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October 28, 2008

Caveat Part 2: re the new Inbound UK and Inbound Canada Ships Passenger Lists

This continues my discussion of the UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 and Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 which have been recently published online

With this AHA moment I talked about in Caveat Part 1: re the new Inbound UK and Inbound Canada Ships Passenger Lists, I went back to a very difficult search I had for my grandmother's brother Ernest Simpson. Ern had come to Canada with his new bride Mary Cordelia, in April 1908. Between that year and 1954 Uncle Ern apparently travelled back and forth many times. My chart for Uncle Ern showed that he most often came in and left from St. John New Brunswick. The chart looked like this:

* 1908 To Canada with wife
* 1913 To England with wife and daughter
* 1913 To Canada (bringing back his 15 year old brother Sydney)
* MISSING voyage to England
* 1921 To Canada alone
* 1922 to England with wife and daughter
* MISSING voyage to Canada
* 1954 to England with wife

I had tried every research technique I could to find that voyage to England (alone) before 1921 and after 1913. I knew he would not have left his wife and daughter alone in Toronto Ontario for very long. And I also knew his father (My great grandfather) had died in January 1921 so I speculated that he made a trip to England shortly after his father died in January, then returned in March that same year. But I could not find him.

Using my AHA moment of clarity and realizing that the port of departure could be completely INCORRECT in the index, I simply clicked on any results that fit his criteria.

There he was, listed as sailing on the Scrindia on Jan 30, 1921 out of BOMBAY INDIA! Now I knew he didn't sail out of India, for goodness sake he lived in Toronto Canada! And so I had not clicked on that result before. But it was my grandmother's brother for the passenger list showed him to be sailing out of Canada on the Minnedosa, and it provided his occupation and address in Ontario.

And so I could now, after many hours of frustration, fill in most of my chart. I still have not found his return voyage to Canada after Aug. 1922 but I am sure I will eventually. All I need is a little more time and no pre-conceived notions of what can and cannot be "correct".

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