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SHIPS PASSENGER LISTS

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St. Charles 1654

The Dutch administrations in Brazil, which succeeded that of Gov. Maurice, were inefficient and corrupt. The Portuguese revolted and the Dutch finally capitulated January 25, 1654. They were given three months in which either to depart or to embrace the Roman Catholic religion and become Portuguese citizens. In April 1654, there was a fleet of sixteen Dutch ships in the Harbor of Recif to evacuate the Dutch Protestants together with a small number of Dutch and Portuguese Jews.

On 7 Sept. 1654 Capt. Jacques de la Motthe/Motte, skipper of the St. Charles, appeared in court with a petition. He required payment for freight and board 'of the Jews whom he brought here from Cape St. Anthony". de la Motte states that "the Netherlanders who came over with them" are not included in his suit and that they have paid him. Solomon Pietersen "a Jew" appears and says that "900 guilders of the 2500 are paid and that there are 23 souls, big and little [meaning adults and children] who must pay equally"

[Source: The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini, edited by Berthold Fernow in 7 volumes. reprint Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. Baltimore. 1976 Vol. I Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens 1653-1655 p 240]

The names I have found so far (using primary records only) are:

Abram Israel
David Israel
Asser Levy
Moses Ambrosius
Judicq de Mereda

It is not clear if Solomon Pietersen was on board the ship so I have not added his name to the list.

Another passenger (non-Jewish) was Dominie Joannes Polhemius

From what can be pieced together about them, it seem probable that the twenty-three consisted of six family heads---four men (with their wives) and two other women who in all likelihood were widows, since they were counted separately---and thirteen young people. The heads of the families were Asser Levy, Abraham Israel De Piza (or Dias), David Israel Faro, Mose Lumbosco, and ---the two women---Judith (or Judica) Mercado) (or De Mercado, or de Mereda) and Ricke (or Rachel) Nunes. [Source: The Grandees: America's Sephardic Elite by Stephen Birmingham]

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Step 1: First search for your immigrant ancestor in the five major ports of arrival - New York New York, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Baltimore Maryland, Boston Massachusetts and New Orleans Louisiana

Naturalization Records are a great way to find an ancestor's arrival year and ship name!

Step 2: If you don't find your immigrant ancestor in a large port city, try smaller ports of arrival - Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Michigan, Alaska, California, Hawaii and Washington

Step 3: Still can't find your immigrant ancestor on an American ships passenger list? Try a Canadian Port of Arrival and the Canada-U.S. border crossing records (Saint Albans Lists).

Step 4: If you still can't find your ancestor in free ships passenger lists, try ships passenger lists and naturalization records on a pay site. See the Immigration Comparison Chart to help you decide which of the fee-based sites has the passenger lists you need to find your immigrant ancestor

Step 5: Search for ships passengers in Ethnic Groups immigrating to America, other miscellaneous ports of arrival, Ships Passenger Lists on NARA microfilm, J.J. Cooke Shipping Agent Records, Castle Garden New York Ships Passenger Lists 1855-1890, Ellis Island New York Ships Passenger Lists 1894-1927 & Naturalization Records

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