SS Volturno survivors rescued by SS La Touraine

Volturno database » Survivors » By rescue ship » Survivors rescued by SS La Touraine

SS La Touraine rescued 42 passengers and crew from the burning SS Volturno on the night of 9/10 October 1913. La Touraine was headed east from New York to Le Havre when summoned by Volturno’s distress calls and continued on that course after the rescue was complete. Unlike rescue ships that arrived in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, there is not a readily accessible passenger manifest (if indeed one was ever made or, if so, if still extant) of Volturno survivors on La Touraine.

The 42 rescued by La Touraine consisted of 39 passengers and 3 crewmen. Ten of the passengers were children, 8 of whom were rescued without a parent on La Touraine. (Fortunately, the parents of all 8 were rescued by other ships.) Two of the crewmen were compelled to have lengthy hospital stays in France, while the third escorted the 8 parent-less children to Rotterdam where they were taken to the Montefiore Foundation house for care. From contemporary news accounts we know that those rescued by La Touraine were carried on the ship’s next voyage to New York. US immigration records report the arrival of 26 passengers on 28 October. Taking that number of passengers, 26, and adding in the crewmen, 3, and the unaccompanied children, 8, we find that 5 did not continue their journey on La Touraine. The American Red Cross, which issued a report detailing their assistance to Volturno survivors, reported that 20 survivors landed in Europe opted to return to their homes and not attempt another crossing. One of the 5 unaccounted-for survivors rescued by La Touraine may have eventually made it to Canada, but whether any of the other 4 from La Touraine were among those 20 or whether they sailed at a later date on a yet unknown ship is not known.

Below is my list of the 42 rescued by La Touraine, as best as I am able to determine. Afterwards I’ll examine the sources that helped me compile the list.

The names of those rescued are listed in the following manner:

  • name
  • passenger class/crew
  • sex (where known)
  • age (where known)
  • nationality (where known)
  • destination (where known)

Presented in alphabetical order, passengers first, followed by crewmen:

  • Angeloff, Harlampi, steerage, M, 24, Bulgaria; Toronto, ON
  • Anolik, Zelman, steerage, M, 19, Russia; New Britain, CT
  • Appel, Frank, steerage, M, 3, Russia; Philadelphia, PA
  • Appel, Ruchel, steerage, F, 24, Russia; Philadelphia, PA
  • Arbanas, Mato, steerage, M, 26, Austria; Greenville, PA
  • Batke, Friederich, steerage, M, 24, Germany; Herbert, SK
  • Balatz, Michal, steerage, M, 39, Galicia; Nazareth, PA
  • Baschinsky, Thomas, steerage, M, 20, Germany; Cobalt, ON
  • Bohmec, Tomo, steerage, M, 18, Austria; Youngstown, OH
  • Burgnon, Verona, steerage, F, 3, Belgium; Chicago, IL
  • Calic, Stefan, steerage, M, 19, Austria; Steelton, PA
  • Fukmann, Leizov, steerage, M, 18, Russia; New York, NY
  • Groeneveld, Willem, steerage, M, 2, Netherlands; Norway, MI
  • Jodan/Jodau, Lisbau, steerage
  • Julkowski, Franz, steerage, M, 2, Germany; Minneapolis, MN
  • Julkowski, Genovefa, steerage, F, 6, Germany; Minneapolis, MN
  • Julkowski, Helena, steerage, F, 7, Germany; Minneapolis, MN
  • Jung, Leib, steerage, M, 26, Galicia; New York, NY
  • Kolaric, Ilia, steerage, M, 26, Austria; New Windsor, IL
  • Kolontaj, Michal, steerage, M, 19, Russia; Chicago, IL
  • Kruvenki/Khuwenski, Nasile/Wasily, steerage
  • Makanac, Josip, steerage, M, 27, Austria; Woodland, PA
  • Mdjbinac, Ivan, steerage, M, 18, Austria; Lebanon, PA
  • Milikovski, Abraham, steerage
  • Nogel, Wilhelm, steerage
  • Olivieri, Francesco, steerage, M, 26, Italy; Montreal, QC
  • Paszkowsky, Stanislaw, steerage, M, 27, Russia; New York, NY
  • Perko, Ignac, steerage, M, 27, Austria; Youngstown, OH
  • Ranella, Raffaele, steerage, M, 38, Italy; Sydney, NS
  • Sidler, Adolf, steerage, M, 18, Russia; Chicago, IL
  • Silberstein, Mayer, steerage, M, 36, Russia; Toronto, ON
  • Silkowsky, Piotr, steerage, M, 27, Russia; Pittsburgh, PA
  • Szymcyakewicz, Bromislaw, steerage, M, 6, Austria; New York, NY
  • Szymcyakewicz, Maria, steerage, F, 8, Austria; New York, NY
  • Tilour, William, steerage
  • Verandav, Janos, steerage, M, 25, Austria; Plano, IL
  • Weissbard, Itzik, steerage, M, 3, Russia; New York, NY
  • Weissbard, Rifke, steerage, F, 37, Russia; New York, NY
  • Wilczynsky, Michal, steerage, M, 8, Austria; New York, NY
  • de Bruin, Adam, Crew, M, 24, Netherlands
  • Magnowsky, Hans, Crew, M, 33, Netherlands
  • Mennema, Hendrik, Crew, M, 45, Austria

