Well, I missed Scots Sunday, but I wasn’t slacking! I have been working on a new online family database that will enable you to search the same information I have in my local database…much more effective than the current pedigree charts I have posted. It should debut in about a week.
I also did some more hunting for ship’s manifests and immigration records that document the arrival of my maternal grandmother (Marion Sellars) in the U.S. Nothing was turning up in the Ancestry.com immigration and travel databases, and nothing on the Ellis Island website. I was getting quite frustrated and decided to pick my Mom’s brain a bit for some clues. My Mom recalled having found these records on the Ellis Island website. Assuming she would have sent these to me, I did a search of my email accounts for “Ellis Island” and, sure enough, she had…in 2007!!
A few clicks of links later, and I had the passenger list I was looking for. I couldn’t find them in my searches because, in my haste, I forgot one of the cardinal rules of genealogy. My great-grandmother, Ellen Harper McMeekin, was also known as Helen, and nicknamed Nellie. My grandmother, Marion, was often called “Mari” for short. It was pronounced “Maree” with the emphasis on the first syllable, easily mistaken for “Marie” with the emphasis on the second syllable. So, my great-grandmother appears on the manifest as “Nellie Sellars” (who’d have thought she’d use a nickname?) and my grandmother is listed as “Marie Sellars.” I also didn’t think to search for May Sellars, my great-aunt, who (of course!) would have been traveling with them. They were also traveling with her my grandmother’s younger sister, her mother, and a McMeekin who was the right age to be a brother, but of whom I have no record (could be a cousin). Alas, I had only been looking for Sellars. More about their arrival on the S.S. Columbia, on October 20, 1923, when I write about Nellie in a few weeks.
Here is the manifest, in two images…