Monday, November 27, 2017

Children 1 To 7 Years Rarely Survived The Voyage - Immigration 1750

They all had their own room, and they danced to self-produced music at night - I saw it on Titanic!

It was anything but. Crammed into the belly of ships, 18th century immigrants endured the misery of the seas, hunger, illness, and possible death for up to seven weeks.

Children one to seven years old rarely survived the voyage and if the mother died enroute, some ships threw the mother's body overboard, including the live child. It was witnessed that a woman who was not able to have a normal birth was also thrown overboard as opposed to taking up any further room.

And binding oneself to indentured servitude was common, if at any part of the voyage they could not pay their share. Immigrants signed a contract promising seven to 14 years hard work to make their way to American soil.

Did it happen on every ship bound for the Colonies? I would hope not, but at the following link, you can read a short account from German immigrant Gottlieb MIttelberger as he traveled the seas for Pennsylvania. His full diary was published in 1898. 


Passage To America - 1750

In tracing your family history, if you had ancestors that sailed the seas during the 18th century, remember the account of Gottlieb Mittelberger and know that a variety of such behaviors were practiced. Our family members were tough, tenacious, and willing to give it all for a hope and a dream.

(Photo: Historic Revolutionary War - Replica Ship Sets Sail for America, CBS News, April 18, 2015, accessed 11/27/2017)

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