The 26 passengers that sailed to New York on La Touraine are listed on this US manifest sheet from the ship’s 16–28 October westbound passage. According to an article in The New York Times, all 26 were taken to the Hebrew Sheltering Society at 229 Broadway upon arrival.

SS La Touraine passenger manifest (US), New York, October 1913, p. 204–05

The names, listed in manifest order and as spelled. Names in italic type were destined for Canada:

  • Arbanas, Mato
  • Anolik, Zelman
  • Angeloff, Harlampi
  • Batke, Friederich
  • Bohmec, Tomo
  • Balasz, Michal
  • Baschinsky, Thomas
  • Calic, Stefan
  • Eppel, Ruchel
  • Eppel, Erojko
  • Jung, Leib
  • Kolaric, Ilia
  • Kolontaj, Michal
  • Makanac, Josip
  • Mdjbinac, Ivan
  • Olivieri, Francesco
  • Perko, Ignac
  • Paszkowsky, Stanislaw
  • Ranella, Raffaele
  • Silberstein, Mayer
  • Sidler, Adolf
  • Silkowsky, Piotr
  • Fukmann, Leizov
  • Verandav, Janos
  • Weissbard, Rifke
  • Weissbard, Itzik

US passenger manifests of this era recorded an immigrant’s intended final destination. In addition to this information recorded on the manifest (reflected by italic text in my list above), these two Canadian passenger lists pages contain the names of those headed to destinations in Canada. The first image is the final page from the La Touraine’s Canadian manifest from its 28 October arrival in New York. (At this time, La Touraine sailed between New York and Le Havre and didn’t call at Canadian ports, so the list seems to include those who were to travel from New York to their Canadian destinations by rail.)

SS La Touraine passenger manifest (Canada), New York, October 1913, p. 4 (of 4)

Notations made on the manifest page indicate that the final names were Volturno survivors. It’s unclear looking at the bracket drawn on the left hand side whether the final 6 or the final 7 names were so indicated. The bracket at the right side of the page, however, more clearly indicates 7 names, but it appears to have been written in a different hand, perhaps at a later date. Looking at the intended destinations of the 26 on the US immigration form, only 6 list a final destination in Canada. The final 6 on the Canadian manifest match those 6 from the US manifest. The person listed seventh from the bottom is Nedelscho Zankoff, age 22, headed to North Bay, Ontario. None of the 26 from the US manifest have a name that resembles that of Zankoff, and, in fact, a Nedeltcho Zankoff appears on line 13 of La Touraine’s US manifest pages 194–95 with his intended destination of North Bay, Ontario. He is listed there with a group of 12 others who are all marked as “non-immigrant aliens”. These facts, taken with the fact that the name Zankoff appears in no other list of Volturno passengers or survivors, suggests to me that Zankoff was not a Volturno survivor, but accidentally included by virtue of the ambiguous left bracket.

The names of the six, listed in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Angeloff, Harlampi
  • Baschinsky, Thomas
  • Olivieri, Francesco
  • Silberstein, Mayer
  • Ranella, Raffaele
  • Batke, Friederich

The same 6 (plus Zankoff, discussed above) are also listed on the Volturno manifest from Halifax. (Calling it a Volturno manifest is a bit generous, since it only lists the 19 saved by SS Rappahannock in addition to these 7.) From the sheet it isn’t clear whether these men were ever actually in Halifax or not. The names are in the same order as the above La Touraine manifest, suggesting it may have been the source of the list. This is also supported if one believes, as do I, that Zankoff’s inclusion was a mistake on the previous list.

