One Half of the Family is Named John on the Manifest in 1870

Several members of a Huls family landed in New York in November of 1870 on board the Donau–three adults and three children. Typical for the time period, no relationships are given. And typical for records when relationships are not given, none should be inferred without additional research.huls-john-immigration

Speculation about relationships are necessary to formulate additional research plans. But speculation needs to remain speculation and not be shared as “facts.” Tentative relationships should also not be entered into any database without further research.

There are several situations that could fit the names, genders, and ages listed. One may even be tempted to conclude that some of the ages or names in the manifest are incorrect. They aren’t.

The reality (which may or may not be obvious to the reader) is that three-year old Johann was actually named Jann and the fifty-year old John was his father and the twenty-one year old Johann was his half-brother. The use of Johann for Jann may seem like a egregious error, but given that the names both translate to John, the mistake seems very plausible. The rest of the informations is correct.  The fifty-nine year old John Huls was married to Meta and the three year old Johann and eight month old baby were there children. Martin Huls and Johann Huls (the twenty-one year old) were the sons of the elder John Huls by a previous wife.

 

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