SS Rugia, Captain Leithauser, and price

jd4840
3rd July 2014, 16:47
Hi. I'm working on family research. I'm thankful I found this forum and hope you could help answer a few questions:

I learned my ancestors left from the port of Hamburg for America aboard the SS Rugia in April 1891. This ship was part of the Hamburg-America line.
I have exhausted my online research and was wondering if anyone here had more info on the 1st SS Rugia than is available online.

Captain Hermann Leithauser was the captain.
I would really like to know more about him. All I have found is this article celebrating his 100th transatlantic crossing. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9906E4DE153CE433A25756C0A9659C94 689ED7CF
I guess it's a shot in the dark, but I figured I'd see if anyone here had more information on him.

I can't seem to nail down the dollar cost of a trip across the Atlantic in 1891. The parents were about 30 years old and had a 7 year old, 4 year old, and 11 month old child. Would the kids' tickets have been cheaper?

The arrival manifest showed they were located on the Spar Deck of the Rugia. Would those have been steerage tickets or 2nd class tickets? Would they have likely had their own room?

Finally, the voyage lasted form April 19, 1891 till May 4, 1891. Presumably the ship stopped at Cuxhaven, and finally Le Havre. Do you have an idea on transit times to each port and how many days the ship would have stayed at each port?

LG3
1st August 2014, 15:54
I'm also trying to find out more about the Rugia connected with family history, but in my case, my ancestors left New York for Hamburg in 1891. My great-grandfather then applied for a passport at the American embassy in Berlin in which he declared that he had left NY on March 19th. By searching old newspapers on line I figured they must have travelled on the Rugia, which sailed on that date. (Ad said "Regular Weekly Service" and that First cabin cost $45 and upwards.) I wondered how long it would have taken. Then I found a tiny item in the Daily Alta California of April 9th under "Transatlantic Steamers" -- Hamburg -- April 8th -- Arrived -- Rugia from New York.

So now I am even more puzzled, because the passport application in Berlin was sworn out on April 6th. So they must have arrived in Hamburg at least a few days before then, in order to get to Berlin and discover that a passport was a necessary thing to have.

I think the sailing from New York was direct, but I don't know about the return voyage. Even if they had really quick turn-arounds (like flights nowadays) - I am left wondering how long the crossing took, and why I can't find details about more sailings of the Rugia in that period.

Sorry, this isn't really an answer to your questions! I just kind of wanted to register my own interest. I'll have to see if I can find out anything more about the captain, too.

A.D.FROST
1st August 2014, 16:49
Hi. I'm working on family research. I'm thankful I found this forum and hope you could help answer a few questions:

I learned my ancestors left from the port of Hamburg for America aboard the SS Rugia in April 1891. This ship was part of the Hamburg-America line.
I have exhausted my online research and was wondering if anyone here had more info on the 1st SS Rugia than is available online.

Captain Hermann Leithauser was the captain.
I would really like to know more about him. All I have found is this article celebrating his 100th transatlantic crossing. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9906E4DE153CE433A25756C0A9659C94 689ED7CF
I guess it's a shot in the dark, but I figured I'd see if anyone here had more information on him.

I can't seem to nail down the dollar cost of a trip across the Atlantic in 1891. The parents were about 30 years old and had a 7 year old, 4 year old, and 11 month old child. Would the kids' tickets have been cheaper?

The arrival manifest showed they were located on the Spar Deck of the Rugia. Would those have been steerage tickets or 2nd class tickets? Would they have likely had their own room?

Finally, the voyage lasted form April 19, 1891 till May 4, 1891. Presumably the ship stopped at Cuxhaven, and finally Le Havre. Do you have an idea on transit times to each port and how many days the ship would have stayed at each port?
Hopethis helps(Thumb)
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fred henderson
1st August 2014, 17:53
My information is that Rugia was employed on HAPAG's Hamburg - Havre - New York service from 1882 to 1894. She then made two Naples - New York round voyages before being taken bt Harland & Wolff in part payment for a new liner.

With a service speed of 10 knots she would have taken at least 14 days to make the crossing, assuming that she did not take on cargo in Havre. She was likely to take at least a week to discharge and load new cargo at each terminal.

A spar deck usually refers to a temporary deck. Your ancestors were almost certainly travelling in an emigrant dormitory

LG3
2nd August 2014, 12:34
A little more about the Rugia..... An ad for the Hamburg-American line carried in the San Francisco Chronicle on 21 Feb 1891 mentions SS Rugia in a short list of their "regular mail steamers for Hamburg direct. This line holds the record for fastest trips to London & the Continent."

Also, I've found reports that the Rugia reached New York on May 3rd as reported in columns following marine traffic, in the Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) dated 4 May 1891, and the Oakland Tribune, 4 May 1891. But maybe it did not actually dock until the 4th....see the story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 5 May 1891 headlined "The Statue of J.S.T. Stranahan Reaches Port" -- "Came into Hoboken yesterday on the Hamburg Liner Rugia" The statue, still in the hold, had been "taken on board at Havre just before the vessel left that port on April 21." So that may help with your question about stops on the way.

LG3
2nd August 2014, 14:34
More about the Rugia and Capt. Leithauser - the steamer Rugia is described as a "twelve-day vessel" in a newspaper story from 1892. I don't know if a link will work, because it is from a website that charges a subscription, but maybe you can find a copy of story from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle elsewhere. The headline is "More Pest Ships Here" and it was published in the Sept. 3rd, 1892 edition, a story about an outbreak of cholera on board several ships that had sailed from Hamburg -- in terms of family history, it is well worth reading as it gives more information about the conditions on board an immigrant ship. The Rugia left Hamburg on Aug 23rd and had 98 first-cabin passengers and 426 in steerage.

btw, one place to search old newspapers for free is the Library of Congress's "Chronicling America" website. Good hunting!

LG3
2nd August 2014, 14:42
Story about "pest ships" also appeared in a Pittsburgh paper that can be read on the "Chronicling America" website --

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024546/1892-09-04/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1890&index=1&rows=20&words=Captain+Leithauser&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=%22Captain+Leithauser%22&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1