THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 92
THE S. S. RAPPAHANNOCK - PAGE 2

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This is the second page re the Rappahannock. This is the first page - 91.

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WHO WAS LANDED BY THE RAPPAHANNOCK?

The following data may help ~ from The Globe, Toronto, Canada, Monday, October 13, 1913.

'Has Nineteen on Board.

New York. Oct. 12. - That the steamer Rappahannock, which is speeding toward Halifax from the scene of the disaster, has on board nineteen persons saved from the wreck was confirmed in a wireless despatch received here to-night from the captain of that vessel by way of Cape Race. The despatch said:

"Passengers we saved, fifteen women and four children, all scantily clad, follow: Privia Bix, Perry Bix, Edna Friendnian, Mrs. Geduck Parashe and her son Nicoli, Maria Idenberg, Esther Kapplau, Selce Kapake, Esther Kapake, Alexandria Montkonski, Viay Lauden, Esther Lentepsko, Mrs. Pia Pollack, Beila Recensky, Mrs. Maria Netzikauk and her children, Pedro, Dimitrio and Catherine, Leokadda Wojciek.'

Also from The Globe, Toronto, Canada, Monday, October 13, 1913.

(Special despatches to The Globe.)
New York, Oct. 12. (Midnight) - Mrs. Geduck Parashe, 20 years old, and Nicoli, her son, eight months old, both of Hamilton, Ont., are among the rescued passengers of the Volturno aboard the Rappahannock.

Now dealing with fragmentary data from so long ago has its problems. And what you see and read is not necessarily so.

In what will follow on this page, indeed the entire site, do please understand that my intent is NOT to be in any way critical - of absolutely anybody. My purpose is accuracy on matters related to the Volturno. And if I have anything wrong, however tiny the detail, do please tell me so that I can make the necessary corrections. I well understand that most of the Volturno passengers surely did not speak English, & were overwhelmed by the calamity of their experience & their destitute arrival in, to them, the alien world of North America. They probably could not articulate their names in English. And who knows if interpreters were available. I know nothing, then, about how the wireless despatches, newspaper references, manifests etc. were prepared, when they were prepared & by whom. An error in these web pages is easily corrected, but other matters are, alas, not so easily fixed. I will simply try to present the facts, in the hope that the descendants of those passengers may see the information & be helped in their important searches for family roots.

So let me now say that I was puzzled to see that only two of the above 19 names (which I trust I have diligently recorded - you be the judge!) seem to appear on the Volturno manifest list on Jan Daamen's fine site (derived from Ellis Island) & then not tidily. I now learn that eleven of the Rappahannock 'ex Volturno' passengers who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 14, 1913 (but the record says Oct. 15, 1913) & travelled on to New York on the SS Florizel & arrived there (493 & 492) on Oct. 18, 1913. And the names of the other eight passengers (see left image (480) next below which I adjusted to only show relevant data) are quite different than those listed in the Globe article above. So Mrs. Geduck Parashe, as written above, is on a U.S. immigration manifest, ex Ellis Island, as Paraksa Geduck (i.e. family name & given name are reversed amongst other changes.) And her son is Nikolaj rather than Nicoli. Netzikauk becomes Nikitczuk. Recensky becomes Ridensky. etc. etc. My inclination was to think that the manifest data, originating with the U.S. Immigration Department, & made available to the world on the Ellis Island site, would be the most accurate source. Such data would have been prepared by officers as they reviewed each passenger's travel documents, most likely. But that said, I have to wonder whether that is so. And can anybody, who understands these matters better than I do, explain why the U.S. Immigration Department listed at all those Volturno passengers who both arrived in Canada & stayed in Canada. They would never have gone through New York, I would have thought.

I have since learned that manifest pages were prepared by the vessel which brought them to the U.S., & often those lists were prepared before they even boarded their ship. And those lists were then given to the U.S. authorities. Not always, however!

And to return briefly to the case of Paraksa Geduck (or Geduck Paraksa), it might to useful to note from the text section that next follows re Leocadia Wojciak, that the family name was surely written last in the manifest in Leocadia's case. I draw no conclusion except that there was surely some confusion at the time. Read the entry for Nikitczuk in comparison.