SS Volturno passenger manifest (Canada), Halifax, October 1913, page 1

The names, listed in manifest order and as spelled. Names in italic type are spelled differently from the previous list:

  • Angeloff, Harlampris
  • Baschinsky, Thomas
  • Olivieri, Francesco
  • Silberstein, Mayer
  • Ranella, Raffaele
  • Baske, Friedrich

According to a 1917 petition to the enter the US by Rafaele Ranella (listed fifth on both manifests), he reported that his previous visit to the US had been from 28 to 30 October 1913, suggesting a probable duration of the stay in the US for all six men.

As mentioned before, there were 8 children rescued by La Touraine who were separated from their parents during the confusion of the rescue. At the time La Touraine sailed for New York, two of the youngest children were still unidentified, and the whereabouts and survival of the parents of all the children was not yet known. So all 8 were sent to Rotterdam, where the Uranium Steamship Co. offices were located, pending identification and location of parents. By the sailing date of the company’s next ship to New York—SS Uranium, departing on 1 November—the parents of all had been found. So all 8 unaccompanied children, along with 4 of the 5 Jablonecki siblings (listed below under the name Jallonesky), who were rescued by SS Devonian and sent to Rotterdam for the same reason, sailed on the Uranium on 1 November. The ship arrived in Halifax on 13 November and in New York two days later.

Coincidentally, the Jabloneckis were connected somehow to the Julkowskis (listed below under the name Zulkowski). Mrs. Jablonecki’s sister was married to Anton Julkowski, presumably related in some manner (brother, perhaps?) to Mrs. Julkowski’s husband, Franz; all were headed to the same address in Minneapolis.

SS Uranium passenger manifest (US), New York, November 1913, p. 196–97

The names, listed in manifest order and as spelled. Those rescued by the Devonian are so noted:

  • Szymcyakewicz, Maria
  • Szymcyakewicz, Bromislaw
  • Wilczynsky, Michal
  • Groeneveld, Willem
  • Burgnon, Verona
  • Jallonesky, Helena (Devonian)
  • Jallonesky, Vilagis (Devonian)
  • Jallonesky, Waleria (Devonian)
  • Jallonesky, Anton (Devonian)
  • Zulkowski, Helena
  • Zulkowski, Genovefa
  • Zulkowski, Franz

The first three children were headed to the New York City area, but the others were all headed to points in the Midwest. Willem Groeneveld was headed to Norway, Michigan, while Verona Burgnon was headed for Chicago, and the Jablonecki and Julkowski children were, as mentioned, headed for Minneapolis. Ordinarily, passengers headed for upper Midwest locations such as those would depart Uranium Steamship Company ships during the stop at Halifax and continue by rail, a faster and shorter trip than if debarked at New York. (Volturno survivor Beile Ridensky was rescued by SS Rappahannock and coincidentally landed at Halifax, and departed for Minneapolis by rail.) And, in fact, all of them appear on the Uranium’s Canadian passenger manifest for Halifax. Groeneveld is on page 4 (line 1) and the Burgnon/Jablonecki/Julkowski group on page 5 (lines 5–12), suggesting that they departed the ship at Halifax.

SS Uranium passenger manifest (Canada), Halifax, November 1913, p. 4 (of 6)

SS Uranium passenger manifest (Canada), Halifax, November 1913, p. 5 (of 6)

A US passenger manifest was prepared for people that landed in Canadian ports headed to US destinations to record their arrival in the US by rail. (These have been compiled into the so-called St. Albans Lists, named for the St. Albans, Vermont, District, the collection point for these manifests after the US office in Montreal closed.) And, again, all show up on one of these manifests; Groeneveld on the first sheet below (again on line 1) and the Burgnon group on the second sheet (lines 5–12, again), further evidence that they may have departed in Halifax and traveled by rail.

SS Uranium passenger manifest (US), Halifax, November 1913, sheet 2 (of 3)

SS Uranium passenger manifest (US), Halifax, November 1913, sheet 3 (of 3)

However, upon closer examination, something is not quite right. Groeneveld’s name is struck through with the message that he was transferred to the New York manifest. The names of those in the Burgnon group were also struck through and marked with a stamp noting “Erased by purser”. Also, there is no US port-of-entry noted for any of the Volturno children, unlike all the others on the manifest. So, we have somewhat contradictory evidence on whether they left Uranium in Halifax or not.

