A List Of All The Boats My Ancestors Came Over On

The idea of “when they came over on the boat” was always some vague, far-off notion that generally kind of joked about, but I never paid real attention to this — to really consider the fact that my ancestors all got to North America in the 1800’s by crossing the ocean in various boats. I cross the ocean on planes, and it’s kind of unnerving if you think of it — all that blue expanse of waving water for hundreds of thousands of miles between continents, just waiting to swallow you up if even just one thing goes wrong. But on a plane, it’s only for a few hours.

On a boat… well, that unnerving feeling would last days. Weeks. Months?

Also for some reason I’d always assumed all my ancestors came over together on the same boat. While a lot of them were on the S.S. Austrian (filled with the East Reserve’s first settlers), that doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. I hadn’t realized there were so many different ships they would’ve come over on!

This isn’t going to be a definitive list, because there are some gaps in my info…I hope to fill those gaps yet at some point.

S.S. Austrian on July 17, 1874 to Quebec City

S.S. Lake Megantic … in 1902 (?)

S.S. Peruvian in 1875 to Quebec City: My mom’s book The Brauns of Osterwick by Peter Brown states, “We boarded the ship Tuesday, June 3, at 10:00 A.M. as prayers ascended and tears flowed…many had to leave father and mother behind, or the parents left their children…Friday June 20 the ship suffered a severe jolt. They had rammed an iceberg…Saturday they were underway once more.”

S.S. Sardinian in 1876 to Quebec City

S.S. Labrador in 1893 to Quebec City. This is the feature photo!

“The following information was taken from a microfilm, #C-4539, obtained from the Public Archives in Ottawa, Canada. The SS Labrador sailed from Liverpool, England April 27, 1893 and arrived in Quebec, Canada May 6, 1893. The ship carried 1109 passengers…”

S.S. Nederland in 1877 to Philadelphia, PA

S.S. Samaration in 1877 to Quebec City

S.S. Lake Erie in 1903 to Quebec City

S.S. Gellert in 1876 to New York City, NY (photograph below, from The House of Jacob by Frances Janzen Voth)

“Jacob and Family Headed for America Passengers on the S.S. Gellert Left Hamburg, Havre Arrived in New York on July 29, 1876”