Now the right part of the image next below is the manifest of the Florizel but there seem to be two pages of similar content. Already linked above. Same problem! Bix becomes Biks. Kapake becomes Katske. And so on. And so on. I just do not know which spelling of any of these names is the correct one.

I wonder how Beila Recensky/Ridensky made her way to Minneapolis. Not aboard the SS Florizel to New York, it would seem. She was however recorded as arriving on Oct. 29, 1913. And being from Felash, Russia. But a little bit of extra data. It would seem that she may have travelled to Montreal & then westward. Why do I say that? See this (414) manifest listed on Ellis Island & the second (413) part of that same manifest sheet. Both now located.

And, forgive me, that is not the end of my confusion! You can read the U.S. Immigration manifest (above right) as can I. Why, I wonder, does what is clearly written as Katske become Kotski in the typed manifest (I transcribed it) below. Why does Konkowski become Kosskouski. Why does Konkowski, a she, in fact become a he in the listing below & his or her given name which clearly is Alexandra become Alexaindra. (Konkowski was listed as 'wife' in the manifest.) Same thing re Lauden/Landon i.e. a change of sex, but he or she was listed as 'sailor'. I cannot see a tidy way through this collective puzzle! You, the visitor, must do your best to do so, with your private family data which I do not possess. Any changes you might choose to provide will be gladly reflected in these pages.

Name First Name Sex Age Married Origin Place of residence
Kaplun Ester F 19 S Russian Kesshou, Russia
Landon Basy M 20 S Russian Bundaws, Russia
Eisenborg Maria F 18 S Russian New York
Biks Perl F 17 S Russian Mikolas, Russia
Biks Privic F 20 S Russian Mikolas, Russia
Friedman Hissda F 19 S Russian Reschaugorf, Russia
Lenchiski Ester F 16 S Russian Lotch, Russia
Kotski Feige F 32 S Russian Jubeliska, Russia
Kotski Ester F 20 S Russian Jubeliska, Russia
Kosskouski Alexaindra M 24 M Russian Kostovitah, Russia
Polick Pia F 33 M Russian Kainaugaz, Russia

Now I was hoping to build a master list of persons aboard the Volturno with greater detail upon it, such as whether they were saved or not, by which vessel they were saved & on which vessel they actually arrived in North America etc. etc. The Rappahannock would I thought, in my innocence, be an easy start to such a project since it only had 19 of the Volturno survivors. But I begin to think that my objective may well prove to be simply impractical. From this distance in time. But we shall see! Page 19 of this site is the best I have yet been able to come up with, in that regard.

DATA ABOUT SPECIFIC PASSENGERS, JUST 'LEOCADIA WOJCIAK' AT THIS MOMENT

In Aug. 2001, Arlene Evans wrote on Jan Daamen's guestbook 'My grandmother Leocadia Wojciak was a steerage passenger; rescued by the Rappahannock and taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was detained there for several months then allowed to enter the U.S. Her married name was Louise Przytulski and she raised her family in Blawnox, Pennsylvania. I am searching for the reason she was detained in Canada for so long.' I wonder whether Arlene ever learned the reason? The odd thing is, as you can read in the image above, that Leokadia/Leocadda Wojciak/Wojciek/Wojczik would seem to have been heading to her married sister in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1913.

I now have on page 21 of this site a large portion of the content of a Report of the Volturno related Relief Activities of the American Red Cross, conducted in late 1913 & early 1914. The Report itself is quite lengthy, & while it does not use names, (and when it does, those names are stated to be fictitious), it does provide considerable detail of all cases except the single men - a degree of detail which can permit the webmaster to identify a great many individual immigrants referred to with some certainty.

The detail of each & all of the 36 single women is set out, and there would seem to be quite a few girls of about 19 years old who arrived alone, but very few of them 'match'. There are two cases where a girl of about that age went to the home of her married sister, but only one of those cases mentions Canada. From what I have seen, the Red Cross report mentioned Canadian destinations with some diligence. Here are the exact words, limited as they are, of the case which best seems to fit. The girl is described as being a Galician. Now I thought Galicia to be in Spain, but this page tells me that Galicia is not where I thought it was. In fact, it would seem to be in Poland which matches well. The bracketed value at the end is the relief amount expended by the Red Cross Committee.

