SS Volturno survivors rescued by SS Narragansett

Volturno database » Survivors » By rescue ship » Survivors rescued by SS Narragansett

SS Narragansett was a ship of the international rescue fleet that responded to the burning SS Volturno’s distress calls on 9 October 1913. The ship was eastbound for Purfleet, Essex, when it came to Volturno’s aid. During the early morning hours of 10 October, Narragansett rescued 29 people from Volturno. After the rescue operations were complete later that morning, Narragansett resumed its course and landed the survivors at Purfleet on 16 October.

The 29 rescued by Narragansett consisted of 27 male passengers and 2 Volturno crewmen. The Volturno crewmen remained in Europe, and 23 of the passengers sailed from Avonmouth (Bristol) for Quebec on RMS Royal Edward on 18 October, two days after arriving at Purfleet. There is evidence that 2 of the other 4 passengers made it to Canada, but none yet found to show the other 2 resumed their journey to the US. Press coverage of the Board of Trade inquiry in December 1913 tells us that 1 crewman and 2 passengers rescued by Narragansett testified at the hearing.

Below is my list of the 29 rescued by Narragansett. Afterwards I’ll examine the sources that helped me compile the list.

The names of those rescued by Narragansett are listed in the following way:

  • name
  • passenger class/crew
  • sex
  • age
  • nationality
  • destination (passengers only)

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

  • Albert, Wendel, steerage, M, 37, Hungary; Cleveland, OH
  • Barbieux, Louis, steerage, M, 39, Belgium; Minto, NB
  • Berman, Moses, steerage, M, 25, Russia; Brooklyn, NY
  • Druken, Bazyl, steerage, M, 36, Russia; Pittsburgh, PA
  • Duda, Michal, steerage, M, 34, Austria; Hartford, CT
  • Eisenberg, Josef, steerage, M, 16, Austria; Brooklyn, NY
  • Farber, Jossel, cabin, M, 15, Russia; New York, NY
  • Fischbein, Davie, steerage, M, 18, Russia; New York, NY
  • Franc, Alois, steerage, M, 42, Austria; Chicago, IL
  • Hilek, Pavel, steerage, M, 47, Hungary; Binghamton, NY
  • Ilieff, Kosto, steerage, M, 18, Bulgaria; Chicago, IL
  • Ilieff, Peter, steerage, M, 18, Bulgaria; Chicago, IL
  • Jarosinovic, Gjuro, steerage, M, 18, Hungary; Steelton, PA
  • Kalada, Ivan, steerage, M, 17, Russia; New York, NY
  • Kuperstein, Gerschen, steerage, M, 24, Russia; Minneapolis, MN
  • Labanowski, Joseph, steerage, M, 32, Austria; Sydney, NS
  • Larsovick, Idel, steerage, M, 45, Russia; USA
  • Larsovick, Schmen, steerage, M, 39, Russia; USA
  • Markoff, Peter, steerage, M, 19, Bulgaria; Chicago, IL
  • Metelko, Josef, steerage, M, 36, Austria; Milwaukee, WI
  • Milikowsky, Chane, steerage, M, 50, Russia; Canada
  • Novosel, Stevo, steerage, M, 24, Hungary; Hammond, IN
  • Petkovic, Pavle, steerage, M, 28, Servia; Rochester, NY
  • Sobolovic, Mato, steerage, M, 40, Austria; Hazelton, OH
  • Stoytschevitz, Ilia, steerage, M, 30, Servia; Chicago, IL
  • Tomasevic, Mile, steerage, M, 18, Austria; Johnstown, PA
  • Traycoff, Tode, steerage, M, 28, Servia; Chicago, IL
  • Keller, Paul E., crew, M, 40, Germany
  • Unger, Otto, crew, M, 22, Germany

All 29 of the Volturno survivors saved by Narragansett are listed on the UK manifest page presented below.

SS Narragansett passenger manifest, Purfleet (London), October 1913

The names of the 29, in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Kaleda, Ivan
  • Levandowski, Josef
  • Eisenberg, Josef
  • Millkowsky, Chane
  • Fishbein, David
  • Duda, Michal
  • Berman, Moses
  • Lasowiks, Saul
  • Lasowiks, Schmen
  • Kuperstein, Gerschen
  • Farber, Jossel
  • Vendell, Albec
  • Melecko, Josef
  • Hilek, Paul
  • Novasel, Stevo
  • Tomasewitz, Mile
  • Sobolevic, Mato
  • Franz, Alois
  • Dukren, Baryl
  • Jarasinovic, Gjuro
  • Stoytschawitzch, Hyer
  • Traycuff, Tode
  • Petcowicz, Pavle
  • Ilieff, Peter
  • Ilieff, Kosta
  • Markoff, Peter
  • Barbinum, Louis
  • Unger, Otto
  • Keller, Paul E.

From Volturno crew lists, we know that Otto Unger and Paul Keller were definitely Volturno crewmen. Unger was a steerage steward, and Keller was one of the ship’s bakers, possibly the head baker. Keller’s return to Rotterdam on one of the Batavier Line ships on 19 October was reported in several Dutch newspapers. Unger testified before the Board of Trade inquiry in London on 7 December, and his testimony was referenced several times in the final report.

Of the 27 passengers, 23 traveled by some conveyance to Avonmouth (the port for Bristol) and sailed on Canadian Northern’s Royal Line steamer RMS Royal Edward. They departed Avonmouth on 18 October and arrived at Quebec on 25 October, where they were greeted by Paul G. Forman, the General Passenger Agent for the Uranium Line, who was in from New York to meet them. The Royal Line and the Uranium Line were both owned by the Canadian Northern Railroad.

