Giant Pandas eat a diet of bamboo but as it provides little nutrition, this one in Chongqing, China will consume up to 40 pounds daily.

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Ship Manifests are a key document in genealogical research. They list all passengers on board a ship and provide valuable personal information that can help you solve family mysteries. Ship Manifests are available on The Ellis Island database and were discussed in my previous blog entitled, “Making Your Past Come Alive With Ship Manifests.”

Barbary Ape

The Barbary Apes are Gibraltar’s unofficial national animal. People are advised to avoid direct contact with these tail-less monkeys so I took this photo quickly then retreated!

How Will You Score On Your First Genealogy Test?

What information was recorded on a Ship Manifest for immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, New York on January 13, 1913?

Put a checkmark beside the ones listed below that you believe are correct.

  1. Family and Given Name
  2. Calling or Occupation
  3. Able to Read and Write
  4. Nationality
  5. Race or People
  6. Last Permanent Residence
  7. The name and address of nearest relative or friend in country when alien came
  8. Final destination
  9. By whom was passage paid?
  10. Whether in possession of $50.00 and if less, how much?
  11. Whether ever before in the United States and if so, where and when?
  12. Whether going to join a relative or friend and if so, what relative and friend and his name and complete address
  13. Whether a polygamist
  14. Whether an anarchist
  15. Condition of health: mental and physical
  16. Deformed or crippled. Nature, length of time and cause
  17. Height
  18. Colour of hair and eyes
  19. Marks of identification
  20. Place of birth. Country, city or town

What was your score? Did any of the requests for information surprise you?

All of the above reflects information that had to be recorded for passengers who landed at The Ellis Island Immigration Station on January 13, 1913.

I obtained this material from a copy of the Original Ship Manifest for The America, the ship my Nana, Caterina Spagnuolo Andreoli Perri, travelled on across The Atlantic Ocean that landed in New York on this date. I purchased this document through The Ellis Island website; process details of which were outlined in my prior blog. Please note that I also posted my copy of this Ship Manifest with this blog.

In addition to those listed above, there were other categories of information on the Ship Manifest. These were impossible to decipher, however, as the writing was simply illegible. As this was a copy of the original Ship Manifest and, as a result, an almost one-hundred year old document, this did not surprise me.

What else can you learn from a ship manifest?

The Ship Manifest, however, did provide me with the following new information about my Nana Caterina:

  1. She had paid her own passage on the ship.
  2. She was in possession of $20.00 when she arrived at Ellis Island.
  3. She may have had a scar on the center of her forehead.

The Passenger Record I had obtained through an earlier search on this site had already confirmed Nana Caterina’s arrival at Ellis Island on January 13, 1913. This document stated that The America had sailed from Naples, Italy on December 20, 1912. I know knew the length of Nana’s voyage!  I had solved more family mysteries and my success encouraged me to continue my genealogical research.

Did you notice the official heading?

If not, I’ve included it below for your quick reference.

Saloon, Cabin, And Steerage Aliens Must Be Completely Manifested.


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Have you discovered any aliens in your genealogical research? I’d welcome your comments. The following photographs include some of the unusual animals I’ve encountered during my travels. I hope you enjoy them.

Gentoo Penguins

These Gentoo Penguins have a lifespan of about 8 years. They are among the 3,000 who live in a Rookery at Bluff Cove Lagoon in the Falkland Islands.

Marianne petting a Kangaroo at the Cairns Tropical Zoo in northern Queensland, Australia

The Kangaroo uses its long tail for balance when it hops and finds it difficult to walk or go backwards. I pet this one at the Cairns Tropical Zoo in northern Queensland, Australia.

Tasmanian Devil

This Tasmanian Devil reminded me of a small sweet dog at first but I quickly learned that it smells, bites, screeches and can climb up trees and swim across rivers.