12 March 2023

A Trip to Europe! Part 4 of 4

Fannie Sturtevant Woodruff
with her camera
In parts one through three, I detailed much of the European adventure my great-great grandparents, Fred and Fannie (Sturtevant) Woodruff gave their family in the summer of 1901. During their two-month tour, they took a great many photographs and I am lucky to have the original album in my possession. It contains the only photographs I have of the family, including my great-grandfather, Lewis Sturtevant Woodruff, who was age 20 at the time of the voyage.

Already documented is their voyage across from Boston, their travels across England, Scotland, and Wales, their stop in Paris, and their travels in Switzerland. As I noted in my previous posts, the order in which they placed their photographs in the album does not reflect what I would consider to be an accurate order of the places they visited. In particular, in England, Eton appears multiple times in different parts of the album, but I doubt they went back three times. And the Switzerland trip starts in the southeast of country and ends in the southwest, after which the family is in Germany to the north of Switzerland. Please see blog posts two and three for maps detailing all the locations of their photographs.    

From Switzerland they went through Germany and ended in the Netherlands. Their photographs of this segment of their journey feel more in order.

In Germany they photographed:       

      v  The Black Forest                                   v  Maince/Mainz

      v  Schaffhausen (Falls of the Rhine)         v  A boat trip up the Rhine from Mainz  

      v  Heidelberg                                             v  Cologne

In the Netherlands, there are photos of:

      v Amsterdam 

      v den Hague 

      v Rotterdam

These are photographs, in the order they were placed in the album, of Germany and the Netherlands (“Holland”):

Germany, top to bottom:
Black Forest, page 135
Heidelberg (Fred and Lewis on the left), page 142
Boat Trip up the Rhine, page 148

The Netherlands, top to bottom:
Amsterdam, page 154
Holland, page 156
Dutch Masters in the Hague, page 158

The final photographs, on page 160 in the album are of Rotterdam, from which they presumably sailed for Liverpool.

Rotterdam, page 160

Fred embarked alone back to Boston on August 29 on the SS New England, the sister ship to the Commonwealth. From the embarkation record, we can see that he was in stateroom B10341 and traveled alone. An arrival manifest shows that he arrived in Boston on September 6, 1901.

The rest of the family returned on the Commonwealth, embarking at Liverpool on September 12. Because of this timing, it’s possible that some of the photographs from the Scotland, Wales, and England portion of the trip were taken in those first two weeks of September after Fred’s departure, in addition to the start of their trip in July.

Fannie and her two sons shared stateroom B10340. She was listed under her husband’s name, but the passenger manifest clearly designated her as “Lady.”

Click here to download a PDF of the entire photo album (166pages, 536MB).

The takeaway:

I found it extremely useful to use Google Maps to mark the locations of all the photographs. The resulting maps allowed me to see how extensive their travels were and to pretty well determine that the photographs were not placed in the album in the order in which they were taken.

Also very useful for me were the passenger records available through Ancestry. Not only was I able to confirm travel dates, I was able to learn that Fred traveled separate from his family.


Ship manifests: Ancestry.com. UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. (Original data: Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Outwards Passenger Lists. BT27. Records of the Commercial, Companies, Labour, Railways and Statistics Departments. Records of the Board of Trade and of successor and related bodies. The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England.)

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