I decided to take a second look at José Soares’s immigration to the United States.  First I started with the things that I know.

According to the 1900 U.S. Census José Soares was born in April of 1853 and married to his wife Clara in 1883.  This marriage date is corroborated by the 1910 Census.  The 1900 Census has his immigration year as 1884 as does the 1910 Census.  The 1920 U.S. Census has his immigration one year earlier.  Clara (José’s wife) had the same immigration year on all three census records so it seems that they came over at the same time, possibly together.

According to the Hawaiian Roots website, there are five ships that fall within the time period:

  1. S.S. Abergeldie (British ship arriving 4 May 1883)
  2. S.S. Hankow (British ship arriving 9 Jul 9 1883)
  3. S.S. Bell Rock (British ship arriving 1 Nov 1883)
  4. S.S. City of Paris (British ship arriving 13 Jun 1884)
  5. S.S. Bordeaux (French ship arriving 3 Oct 1884)

Given that the voyage lasts between 60 and 70 days it is not possible for a ship to leave in 1883 and arrive in 1884 so one of the Census records are incorrect.

Now I think the Abergeldie and the Bell Rock are less likely because it looks like they traveled from the Azores to Hawaii.  It would be highly unlikely for this Madeira native to be on these ships.

When I first looked into this question I found a possible passport record match.  This is the only record for in 1883 with José Soares so I think it is highly likely that this is a match.

José Soares and Violante de Freitas applied for a passport in 1883.  Violante was the widow of João de Freitas. Violante and João were married in 1875 in the São Gonçalo parish.  The passport record states José’s is from Caniço.  Both of these are neighboring cities in Southern Madeira.

The passport record for this José Soares states his parents are António Soares and Antónia Rosa de Jesus.  I searched for their marriage and it looks like they were married in 1843.  When I searched for José’s christening record with these parents I didn’t turn up anything.