Thursday, April 18, 2013

Arriving at Ellis Island

Matyas departed for the United States of America on the 23rd of March in 1912 from Hamburg, Germany. They made a stopover in Cuxhaven, before taking the  journey to Ellis Island in New York.

The ship manifest shows that the ship arrived on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1912.  However, the New York newspapers show that the SS Pennsylvania actually arrived on April 5, 1912. That makes the journey only 13 days. Yes, I agree, that is still a long time on an extremely overcrowded ship, in steerage, no less. They might have had to stay on the ship for 2 days until the ship inspections could be accomplished and then they had to wait their turn in line to debark since there were 15 ships that had arrived at the harbour on the 5th that had to be processed. It took a long time to inspect and process each ship and its passengers, with all of the thousands of people involved. I would only know that was the true reason if the passport and the personal travel documents for Matyas still survived. They would tell the date that he had undergone inspection and claimed his luggage. This would be my guess as to why there is a 2 day discrepencey in the arrival dates. Imagine having to spend an extra 2 days on board the ship knowing that you had arrived, looking at your new life from afar and not being able to do anything about it. There must have been some rare nerves on that ship.

The Sun (New York);  Friday; April 5, 1912;  pg 15