Shiploads of Usticesi arriving New Orleans prior to and after the Civil War

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Posted by Marilyn Barbera on 21 JUN 2004 14:52:00

First I shall address Lea Pritchett's recent question on the message board concerning "Sicari" immigration. The ship list of Ustica passengers on the Sicilian Bark Elizabetta (that embarked from Palermo carrying about 100% Usticesi passengers) arriving at the port of New Orleans, Feb. 24th, 1860 and March 7, 1861, with 26 and 28 passengers respectively, (all males), do not contain the name "Sic ari."
The following is an account of my search for the arrival of ships and their passengers at the Library. It may not be 100% accurate, however, it has been a great resource in finding the arrival of my ancestors.
Because of the Civil War in the U.S., the port of N.O. was closed to passenger ships from "about" June l861 until ?1866 although ships with supplies did enter the port.
Th e Elizabetta's last arrival date prior to the port closure was the March 7th 1861 (see above) After the Civil War, men, women and children from Ustica arrived in greater numbers. (They embarked on the ships in the Palermo harbor, only 35 miles south of Ustica)Although a few Usticesi arrived in the 1850's, the greater numbers came in the 1860's.The first sail boat (that I found by searching the microfilm at the public library) with Usticesi to arrive after the Civil War at the New Orleans port was the Italian Brig Catarina arriving April 10, 1866 with 86 passengers. The Catarina arrived again on April 1, 1867 with 103 Usticesi. This migration of Usticesi continued thereafter. Other names of sail boats containing Usticesi and passengers from various places in Sicily that arrived in N.O. were the Italian Barks Francesca, Due Sorelle, Biaggio, Teresina, Prudente, Emma,and several others. Sometime around 1879-80 Seam Ships began to replace sail boats. For example, the British Ships originated in places like London, Liverpool and North Sheilds and were bound for the port of Palermo and New Orleans. The New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Libraries have microfilm of all ships arriving i n New Orleans if anyone wishes to research them. The microfilm reels are listed by dates, therefore, much time is required to look through all ships arriving from many countries.

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