In May, 1907 my grandfather Josef Vanac, all of 15 years old began his emigration from Zamlyni in what is now the Czech Republic to New York.
He traveled alone and was to meet his sister Marie, who was already here for about a year. He took the ship SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse via the Kares & Stocky company in Bremen. The cost was 236 Kroner – about $50 I think.
When I think of myself at 15 years old and the enormous trip that must have been for someone from a small farming village in Bohemia in 1907, I am unceasingly amazed at the strength of my ancestors.
We have quite a few documents from my Czech grandparents’ immigration, but one the letter that goes along with this particular trip is quite interesting.
I am unsure what this completely filled, 2 sided document says – but it is signed with the name of the company “Kares & Stocky” at the end, not a person.
I found a message on an old CZECH-L mailing list, where someone asked for a translation of a document from the company. It did not contain an image of the original, but the small amount of translation had to do with travel options and trains.
Did they write a long hand-written travel document for everyone? If so, amazing! Now, I need to try and translate… See you in a few months.