Case No. 90 (Galician.) - A girl of 18 years left her parents' home and came to her married sister's in Canada. She planned to live at service. The girl suffered the loss of clothing and money.   ($25)

The very nature of the WWW is that data available today is maybe gone tomorrow, as sites move or close or for many other reasons. So I have copied here, lest it later & permanently 'vanishes', data from a Rootsweb exchange of messages, that you today can see here. That message is below inset & in italics.

Why do I mention this matter on this page & right here? You will note that the Rootsweb message in italics below does NOT state the name of the Russian-Polish girl the message talks about. But I think that it surely was Leokadia/Leocadda Wojciak/Wojciek/Wojczik who is the subject of these paragraphs. I tried to reach SmithinDC but failed, however I suspect that SmithinDC and Arlene Evans may very well be one & the same person or related. But it would seem, if I am correct, that Leokadia stayed but a short time in 1913 with her married sister in Nova Scotia, and she then left for the U.S. So she may not have been detained in Canada at all. Rather staying with her sister. She applied for admission to the U.S. at Vanceboro, Maine, on Dec. 18, 1913, I read, which is strange because Dec. 18, 1913 is the exact date of the St. John, N.B., Canada entry record. Vanceboro, a tiny community of about 200 souls, is on the St. Croix river on the border of Maine with New Brunswick almost due north of St. Stephen/Calais. I have seen a reference to Vanceboro once being a booming railroad town, but that reference also seemed to indicate it is freight only today. Some old railway images are here. And presumably Leocadia WAS admitted to the U.S. at an unknown later date. As you can read in the second large paragraph below.

'Here is a real puzzler:

A 19-year old Russian-Polish woman embarked for America in October 1913 upon the SS Volturno. That ship caught fire and burned (I guess it sunk) in the mid-Atlantic on or about October 12. More than 300 survivors were supposedly picked up from the water or off the Volturno by as many as 10 different ships. Some took survivors to the US, others to Canada, and still others back to Europe, since those ships were headed East.
No US passenger lists for the survivors have been found on, with, appended to, or even nearby the passenger lists of the rescue ships. An entry under the subject 'SS Volturno' in the index to INS subject files (NARA microfilm T-458) indicates that 'Inspection regulations waived as to survivors. Bureau holds head tax cannot be waived in these cases. So the inspection requirements (i.e., a passenger manifest) apparently were waived. Still, there had to be records of payment of head tax, right? The file referenced by that index was not found at the National Archives--it is officially missing.

At this point someone searched the St. Albans records of arrivals and found a card manifest for the woman. According to this record, which is for the Port of Entry St. John, NB (dated Dec. 18, 1913), she was landed at Halifax on Oct. 16, 1913, from the SS Volturno (no mention of what ship rescued her). She then seems to have spent about two months or less at Sydney, NB or NS?, Canada, before boarding a CPR train going to the US and applying for admission at Vanceboro, Maine, on Dec. 18, 1913. She was admitted there, but only after a Board of Special Inquiry hearing. Curiously, the form all this information is written upon was not in use until AFTER 1924. Furthermore, the back of the St. Albans manifest card indicates that a Certificate of Arrival was issued, based upon that card manifest, on April 21, 1941. We are looking for that potential naturalization record.

Anyway, the young woman made her way to Pittsburgh, PA, and lived her life. This case raises many still unanswered questions for me, but the one I will put to you first is this: Would the Canadian arrival records have any passenger list or other record of rescued Volturno survivors landed at Halifax on or about Oct. 16, 1913? If so, how would one find that record? (Sue?)

SmithinDC'

Some of SmithinDC's questions are addressed on this page. Such as that Ellis Island does have a list of persons landed by the Rappahannock. And was she 'detained in Canada' at all? But we have a long way to go, perhaps, to fully resolve the matter. Hopefully, Arlene Evans can help & hopefully she might read these words & contact the webmaster.

This page will, hopefully, track data about the Rappahannock as it comes to hand. And hopefully data as it specifically relates to the Volturno tragedy.

If any visitor can clarify (or correct) or provide more information about any of these matters, I would truly welcome their help.

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