View Full Version : Passage from Sweden to San Francisco

14-09-11, 02:50
I recently found a passenger list of my relative from Gothenburg, Sweden. The title of the document was Förteckning. It showed the people with a destination of San Francisco. The ship was the "Rollo" and the Förteckning was dated 6 July 1877. Would the passengers have gone around the tip of South America to get to San Francisco? I didn't see any other documentation showing passage first to England then to America to ports such as Boston, Philadelphia or New York such as I have seen for other immigration records. Any insights on the travel would be appreciated. Thank you!
Judy Wilson, Beaverton, Oregon

15-09-11, 02:52
At least Rollo ought to have been heading towards Grimsby in England. Rollo was a "mail boat" between England and Sweden, a quite big one carrying both passengers and cattle.

I had imagined that most of the emigrants heading to the west coast after the Gold Rush used the wagon trails (Oregon trail) through the country and later (1870's) the railroads. But since crossing the country before the railroad was dangerous (cold winters, long travelling time. Ref.: "The Donner Party") and took months, part of the emigrants took the six month long voyage from New York rounding the Horn to avoid the hazards of the wagon trail.

16-09-11, 10:00
The Rollo was operated by the Wilson line of which is written: "... it was Wilson ships (http://www.norwayheritage.com/articles/templates/voyages.asp?articleid=28&zoneid=6) which brought almost all the migrants to the UK - thus generating huge profits for their owners. The Wilson Line was at the time the largest privately owned shipping line in the world and its size accounts for the dominant role it held over the migration of thousands of Scandinavian emigrants between 1843 and 1914."

...and ...

"Many emigrants thought the bare two days to England the worst part of the journey since the Wilson Line also carried cattle, which made the ships more or less like cow-byres. The ships offered very primitive quarters and pitched and rolled heavily on the often stormy North Sea. Until 1869 you had to bring your own provisions, but after that "tasty food in generous portions" (gruel, meat and potatoes was considered excellent food) was served – though you still had to bring your own mug, plate and cutlery... Wilson’s "tubs" were at first rather small, but to keep up with the increasing emigration larger ships were substituted. The largest ships (e.g. “Rollo”) could from 1870 carry upwards of 1000 passengers." (link (http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_shiplist.asp?co=wilso))

Attached is a picture of Rollo in the harbor of Gothenburg. Quite a ship. Frequent departures from Gothenburg to Hull/Grimsby. The largest ships (e.g. “Rollo”) could from 1870 carry upwards of 1 000 passengers although having only a handful of rescue boats... (link (http://web.comhem.se/%7Eu31263678/genealogy/Emigration-eng.pdf))

June Pelo
17-09-11, 03:35
There are ship pictures and some information about immigration, etc. here: http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/emi_ref.htm