Wednesday, January 25, 2023

4 Tips to Tracing Ships: Mail , Slave, or Immigrant Ships

: How do you determine where a  ship originated?  
The same basics apply on all ships:
mail ship: was your ancestor on a route
immigrant ship: the manifest proffers names. The names tells the story
indentured servant: where are the ship Captain's records. Newspapers offer quite a bit of background
slave ships: who paid passage and for what destination.

Remember the basics are the same. Let's use Anna's example of her ancestor on a slave ship. 
  1. Analyze and take Inventory or Information from Document
    - Slave Manifest. Gather slave name and approximate age with description: Moses, 38 years old, 6 feet, copper skin.
    - Ship information. ship name: SS Louisian, ship captain, date of transport, shipper.
  2. Research ship Capt. and and route

    W. H. Talbot, NOLA was a Captain of the SS Louisiana, a Texas U. S. Mail Line. Newspaper search will provide a lot of contemporary information on the Capt. and Steamship Louisiana. This Texas Mail line circled from Indianola Texas, to Galveston to New Orleans.
    Resource: Local Newspapers: Portal to Texas History
  3. Research the Shipper
    Be sure to note all names on ship manifests, but be very deliberate with all information on the shipper. Who is the person named on ship manifest, from where (may not be the same as the ship).
    Obituaries and Local News
    Resources: Newspapers, genealogy databases, county histories
  4. Understand the waterways. This will answer why this ship? Mississippi River from New Orleans to Louisiana, to the Pearl River of Mississippi.
    Resource: Take a tour to experience. Relavant to this Episode: consider the Pearl River Swamp Tour. Pearl River Swamp is not only known for runaway slaves, but you can learn how it impacted your confederate soldier.
    Operations of slave ship.
Keep in mind this article is written for Moses, the slave on the SS Louisiana. Therefore the resources provided are directly tied to Hittin' the Bricks with Kathleen: Ep: 02 Manifest, Ships and Camels! Oh My!
And the Camels?
(You have to listen to the Episode to understand this reference. 
Jump on board. I invite you!)
Remember Indianola TX. It was the on the stop between SS Louisiana mail route between New Orleans and Galveston. Well, did you know the U. S. Army transported camels through the port in Indianola, TX from 1856 to 1866. The US Army had a Camel Corps two shiploads of camels (total of camels landed at Indianola,Texas. The actual headquarters for the U.S. Army Camel Corps was in Camp Verde, AZ. Be sure to read: The sinister reason why camels were brought to the American West. National Geographic.

If you are interested in sharing your family brickwall with Hittin' the Bricks with Kathleen (HTB) be sure to complete the submission form here.

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

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