Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SS Orteric

Wow wow this is so exciting. Through Blogs, Facebook friends, Google+ and Facebook groups I am finding quite a few people who are descendants of passengers on this voyage on the SS Orteric. There have been some light referral to the problems on this ship and a few discrepant reports, such as: Were there 48 or 58 children that died on this 48 day voyage? None of the accounts I read from descendants’
referred to The Federal Reporter vol.225 pages 341-348 Findley vs United States explaining how there was a law suit brought up against Captain Findley (under English owners) regarding the filthy conditions of this particular journey on this ship.
The SS Orteric departed Gibraltar on 24 Feb 1911 and arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii 13 April 1911 9am. Yet the ship and all the passengers were sent to Quarantine Island for an additional 15 days. Over one hundred (100) years ago my husband’s father left his homeland Espana and migrated to the Hawaiian Islands with his family. On a ship: The date in 1911 they left the harbor was a year before the Titanic left England. I had seen the movie Titanic, I had been on the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, Calif. I understood things were not idea, but I thought their trip could have been reasonably comfortable. SS Orteric Who: Spanish and Portuguese Migrants What: SS Orteric Why: War -- King Alfonso and Sugar Industry Treaty How: Panama Canal ? NO AROUND THE CAPE!! first ship through the Panama Canal was 1914 When: 1911 (48 – 52 days)
But I was curious: Photo and dimensions’ of the ship Details of the journey Spaniards sent below Death Illness Quarantined Cholera For all his bother how was the captain awarded??? Law suit and fined. In His defense the captain presented the difficulties encountered on the journey ChickenPox. poor food, seasickness, women fighting including hair pulling and pitched battles. I was curious what exactly was meant by pitched battles (I imagined fights that started up whereas participants would pick up weapons like a pitch fork) but in truth the phrase means something a lot more menacing and potentially dangerous: pitched battle (p cht) n. 1. An intense battle fought in close contact by troops arranged in a predetermined formation 2. A fiercely waged battle or struggle between opposing forces. Therefore the separation of passengers were necessary. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights r Our purpose is to spark interest in the next generation to learn about their ancestors. If we do not dig past the surface information, maybe we can have the FACTS Yes we could have just put the “facts” in but I think we would have missed the real story. Not to scare the heck out of next gerneration, I need to relax some of the more ominious details but I would like them to gain some insights of their relatives so I will emphasis the facts of Self-made people Cleanliness counts Stay true to your dreams Stick together with those that care about you This too shall pass Educate yourself and assume nothing!! In conclusion I want to introduce the new generation to game called
Tape the Boat on the Map.
Here I have copied photos of the SS Orteric, one by one the participant will be blindfolded and turned around. The game will have two TOP winner and several second place winners. The Winners will be the two boats that are the closest to the departure port and arrival port. The secondary winners will be anyone with a boat placed anywhere along the immigrants ocean voyage. I will also include some but not all my references for future genealogists. S.S. ORTERIC 1) Excerpts taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. State of Hawaii Library on microfilm, State of Hawaii Archives. 2 ) The Island Routes Facebook Blog (founded by Melody Lassele) 3) http://www.clydebuiltships.co.uk (dimensions of the ship) 4) The Federal reporter: with key-number annotations ..., Volume 225 By District of Columbia. Court of Appeals, United States. Circuit Court of Appeals, United States. Circuit Courts, United States. Commerce Court, United States. District Courts Pages 341===348 5) S.S. ORTERIC Date(s) of creation: [ca. 1910-ca. 1920] postcard : printed, b&w ; 8 x 13.8 cm. approx. Reproduction rights owned by the State Library of Victoria Accession No: H27570/128 Image No: a12541 The ship: Launched 1910: ss ORTERIC ss ORTERIC ________________________________________ built by Russell & Co Port Glasgow, Yard No 607 Engines by Rankin & Blackmore ________________________________________ Propulsion: steam, triple expansion, single screw, 13 knots Launched: Monday, 19/12/1910 Built: 1911 Ship Type: Steamship Tonnage: 6535 grt Length: 460 feet Breadth: 57 feet Owner History: Bank Line Ltd ( Andrew Weir ), Glasgow Status: Torpedoed & Sunk - 09/12/1915 Remarks: O.N. 129534 Completed: January 1911. Torpedoed by U.39 in 32.30N 25.30E, Antofagasta for Alexandria with nitrate. Previous updates by Stuart Cameron, George Robinson and Bruce Biddulph


  1. Great post! I'm glad you found so much information. My grandmother came on the Orduna,in 1915, right on the heels of the Luisitania which was sunk a few months earlier. They slept on deck because they were afraid of the submarines.

