdings. Please contact the National Archives at College Park  - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]