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Imaginery Immigration

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There was an envelope waiting for me from the National Archives when I got home last night. I have learned something about the National Archives, you don’t want a business envelope back from them, you want a manila folder. Business envelopes never contain good news; it is the National Archives version of a “Dear John” letter.

I ripped the top off of the envelope and pulled the contents out. It was the information that I had sent for on the immigration of John Wendel. I thought that this info should be a slam dunk. Even if it was the wrong John Wendel it would be information on a John Wendel. I found all that I needed for them to send me copies on, or so I thought. According to ancestry there was a record in 1830 for a John Wendel that came into Baltimore from Germany. They even gave the microfilm publication. The information according to ancestry came from the National Archives and also from the State Department Transcripts of Passengers.

According to my researcher the microfilm records stop at March 30, 1821 and leave an 11 year gap to Aug 19, 1832. They also wrote that there wasn’t any information found in the index. They had searched M255-1, Sept. 2, 1820–Mar. 30, 1837 and the soundexed roll of M327 and found nothing. Resources state that the Baltimore passenger records for the 1820s & 1830s are fragmentary and some have not survived.

Now I really am flabbergasted. Where in the world would the information have been on this particular immigration? I am sure the transcriber didn’t just make it up.

I did a little web searching and found a book that is suppose to fill in some of the blanks mentioned in the Baltimore passenger lists. It is called “Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Baltimore, 1820-1834 from Customs Passenger Lists. Transcribed by Elizabeth P. Bentley” and is for sale on for $122. That is a bit expensive for a shot in the dark.

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