Some of the records you see on Ancestry.com are abstracts – data without images. I find these particularly unsatisfying. To be certain that a record can be associated with an ancestor, I like to view at least a copy of the source document, see what’s noted in the margins, and read what the person doing the abstracting left behind.
Toy Family Immigration
The most distant known ancestor in my “Brandywine Banks” family line is Daniel Toy, who arrived in Delaware early in the 1800s. Ancestry has an immigration record for a Daniel Toy showing an arrival in Philadelphia on September 19, 1817. This sounds right, but my research has turned up another Toy family living in New Jersey around this time so a little more information would be helpful.
In particular, I want to know if he was traveling with anyone and, if so, how many were in his party. Daniel and Rosanna had two boys (Cornelius and James) born in Ireland. I also know from du Pont company records at the Hagley Library that the oldest son, Cornelius, arrived after Daniel was working in the Elutherian Powder Mills. What I would hope to find in a ships log is a record of Daniel, Rosanna and the younger son, James, arriving together. Toy, party of three!
Finding the Passenger List
While Ancestry doesn’t have images associated with this immigration record, they do a good job with their citations. In this case, a Google search for “Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1882” led me to the National Archives and Records Administration website and eventually to the download of 49 MB file containing microfilm number 25 in series 425. Scanning page by page I eventually found what I was looking for on page 67 of this pdf file.
The image above is the manifest for the Schooner Mary Ann that arrived in Philadelphia on September 19th, 1817. If you click on the image of the manifest above, you will get a larger version. Notice that this was quite a small ship with very little cargo and about twenty-five passengers. If you look at the next to last entry in the passenger list, you see “Danl Toy & Family Three”. I found my ancestor!