Coming to America – Bernard Doran – 1910

S. S. Columbia - Anchor Line Ship
S.S. Columbia – Anchor Line Ship

The S.S. Columbia is the ship that my grandfather, Bernard Doran, came over from Northern Ireland to America in 1910. I found a really interesting webpage with vintage brochures from some of the ships that sailed back and forth from Europe to the United States. This ship was part of the Anchor Lines fleet. Here is the link:

The brochure has photos of the ships in the line and some descriptions of what to expect on your voyage. It was written in 1912.

“The Twin-Screw Steamships CAMERONIA, CALEDONIA, COLUMBIA and CALIFORNIA, forming the regular weekly service of the ANCHOR LINE, are the largest, finest and fastest sailing between New York and Glasgow via Moville (Londonderry). These Steamships are fitted with Bilge Keels to ensure steadiness at sea, are equipped with Marconi Wireless Telegraph, and are modern and up-to-date in every respect.

CALEDONIA’S fastest passage between Moville and New York is 6 days 20 hours; COLUMBIA’S, 6 days 22 hours between New York and Moville; CALIFORNIA’S, 7 days 12 hours, Moville to New York. CAMERONIA is equally as fast as CALEDONIA.

CAMERONIA, CALEDONIA and COLUMBIA land passengers at Glasgow and New York regularly on Sunday and the CALIFORNIA on Monday.
Read more: Vintage Brochure – Anchor Line – Information For Passengers – 1912
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I don’t think I had ever heard Londonderry called Moville. There was a railroad line running from Belfast to Londonderry in Northern Ireland. I’m sure that is how my grandfather went from his home in Belfast. He left Londonderry on October 1st, 1910 and arrived at the Port of New York on October 11th. He was listed as 19 years old (but was really 20), single, and he had $10 of spending money. He was traveling by himself. He was a British citizen with Irish nationality. Bernard was 5 feet 4 inches with a fresh complexion, brown hair, grey eyes, and no identifying marks. He could read and write English and his occupation was general laborer. His closest relative in Ireland was his sister, Elizabeth Doran Rafferty, living at 51 Springfield Village, Belfast. He was going to his other sister, Ellen Doran Smith [Smythe], living at 120 Odgen Street, in Newark, New Jersey.

My sister and I had found Bernard Doran’s immigration record from the S. S. Columbia at the National Archives in New York City in 2000, by looking through the ship’s passenger indexes. We thought it was a minor miracle that we found the right record. Now the record can be found at with ease [Source: Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.Original data – Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service].

My family has only a few photographs of Bernard “Barney” Doran. After coming to America he lived the rest of his life in New Jersey. Unlike his siblings, Ellen “Nellie”, Elizabeth, William, and Joseph, we think this was the only journey he took. His siblings took more trips back and forth from Ireland to New Jersey, but they all died in New Jersey. Bernard Doran died in Harrison, Hudson County, New Jersey on April 11th, 1947, and cause of death was oedema of lungs due to bronchitis. He was only 57 years old. My grandmother, Mary “Mamie Mahoney Doran, was 52 years old and never remarried. The photograph below was taken in the early 1940s. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

Bernard and William John Doran, on Hamilton Street, in Harrison, New Jersey, circa early 1940s.
Brothers, Bernard and William John Doran, on Hamilton Street, in Harrison, New Jersey, circa early 1940s. Bernard is on the left.

If your family member came through Ellis Island in New York City, like my grandfather did, you can also search at their website for free and see images of the ships:

Good luck with researching your ancestry!

Copyright 2016 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

2 thoughts on “Coming to America – Bernard Doran – 1910

    1. Hi Bob, So good to hear from you. I think you hit the follow button, put your new email in, and then when you receive an email to confirm, you follow the instructions. You then can unfollow with your old email address using the link at the bottom of any of the blog posts. There is also a link to manage your email subscription with every blog post, and that may work.
      “After clicking on the Follow button, a dialog box will pop up asking for the email address where new blog posts should be sent.”
      Hope this helps, Cousin!


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