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Born At Sea - How is this interpreted?

Born At Sea - How is this interpreted?

Posted: 1199553396000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Holsaple, Holsapple,Holsople,Holzapfel
I have a German ancestor that confused me for some time. On census records, she lists her birth place sometimes as Maryland and sometimes as Germany. After years of looking, I found what I believe is her final census record (1920 - I think she died before the next census)where she lists her place of birth as "At Sea".

So my question is - if I were to look for a birth certificate or record - where would I look??? Maryland? Where are babies born en route to the US considered to be born (she would have been born in 1848).

Her name was Helena (or Lena) Holsaple/Holsapple/Holsople/Holzapfel or any other of the numerous variaions in spelling.

Any information would be most welcome as this particular ancestor has proved to be very difficult to locate!

Re: Born At Sea - How is this interpreted?

Posted: 1199632547000
Classification: Query
Quite often the captain made a note on the manifest, either next to the parents's names or at the end of the list. Sometimes they even put a date. Do you have the parents names and possible port of arrival? I checked for Holzapfel on Ancestry, got a Catherine Holzapfel who arrived in NY in 1848. Let me know and I'll check some more.

Re: Born At Sea - How is this interpreted?

Posted: 1199642239000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Holsaple, Holsapple,Holsople,Holzapfel, Brown
That is very kind of you! I've also done some checking but have been unable to find her on any immigration lists - of course, I've always searched for her name and didn't think to do otherwise. Here is all the information that I have on her:

Name: Helena Philomena Holsopple (This is the spelling that I've been given through family records, though I know there are many variations that could have been used as well). Her first name has also been slightly problematic as I have seen it as both "Lena" and "Alina".
Date of birth: 1848
Date of death: After 1920
Married: Jacob Brown, about 1865
Children: William Daniel Brown; Lily D. Brown; Caspar Brown; Charlotta Brown; Henry F. Brown; Richard Brown; Mary Brown; Ida Brown

In the 1880 Census, she lists the birthplace of her parents as "Bavaria".

As a married woman, she and her family lived in Western Maryland, including Cumberland. Later I find many of her children in Lonaconing.

Thanks for any help! I'll see if I can find the Catharine that you found - did the manifest say if she had a baby or not on the ship?

Thanks again,


Re: Born At Sea - How is this interpreted?

Posted: 1199646874000
Classification: Query
I'll see what I can do. Did you try to get a copy of her death certificate or the certificate of one of her children. You need the one for genealogy purposes. I have ordered some online, but those where California. The Catherine I saw was on a different data base, not passenger lists. I can look again and see what else is there. Some of the handwriting on those passenger lists is nearly illegible. Some names are also spelled phonetically it seems. I'll do some digging.Just because the last name should be Holzapfel, it might be something completely different. Not all captains made notes. I have somebody born at sea, no note on the manifest and the last name of the parents is wrong.
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