Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hadden Immigration Documents

I have previously recounted the immigration to Canada of my great grandparents Alexander Shand Hadden, his wife Jessie McKenzie Gaull and their children, Alexander (or Alec, as he was known), Andrew (Andy), John (Jock), and Edith in 1923. Alexander and his middle son Andy were the first to immigrate, followed later in the year by Jessie and the remaining three children.

I was delighted then when this week announced that they had added the Canadian Ocean Arrivals passenger declarations (Form 30A) database. This group of records contains the images of the pre-printed form that all passengers, adults and children, arriving at Canadian ports were required to complete. The form was officially in use between June 1, 1921 and December 31, 1924. Only those enroute to the United States were exempt from completing the form. I immediately searched the database and found the Form 30A for all six members of the family, although I had some extra work to do in finding Andy as his form was incorrectly transcribed so that he appears in the index as Andrea Samuel Hadden!

Alexander and Andy sailed on August 10, 1923 from Glasgow, Scotland aboard the S. S. Marloch, picture above. The ship had been christened in 1904 and made its maiden voyage in 1905, originally named as the Victorian, and had accommodation for over 1,600 passengers, the majority of whom, like the Hadden family, sailed 3rd class. Alexander listed that his current occupation was 'Seaman' but that his intended occupation was 'Farm Work.' He carried three pounds in British currency with him to allow he and Andy to join his mother, Mrs. Helen Gammie, at their destination.

Jessie, Alec, John, and Edith sailed on November 9, 1923 aboard the S. S. Metagama, all bound for Aneroid, Saskatchewan - and their first Canadian prairie winter.

As British subjects, they were not required to complete an immigration application or naturalization papers in order to immigrate to Canada (this would change but not until 1947) so the Form 30A is a great document to now have for the family, documenting their departure from Scotland and confirming my Canadian roots. Of course, I was also pleased to note from the forms that they reported no family members were physically or mentally "defective," there was no tuberculosis, and no one was "Otherwise debarred under Canadian Immigration Law."

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