  2. This ship was later sunk by a submarine, and also attacked another time by pirates. This ship had a relatively short lifetime. It was hard to read about the grieving mothers, horrid conditions, and fighting between the Portugese and Spanish

  3. Hi!

    I'm the family historian, & have done much research on the tragic Orteric voyage of 1911. My grandfather's sister & brother inlaw were on this voyage. Tony & Maria Nacimento with their 2 children left Portugal. One child died @ sea, and the other died as they entered the harbor in Hawaii. They were quarantined with scarlet fever. Maria was 2 months pregnant when they arrived. The child was born 7 months later on Maui. That child is Mary Ramos who still lives in San Leandro Ca.!! She still has a sharp mind & attends church frequently. We are getting ready to celebrate her 101st birthday this month. Before the Titantic this was a international scandal. The ship had a British charter & was sued by the US government. Mark Branco Hayward Ca.

  4. My maternal grandmother Engracia Escaño Diaz was on the Orteric, my paternal granparents Jose Maria Alonso Sola and Maria Carmen Pretel Moles were on the Heliopolis in 1907. I am working on transcribing the manifest of the Orteric into a google doc. I will try and provide information to anyone interested send inquiry to steven.alonzo916@gmail.com I am especially interested in connecting with others interested in the genealogy of the descendants.

  5. Excerpts taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. State of Hawaii Library on microfilm, State of Hawaii Archives.

    Death stalked amongst the 1,500 Spanish and Portuguese immigrants aboard the British steamship, Osteric, which arrived yesterday after a long voyage from Spain and Portugal. There were 48 deaths recorded among the children on the voyage. Measles was the cause, to enter on the Ship’s Log. In all instances, the bodies were consigned to the sea for burial, but the Quarantine Officer detected evidence of scarlet fever and the Territorial Board of Health, which looked at the mother of the child who died just about when the steamer was to enter the harbor, announced last evening, that the child had died from scarlet fever. All immigrants were ordered and sent to the Quarantine Island. The vessel arrived shortly after 9:00 yesterday morning and went to the channel wharf. There were 1,452 immigrants on the vessel when it came alongside the wharf. 1,494 were aboard when the vessel left the Continent of Europe behind and started across the Atlantic.

    58 (sic) children died, and 14 little ones were born at sea. There were ailing babies, seasick immigrants, and distress among the vast majority of the travelers, for they were not used to the cramped quarters of the big vessel and unaccustomed to the food served. They appeared to be a fine lot of people, said Sec. Of the Territory, Mott-Smith to the Immigration Doctor, Victor Clark. There were many disagreements between the Spanish and Portuguese immigrants; so much so that they had to be separated. The women seemed to be always on the acts of disagreements. They went as far as hair pulling.

    The Portuguese embarked from the agricultural districts of Lisbon while the Spaniards were from the district of Seville and from the mountain districts. The Portuguese were embarked from Lisbon; the Spanish embarked from Gibraltar. The S.S. Orteric took in 305 immigrants from Oporto and another 260 from Lisbon. There were 960 Spaniards embarked who were sent into the ship. The exact time of arrival was 9 o’clock a.m. April 13, 1911.

  6. What a wonderful blog. Thanks to Steven Alonzo for sharing it with me. I have been researching my Spanish family's trek from Spain to Hawaii and later to California for 4 years. They were on the Orteric and Harpalion. I just returned from a research (and) fun trip to Spain and found valuable information and documents for the book I am writing about our ancestors...hoping for a spring publication. I also have a blog -- www.patriciasteele.blogspot.com and encourage anyone whose families were on the Orteric and other ships that sailed to Hawaii to join me. I will definitely follow this one. Great job..

  7. Hi Ruth,

    First of all I want to say this is a wonderful blog. Manuel Himan is my grand father on my mom's side. He died when I was about five years old so I only have a few memories of him. I also have a copy of the photo you have on this blog take on Maui. My mom made me a copy many years ago. I have several other photos and things to share with you when I can find the time to take photos of them. I grew up in Kailua, Hawaii on O'ahu. My grand father Himan and my grand mother lived in the mainland which is one of the reasons I didn't see him very often. Thanks again for this wonderful blog.

  8. Ithing my great great granfather went on this ship with his wife and 3 children. They were from Bragança, Portugal.
    I cant seem to find more info abouth them, i only know my grandfather's name was luis and one of his daughters was Maria Nascimento, she maybe had 2 years old. need to get more info.

  9. Hello Joao - I will look fir tour family information soon. I an not home now, but will help you very soon. Also, please look at ORTERIC DESCENDANTS, 1911 on Facebook. Sincerely, Patricia

    1. Hello Joao - I found the Orteric manifest listing "Gemima" Nascimento as a 4 year old. She died at sea. Her sibling died in quarantine. Her mother was Maria, but her father was Sebastian, not Luis. I noticed another posting on this thread by Mark Branco talks of this family. I have saved a copy of the index and the manifest page. I will be happy to send it to you. During our transcription of the Orteric manifest, Steven Alonzo and I have focused on the Spanish immigrants. Please send me email at patricia@patriciabbsteele.com and I will send you what I have found. If this is not your family, I will look further. Sincerely, Patricia Ruiz Steele