Like a lot of people around here, I suppose, I have gotten into this genealogy thing. Great hobby! In my case, I was baffled for some time regarding a story I heard about some ancestors that decided to go to South America instead of North America. Only sketchy details, no facts. So where do you start then in a case like that? You're dealing with a different language and passenger lists, unlike the Hamburg lists, aren't readily available - even if they still exist. The interesting thing about genealogy research is that you figure you've come to a dead end, so you put things away for a few months. Then when you come back fresh and go at it again, it seems new clues just pop up.Departing on the New Year of 1897, the first four immigrant families (the Hikawczuks, Pawlows, Trenkas and Gogols) arrived in Argentina in late February of the same year. The families were sent to the district of Malargue in Mendoza and worked the land of an army general, Rufino Ortega.
In my case, I ran across that quote above in an old newspaper I found on line. Only it didn't help much - only that it confirmed the story I heard was true. Then I happened across a site that partially listed the immigration records from back then. The good part of those records was that the name of the ship they came on was also given. So then it was fairly easy to look up the ship and see the route it took. Anyone that's tried to trace their ancestors to South America knows that few details exist about the journey. I had always suspected they must have crossed the Atlantic to New York then sailed south. Turns out I was entirely wrong on that assumption.
As it turned out, those early immigrants crossed on a ship called the Espagne. I wondered what that ship looked like. Problem then was that Espagne (Spanish) was a fairly common name and several ships went under that name. Finding a picture of the one from 1897 was problematic, but I did manage to find one eventually. Here's what that ship looked like...
Can you imagine crossing the Atlantic in that tin can? Three masts and one funnel. We know times were tough back in the day, but they must have been really bad for a family to pack up their meager belongings and set off on an adventure to an entirely new world. Most of those folks from Western Europe probably had never seen a body of water larger than a pond. Then to get on a boat and cross the Atlantic?
But I imagine people a hundred years from now will look back at those lunar modules and wonder how anyone would could have been crazy enough to ride one of those things into space. Just saying, you know.