What was my great-great grandmother's occupation?
January 8, 2009 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Please help with translating this ship manifest.

This is the manifest of the ship on which my great-great grandmother sailed to the United States in 1857. My mom is doing family history research and has been able to figure out nearly all of the information on the manifest. All we have left is the Gewerbe column, which is where the occupations of the passengers were listed. My relatives (great-great grandmother and her two traveling companions) are the first three on the list. Can anyone figure out what their occupations are? Thank you in advance for your help.
posted by snugglebunny to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you don't get a response, MeMail me and I'll have my two German aunts take a look at it.
posted by intermod at 7:55 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

The second, Johanna, is "ledig" (unmarried, single), and I'm pretty sure the third, Wilhelm, is "Kind" (child)--a bit wiffly in this entry but further entries down the page for 3 other children are clearer. My reading ability in Kurrentschrift (19th-century German writing) is a bit rusty, though, and I can't make out Ferd's entry. Do you have a higher-resolution image?
posted by brianogilvie at 8:02 PM on January 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to both of you so far. Intermod, I will let you know.

Brianogilvie, I am excited you think Johanna, my great-great grandmother was listed as unmarried and single. Wilhelm's entry is hard to read, but I was thinking it was the same as 191 rather than 190 or 194, which I see now are definitely children. Thanks.
posted by snugglebunny at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry, meant to say I will ask my mom if she has a higher-quality scan.
posted by snugglebunny at 8:11 PM on January 8, 2009

German-to-English glossary of old professions, not necessarily common in modern times. Unfortunately it only goes to up to K, but possibly helpful.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2009

Best answer: OP contacted me by mefimail and sent me the high-res scans. I sent them off to my aunts for review, and here's what one replied at first (in German, translated here) with:

"... the document is written in a German handwriting (Suetterlin); I can normally read it, but this is very difficult to decipher! The 2nd person (Johanna) could be "ledig" (I'm not sure though), but I don't think the 3rd person is "Kind", with the age of 16."

She said she'd try again when my uncle had returned to town -- he's more into that. Then about a week later she replied again (in English) with:

"[My uncle] figured out that the profession of Ferdinand is "Tuchmacher" which means a person who makes woolen fabrics; it's no longer a profession here. We are still working on the third person - Wilhelm -, the problem is, that the handwriting is not the real old German script, but a mixture of "Suetterlin" and Latin. But we'll try to find the solution."

I'll post here when I hear more!

Can you add some more tags to this question? I have trouble finding it each time. Some that come to mind are "german", "immigration", "emigration", "translation" ...
posted by intermod at 2:49 PM on January 31, 2009

Response by poster: Intermod, thanks so much. I can't wait to pass this along to my mom. She'll be as thrilled as I am. I added the tags. You can also favorite for easy reference. :)
posted by snugglebunny at 3:26 PM on January 31, 2009

Best answer: AHA! One more nugget. My aunt says:

"Wilhelm is a "Lernender" (Lehrling, today called "Auszubildender" in Germany), an apprentice."

Makes more sense ...
posted by intermod at 6:59 AM on February 1, 2009

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