Maritime Monday

Instead of jumping right into the multi-generational tradition of service in the US Navy among my husband's relatives (would have been too obvious?  No?)...I'll kick off the first of my "Maritime Monday" posts with a nod at one of my several German immigrant ancestors.  Ship travel?  Check!  

On 18 Septemer 1868, my 3rd great-grandfather Anselmus Ostholthoff arrived in New York aboard the German steam ship "Smidt" after a trans-Atlantic journey from Andervenne, Germany.  His traveling companions - wife Maria Anna (Toepke) Ostholthoff, their eldest son Johan Gerhard (2 years), and daughter Anna Maria (9 months).

The following snippet from their arrival documentation[1] indicates that Anselmus ("Selmus") was a farmer from Andervenne.  His stated destination after New York: Virgina.  This is curious to me, because I have record of Anselmus living in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1870[2].  At this point, Mr. Ostholthoff is no longer working as a farmer; he is an employee at the local lard factory.  Perhaps he spent a little time living in Virginia prior to settling in Cincinnati?  By 1870, his third child – Bernard Lina – is already six months old.  Could he possibly have had relatives living in Virginia who made their journey from Germany even earlier?  Something to investigate further.

As I browse through the many immigrant passenger lists, arrival lists, and naturalization documents from my own family, I can’t help but imagine what life would have been like aboard the ship.  I am so grateful for their courage and fortitude!

[1] Year: 1868; Arrival: New YorkUnited States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 11; List Number: 1002. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed January 2013.
[2] 1870 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Cincinnati, Ward 10, Hamilton, Ohio, Page 553B, Dwelling 867, Family 1962, Anselmus Ostholthoff household, jpeg image, (Online:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2009) [Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC], subscription database, <>, accessed January 2013.


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