2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2019 3:33 PM by Martha Garrett

    What did stamp "Gone to U.S.A." mean in ship manifest?


      I am a genealogist working in Sweden. Currently I am doing research on a Swedish family that ended up on both sides of the Canadian-US border.


      One of the sons, Ernst Sigfridsson emigrated in 1910 and landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 22 April on the Victorian from Liverpool. His destination was given in the manifest as Ontario, but next to his name was a stamped "Gone to U.S.A." followed by some numerals. The image can be seen at Ancestry under Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April, image 434 of 567.


      Obviously, Ernst did not jump off in the North Atlantic and swim to Maine. He must have been on the Victorian when she docked. He had indeed changed his mind about where he was going and was in Minnesota soon after his arrival. But why didn't the stamp say "Going to U.S.A."? And what did the numerals signify?


      Martha Garrett

        • Re: What did stamp "Gone to U.S.A." mean in ship manifest?

          Dear Ms. Garrett,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          In the early years of the Bureau of Immigration, there were U.S. inspectors in Halifax who manned an immigrant-inspection station for passengers going to the U.S. from Canada. There was a formal agreement in place with the transportation lines of Canada that when an alien passed through one of these inspections stations they could be granted an immigration certificate that would allow them admittance to the U.S. without further examination as they crossed the border. The alien was expected to surrender the certificate at the U.S. port of entry. There is information about the requirements surrounding this process in the annual reports of the Bureau of Immigration (ex. page 46 of the 1902 report).


          We believe that the numbers written next to the stamp relate to an immigration certificate that was granted.


          We hope this is helpful.


          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]

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