The passengers were recorded on a Canadian manifest for Royal Edward, but the condition of the original manifest was such that when it was microfilmed almost none of the names of anyone on board are even visible, much less legible. Fortunately for us, a typescript list of the Volturno survivors from Royal Edward was prepared and sent to New York, where it was included in US immigration records. The three pages are presented below. Despite the fact that the names are relatively easy to read, I will still list the names below each page, so that they will be searchable.

Volturno survivors carried on Royal Edward, sheet 1, page 1

The names in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Labanowski, Joseph
  • Petkovic, Pavle
  • Kaleda, Ivan
  • Eisenberg, Josef
  • Berman, Moses
  • Duda, Michal
  • Fishbein, Davie
  • Kuperstein, Gerschen
  • Farber, Jossel
  • Albert, Wendel
  • Metelko, Josef
  • Hilek, Paul
  • Novosel, Stevo, (carbon paper seems to have folded here; last name of brother is Novosel)
  • Tomasevic, Mile, (carbon paper seems to have folded here; last name of brother is Tomasevic)

Volturno survivors carried on Royal Edward, sheet 1, page 2

The names in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Sobolevic, Mato, (first letter is missing here from torn page; other sources give first letter as S)
  • Druken, Bazyl

Volturno survivors carried on Royal Edward, sheet 2

The names in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Jarosinovic, Gjuro
  • Stoytschevitz, Ilia
  • Traycoff, Tode
  • Ilieff, Peter
  • Ilieff, Kosto
  • Markoff, Peter
  • Franc, Alois

Of these 23, only the first man, Joseph Labanowski, was headed to a Canadian destination. The other 22 were headed to points in the US, and traveled there by rail. As was the case with other US-bound passengers, these 22 appeared on a US passenger manifest that documented their arrival in the US. (Manifests of this type were 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.) The manifest, presented below, noted which railroad carried the survivors and which US port-of-entry they passed through on their way.

RMS Royal Edward passenger manifest (US), Quebec, October 1913, p. 1758–59

There are 23 Volturno survivors recorded on this manifest, consisting of the 22 US-bound passengers from Royal Edward and 1 US-bound passenger rescued by SS Minneapolis, Bronislaw Dombroski, listed on line 7. (See that article for an extended discussion on Dombrowski.) There are 5 others listed on the manifest—Henry Walter Trim on line 2, and the Blunt family on lines 3–6—that have no known connection to the Volturno, likely just being US-bound passengers from Royal Edward.

The names in manifest order and as spelled:

  • Petkovic, Pavle
  • Trim, Henry Walter (not related to Volturno)
  • Blunt, Henry (not related to Volturno)
  • Blunt, Sophia (not related to Volturno)
  • Blunt, Leroy(?) (not related to Volturno)
  • Blunt, Clarian(?) (not related to Volturno)
  • Dombroski, Bronislaw (rescued by SS Minneapolis)
  • Kaleda, Ivan
  • Eisenberg, Josef
  • Berman, Moses
  • Duda, Michal
  • Fischbein, David
  • Kuperstein, Gerschen
  • Farber, Jossel
  • Albert, Wendel
  • Metelko, Josef
  • Hilek, Pavel
  • Novosel, Stevo
  • Tomasevic, Mile
  • Sobolevic, Mato
  • Dubren, Bazyl
  • Jarosinovic, Gjuro
  • Stoytschevitz, Ilia
  • Traycoff, Tode
  • Ilieff, Kosta
  • Ilieff, Peter
  • Markoff, Peter
  • Franc, Alois

Having accounted for the destinations of 25 of the 29 Volturno survivors rescued by Narragansett, we now turn to the other 4 passengers, listed here in alphabetical order:

  • Barbieux, Louis
  • Larsovick, Idel
  • Larsovick, Schmen
  • Milikowsky, Chane

The American Red Cross report from 1914 reported that 10 Volturno survivors who were landed in Europe opted not to continue their journeys to North America, so it’s possible that some or all of these 4 passengers remained in Europe. However, one interpretation of a case from the Red Cross report provides evidence that Chane Milikowsky may have made it to Canada. In his analysis of the report, Peter Searle believes that Eisig Milikowski (rescued by SS Czar and taken to Canada by SS Campanello) is one member of the family outlined in case no. 183. (Read the description of case no. 183 here, and read Searle’s rationale here.) If his assessment is right—and I believe it is—then both Chane Milikowsky and Abraham Milikowsky, who was rescued by SS La Touraine, eventually made it to Canada. I have yet to find either Chane or Abraham on any passenger list.

One of either Idel or Schmen Larsovick may have been the “M. Larsovick” referred to in an article in The Times as the person who testified at the Board of Trade inquiry on 7 December (the same day steerage steward Otto Unger did). The same newspaper reported that Louis Barbieux, another of the 4, testified the following day.

Although I haven’t found any evidence that either of the Larsovicks continued on to North America, Louis Barbieux apparently did, as shown by this Canadian manifest for SS Uranium’s 27 December 1913 arrival in Halifax.

SS Uranium passenger manifest (Canada), Halifax, December 1913, p. 1

The name on the passenger manifest:

  • Barbieux, Louis

It seems likely that the Barbieux from the Uranium is the Barbieux from Volturno given the passage on a Uranium Line ship and the ample amount of time between his testimony at the Board of Trade on 8 December, and the departure of Uranium from Rotterdam on 17 December. One other bit of corroborating evidence is that Barbieux’s intended destination was listed as Canada on the Narragansett manifest.

©2011 Andrew Baker.
Revision 1.12, 15 November 2011, more descriptive title; update links for other, similarly renamed pages
Revision 1.11, 3 September 2011, linked to Dombrowski discussion in Minneapolis survivors article
Revision 1.10, 1 September 2011, corrected Narragansett’s landing location; switched image links to new source
Revision 1.00, 22 August 2011, initial post