The Meyer Family
Rudolf Wilhelm "William" and Elise Meyer
circa 1885, the year they immigrated.
The children are (L to R) Willi, Anna, and Amalia (Mali).
Rudolf Wilhelm Meyer traveled with his family from their home in Rieste, Lower Saxony, Germany in July - August 1885. They traveled aboard the steamer the SS Rhein from the port of Bremen in Germany.
SS Rhein - 1868 to 1890
The "Rhein" was built by Caird & Co, Greenock in 1868 for Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd). Her details were - 2,901 gross tons, length 332ft x beam 40ft, clipper stem, one funnel, two masts, iron construction, single screw and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 70-1st, 100-2nd and 600-3rd class passengers. Launched in August 1868, she sailed on her maiden voyage from Bremen to Southampton and New York on October 3, 1868. In 1878 her engines were compounded by the builders and on October 16, 1889 she left Bremen on her last voyage to Baltimore and New York. On September 18, 1890 she commenced her last Bremen - Baltimore voyage and the following year was sold to a British company. She was scrapped in 1893. (North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.2, p.546) (Posted to The Ships List by Ted Finch - 2 November 1997)
Ship Passenger List for the SS Rhein - Aug 7, 1885 - Captain Theodor Jungst.
Wilhelm Meier (sic) and family are about 3/4 down the page. See Zoom view below.
Zoom view of the Passenger list for Wilhelm Meyer and Family.
The name was misspelled "Meier"
Ad from the New York Times on Aug 7, 1885 - the day the Meyer family
arrived in New York, advertising passage on the SS Rhein for the return
trip the following week.
They arrived at Castle Garden Immigration Center in New York on August 7th, 1885 (the Ellis Island terminal would not be built for another 7 years, in 1892). Just two months prior to their arrival, on June 18, 1885, the French Ship Isere had arrived in New York with the dismantled Statue of Liberty in her hold. Rudolf and his young family would have seen the huge pedestal for the statue under construction on Bedloe's Island in the harbor. The Statue would be completed the following year in October 1886.
State Emigrant Landing Depot, Castle Garden, New York
from Immigration and the Commissioners of Emigration, by Fredrich Kapp (New York: Arno
Press and the New York Times, 1969 [originals ca. early 1880's]). Note the sign marking the
entrance to the Ward's Island Department
After collecting their belongings and probably spending a couple of days in New York to rest and sightsee, the family boarded a train bound for Springfield, Lawrence County, Missouri. They were anxious to meet the rest of the family, who had traveled over 3 years prior in 1882. From Springfield, they traveled by wagon to meet the rest of their family in the town of Friestatt, where they would farm and run a hotel. William Meyer became a United States Citizen on August 9, 1894 in Lawrence County, Missouri.
Interesting Links on Immigration:
The Ships List - Information on Immigrant Ships
Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild - Passenger Lists
The German Americans - An Ethnic Experience - How German Immigrants became Americans
A Day in Castle Garden - An article from Harper's Monthly Jun-Nov 1870 (.pdf file)
Palmer List of Merchant Vessels - Listing of Immigrant Ships
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Page added August 12, 2003