Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Visit RootsWeb Logo Belgium-Roots

BELGIUM-ROOTS Project

Emigration port Antwerp (Belgium)

A Port for all nationalities


http://belgium.rootsweb.com/
Search Help
Home > Migration > Emigration Ports > Antwerp (BEL)
Section Map

The early years

Het Land van Beveren, Jaargang XXXIX, 1996 [ LvB] published a rather interesting statistics of the emigration via the Port of Antwerp in the 1840s:

 


Destination       1844    1845    1846    1847    1848    1849    Total
New York         2,143   3,658   7,583  12,776   8,894   9,154   44,208
New Orleans        303     184   1,204   1,413   1,911   1,106    6,122
Baltimore                          125                              125
Boston                                     105                      105
Galveston          127   1,367   2,274             213            3,981
Charleston                          98                               98
Rio de Janeiro      51           1,661                            1,712
Rio Grande                          95     152      55              302
Guatemala                                   48                       48
Santo Thomas       337      11      28                              376
St. Catherine                       52                               52
Algeria                                     119                     119
London                                      292                     292
Portsmouth                                  525                     525
Lissabon                            58                               58
Total            2,961   5,221  13,178  15,430  11,073  10,260   58,123


 

These first emigrants probably were mainly Germans. There is an interesting article in Het Land van Beveren, Jaargang XXXIX, 1996 relating the ordeal of passengers on board a vessel on which the bubonic plague had broken out.

I take it that the patient researcher will find quite a few foreigners in the registrations of death of the city of Antwerp for this Era.


Antwerp, a Cosmopolitan Port

Antwerp was one of the main transit ports in Europe. Some official reports have come to us, and I have a copy of the one of 1903. I am trying to find the ones that must exist for other years as well.

In 1903, 72,486 passengers left from the port of Antwerp, including:


Direct Sailings:   64,254 passengers
       of which:        0 to North America, Canada
                   62,847 to North America, other countries
                      345 to South America
                       11 to Asia
                       26 to Africa
                    1,025 to Australia
 
- Russians     19.448
- Hungarians   18.115
- Austrians     9.859
- Germans       5.646
- Belgians      3.343
- Italians      2.720
- English       1.029
- Greeks          954
- Americans       678
- Swiss           621
- Romanians       460
- Dutch           375
- French          366
- Luxemburgers    302
- Bulgarians      129
- Macedonians      81
- Turks            73
- Montenegrians    16
- Argentinians     14
- Norwegians        8
- Serbs             6
- Brazilians        5
- Danes             2
- Spaniards         1
- Swedes            1
- Transvalers       1
    
Indirect Sailings:  8,232 passengers
         of which   5,986 to North America, Canada
                    2,049 to North America, other countries
                      114 to South America
                        0 to Asia
                       83 to Africa
                        0 to Australia
 
- Belgians        774
- Foreigners    7.758

 

The statistics give a division by sex and by age (under/above 16), and by profession.

In the same year, 13,261 passengers arrived in Antwerp, for which no further details are given.

As for the destinations, the report states that out of the 62,847 "heads" who sailed directly from Antwerp to the United States 55,272 went to New York, 7,574 to Philadelphia and 1 to ... Mexico [apparently the government official had his own vision]. The details he gives are as follows:


North America   New York                   55,271
                Philadelphia                7,574
                Havana                          2
                                           ------> 62,847
South America   Brazil       Santos            13
                             São Francisco      1
                             São Paulo          1
                             Rio de Janeiro    15
                Uruguay      Montevideo         6
                Argentinia   Buenos Aires     308
                Chili        Valparaiso         1
                                           ------>    345
Asia                         Colombo            9
                             Singapore          1
                             Manilla            1
                                           ------>     11
Africa                       Beira              7
                             Delagoa-Bay        6
                             Chinde             1
                             Cape Town          6
                             Zanzibar           1
                             Tanga              4
                             Durban             1
                                           ------>     26
Australia                AUS Fremantle        267
                         AUS Adelaïde          18
                         AUS Melbourne        142
                         AUS Sydney           375
                         NZL Auckland          63
                         NZL Wellington        43
                         NZL Lyttleton         15
                         AUS Brisbane          50
                         AUS Townsville        19
                         NZL Port Chalmers      9
                         AUS Maryborough        1
                         AUS Rockhampton        1
                         AUS Launceston         1
                         NZL Dunedin            2
                         AUS Bundaberg          6
                         NZL Napier             4
                         AUS Hobart             3
                         NZL Taranaki           2
                         NZL Bluff              1
                         AUS Port Mackay        1
                         NZL Wanganui           1
                         NZL Gisborne           1
                                           ------>  1,025
Grand Total                                ------> 64,254

Note: the report don't make a distinction between New Zealand and Australia; therefore I have included the labels AUS for Australia (including Tasmania) and NZL for New Zealand.

The report further states that out of the 5,986 emigrants for Canada, 486 were Belgians and 5,500 foreigners. All of them left via another port [it is not stated which one].

It also states that, towards the end of March, a direct service between Antwerp had been inaugurated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. [Note: the report does clearly say that this was a direct service, but in the report are only indirect passengers listed; since the report was made on 14 April 1904, I take it that the Canadian Pacific Railway started their direct service in March 1904 only, and not in 1903].

The report is very detailed as far as the origin and destination of the Belgians is concerned, and there is a separate report giving their identity and final destinations.

In 1903 an American "medical delegate" was present at the embarkation in the port of Antwerp.

***

Some sources claim that a passenger would have to spend 18 days in Antwerp before leaving, I cannot but guess that the travel agent did have an agreement with an Antwerp hotel. Business as usual? There were some formalities to cope with, but as far as I understood, they would never take more than a couple of days. It is a well known fact however that the Antwerp economy was thriving in those times. I wish we could start over the entire thing.


The Competition

From the few references I have, I can still add to this that people leaving from Antwerp sometimes left via Liverpool, and Southampton. The Titanic (1912) had 22 Belgian passengers on board.


Top of Page

http://belgium.rootsweb.com/
Search Help

Help with this topic can be obtained from the Support Team Member Georges Picavet
The information on this page was submitted until by Georges Picavet, , , ,
If you have technical problems with this site, or this page, click on belgium-roots@advalvas.be
This web site is the collective work of the subscribers to the mail list BELGIUM-ROOTS-L founded June 1998 by Georges Picavet (see our members page and the copyrights page for more info)
Q:\webbeta\rw_belgiumroots\migr\emig\antwerp\tr_port_antwerp_00.html (br_emig_antw)
This Global file was last updated 18/01/2007 23:48:05 CET and uploaded Thursday, 18-Jan-2007 16:12:51 MST
Counter Rootsweb