Also known as the S.S. Rinjdam, this Holland-America ship launched in 1901, equipped to carry a few hundred first-class passengers, a few hundred second-class passengers, and 1,800 third-class passengers.
The S.S. Ryndam had a varied career, serving in trans-Atlantic transport convoys during WWI before returning to mercantile shipping until it was scrapped in 1929.
Two Brothers, Same Port, Same Ship
The May 16, 1903 crossing of the S.S. Ryndam from Rotterdam to New York City included my great uncle Meyer. According to the manifest, his passage to America was paid by his sister, who picked him up at Ellis Island. It has to be his older sister Nellie Block, since she was the only sister in New York at the time.
In 1906, Meyer's younger brother Max (Matel) Berk sailed from the same port, on the same ship, arriving on July 9th. Max was picked up by his brother (my future paternal Grandpa) Isaac Burk, who also paid for his passage, according to the manifest.
It makes me feel good to read these notations showing how family helped family to build a better future by coming to America, one or two siblings at a time.
|Rotterdam (circle) and Gargzdai (red marker)|
Yet these two immigrant ancestors, both brothers of my paternal Grandpa, choose Rotterdam as their port of departure.
On the other hand, Hamburg was the port of choice for Max and Meyer's brother-in-law.
Their sister, Jennie Birk (1890-1972), married Paul Salkowitz (1889-1957), a man born in Memel, in the Klaipėda Region that has been both Lithuania and Germany. Paul sailed from Hamburg in August, 1911. Hamburg, not Rotterdam.
I keep thinking about these port choices, in the context of the steamship lines' marketing to potential immigrants in Europe, as well as whether these immigrants left their hometowns legally. Always something to think about with #genealogy!