Updated: Feb 5, 2019
When researching your family history, some finds are perplexing. Records that seem like a match could easily be a mix-up and lead us in the wrong direction. They can, however, offer valuable clues. Almost every document offers some kind of information or confirmation of information, no matter how basic it seems.
This ship record, for example, came up as a hint on Ancestry.com. It is a ship's manifest for a voyage that departed from Liverpool, England, on November 6, 1895, and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on November 18 - a twelve day voyage.
This appears to possibly show my 2nd great-grandmother, Annie (Robinson) Dickinson. There are similarities, such as her destination - Pittsburgh, where she was known to have lived from about 1882 or 1883 to about 1905. It states that she was married, which Annie had been five years prior, in 1890, and that her husband was there, which Harry Dickinson did. Her age is off by a year. According to Annie and Harry's family Bible, Annie was born October 12, 1870, which would make her 25 at the time of this trip.
Notice it says Pittsburgh and it appears crossed off and corrected as Manchester, in the column for last residence. This appears to be in the row for Emma Hallowell, with repeating quotation marks for Annie Dickinson and Percy Goldsmith, indicating their last residence was the same. Annie (Robinson) Dickinson was born in Manchester, England. Was Annie traveling with them? Emma Hallowell was the wife of Albert Hallowell. A quick search for Percy showed he may have been from Sheffield.
One thing that makes me doubt this is Annie (Robinson) Dickinson is that in 1895 Annie already had two young daughters, Elizabeth and Emma, who were age 4 and 2, respectively. She was said to have been very close to her children. Would she leave these girls in someone else's care? Harry was undoubtedly working in the steel mills, so he couldn't care for them while she was away for at least a month (a 12-day voyage each way). Perhaps Annie returned to England for a funeral or wedding and Harry's mother, Elizabeth Dickinson, who lived nearby cared for the girls while she was away? Additional research may prove or disprove whether or not Annie returned for a visit to England. If a connection with Emma Hallowell is found, it may provide clues about Annie's family. More details to follow! (Subscribe for Updates!)