Groeneveld’s situation is a little easier to figure out, since it indicates that he was moved to the New York manifest. That manifest provides a likely answer to why he continued on. It indicates that his mother was at a temporary address in New York, presumably waiting there for her son to arrive. There’s no such easy answer for the Burgnon group. That they appeared on the New York manifest is not as helpful, since most of the Volturno survivors were manifested on separate pages. These were assembled by US immigration officials in order to properly assess the head tax to the Uranium Steamship Co., instead of billing the ship lines that delivered the survivors. The manifests collected in New York of those rescued from Volturno, for example, include survivors taken from the United Kingdom directly to Canada. Two of the known ships that did this were SS Canada and RMS Royal Edward.

A newspaper article from The Grand Forks [North Dakota] Herald (“Polish children snatched from burning Volturno, in arms of happy mothers”, 20 November 1913, p. 1), gives us most of the answer for the Burgnon group. The article reports on the 19 November reunion of the Jablonecki and Julkowski children with their mothers in Minneapolis. The article tells us that the children were accompanied to Minneapolis by Alicia Hibbard, a “Red Cross nurse who brought them from New York”. So we know for sure that the Jablonecki and Julkowski children went on to New York, and I suspect that Burgnon did as well. I am no expert on early 20th-century rail lines, but it seems to me that a party traveling from New York to Minneapolis by rail would almost have to go through Chicago on the way. It’s quite possible that Hibbard had delivered Burgnon to her family in Chicago before continuing to on to Minneapolis.

Turning now to the matter of the other 5 passengers rescued by La Touraine, we must—without the benefit of a manifest—rely on contemporary news accounts to establish their names. On 14 October The New York Times published a list of those rescued by La Touraine, but the list only contained 40 names. A similar list was published in the French La Presse newspaper, also with 40 names, but indicating that there were two others with names unknown. One of those unknown at the time was 3-year-old Willem Groenveld, who was definitely not identified until the 8 unaccompanied children were in Rotterdam. He had not responded to questions posed to him in German, French, Russian, or Polish, but surprised his Dutch caretakers by telling them (in Dutch) he was ready to go to bed. (He was reunited with his grandfather in The Hague until time time to sail for New York.) I believe that the other unidentified person was Verona Burgnon. Despite having been in Rotterdam since 16 October (per “Schipbreukelingen van de Volturno.” [Dutch], 17 October 1913, Ochtend edition, Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, which tells of the arrival of the unaccompanied La Touraine children to Rotterdam), her name still appeared on a list of the missing published four days later (“De ramp van de Volturno.” [Dutch], 20 October 1913, Dag edition, Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant).

The names of the five from articles in La Presse and The New York Times are below. For the three names where the spelling does not match, the La Presse version is first:

  • Jodau or Jodan, Lisbau
  • Kruvenki, Nasile or Khuwenski, Wasily
  • Lilikovski or Milikovsky, Abraham
  • Nogel, Wilhelm
  • Tilour, William

Looking for clues in other sources to help confirm the names or determine whether any ever made it to North America, brings a little clarity for one man. The 12 October edition of the New York Tribune published a “full” list of Volturno passengers which, despite the headline, was missing several hundred names. The name Abraham Milikowki appears as the fourth name in the sixth paragraph of the Tribune list. Additionally, the list also contained the names Chane Milikowki and Itsik Milikowki. Peter Searle, in his analysis of the Red Cross report mentioned earlier, believes that Eisig Milikowski, rescued by SS Czar and taken to Canada by SS Campanello, is one member of the family outlined in Red Cross case no. 183. (Read the description of case no. 183 here, and read Searle’s rationale here.) If his assessment is right, then both Abraham, above, and Chane, who was rescued by SS Narragansett, both eventually made it to Canada. I have yet to locate either Abraham or Chane on any passenger list.

None of the other four appear on the Tribune list under any variant spelling, and I have not been successful in locating any of them on any passenger lists to the US or Canada. Like quite a few things about Volturno’s final voyage, these four remain a mystery for now.

©2011 Andrew Baker.
Revision 1.12, 15 November 2011, more descriptive title; update links for other, similarly renamed pages
Revision 1.11, 1 September 2011, switched image links to new source; some copy-edits for clarity
Revision 1.10, 20 August 2011, added destinations (where known) to master list for consistency with other pages
Revision 1.02, 17 August 2011, format tweaks
Revision 1.01, 17 August 2011, some copy-edits for better flow
Revision 1.00, 16 August 2011, initial post

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