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Sivell Family Passengers' Contract Ticket, August 20, 1852

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Passenger Contract Ticket for the John Sivell family and others who traveled to America from London aboard the ship “Margaret Evans" in 1852.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 20 August 1852


The passengers' contract ticket highlights how the John Sivell family immigrated to the United States from the United Kingdom in 1852 aboard the ship, "Margaret Evans." The ticket references names, ages and food and water accommodations that will be given while in steerage. This ticket is dated Aug. 20, with a total cost of $48.15. The Sivell family came to the U.S. as part of the British Emigrants’ Mutual Aid Society and settled in Cedar Township, Lee County, Iowa, in a community that became known as “The English Colony." John Sivell continued the craft of boot making in the U.S. and also farmed and served as postmaster. Most male members of the British Emigrants' Mutual Aid Society were skilled laborers and artisans, and they were affiliated with the Chartist movement in England.

Transcript of Passengers' Contract Ticket

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What was the cost for this family to come to America? Use the inflation calculator to compare it to an estimated cost of the trip today.
  • How many people were traveling in the Sivell family? What would they need to consider when packing for the trip?
  • Why would extended families move together?