[APG Public List] age on shiplists
laboswell at rogers.com
Mon Nov 2 13:29:47 MST 2009
I wouldn't assume that each person gave their own information. Servants
likely didn't, nor would children or elderly relatives. Also you likely have
a language problem here, maybe someone who didn't fully understand the
question. Or alternatively an answer misheard or mistinterpreted because of
accent or language. Or misheard by a disinterested ship's officer who was
processing dozens of people who couldn't speak the same language. Or the
question as to age simply misunderstood completely. I've found so called
"ages" that instead seemed to match how long a person had lived in a given
Valet, male, personal 'man'servant serving a male in the household.
----- Original Message -----
From: Rolgeiger at aol.com
To: apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org ; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 12:45 PM
Subject: [APG Public List] age on shiplists
It's clear that all ages and other data provided on ship manifests
arriving for example in NY harbour were given by the people to the
officers of the
ship without any chance to proof the data were okay (that's right, isn't
Well, currently I'm researching the life of a woman from my hometown,
Johanna Riefer, who in the 1880s lived in Paris, France, as a servant. At
end of that decade she met Arabella Huntington and became a servant of
From 1904 until 1924 she accompanied Arabella on her annually trips to
The first ship list I could find was that of the "Kaiser Wilhelm II"
arriving in NY harbour on Jan 20,1904.
She is mentioned "Reifer, Jane" (I assume that "ei" was pronounced "ee"
in Germany the name is pronounced "Reefer").
Also on board and belonging to the Huntington party were:
Mrs. C.P. Huntington
Mr. Archer M. Huntington
Mrs. Archer M. Huntington
and their servants
Dominez Martinez, 27, male, occupation: "valet" (what is a valet?),
Angus Mc Gilverey, 30, valet, Scotch
Suzanne Gilomene, 27, maid, Swiss
and – not a servant -:
Miss Cummings, 25, USA
Johanna – "Jane" –'s age is mentioned as "24" but actually she was born
1855. Hey, you can see the difference between 24 and 51, even if that
is from my hometown, St. Wendel, Germany.
1907 when she takes the "Kronprinzessin Cecilie" from Cherbourg to New
York she is mentioned "41" which is nearer but wrong as well.
Someone out there with an idea?
PS: At present I try to locate documents from Arabella about her but it
seems that all of Arabella Huntington's personal papers were burned after
death because she had ordered that. Weird.
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