Cunard Line Passenger Lists
Cruise History: Passenger lists were the Bibles for shipboard travel. Here is an excellent article from Cruise Travel Magazine by ship-expert Theodore W. Scull that discusses the subject in depth. From French Line to Cunard to Matson – passenger lists were “bibles” aboard ship.
Souvenir Passenger List from MATSON LINE’s S.S. MAtsonia sailing #16, San Francisco to Honolulu. Dated July 2, 1930.
From Cruise Travel by Theodore W. Scull… Click here to order Cruise Travel Magazine.
ONCE, WAY BACK WHEN, UPON ENTERING ONE’S CABIN, the first order of business was a quick look at the Passenger List laid out on the table alongside the dining reservation card, telegrams, and the first batch of invitations. On a two- or three-class ship, the names usually included only those in one’s own class, minus some celebrities or a recluse that explicitly asked not to be listed. On a one-class cruise, of course, there was but one list.
United States Lines passenger lists.
Why the rush to know who was aboard? Well, for those who traveled by sea on a regular basis, there were bound to be others one knew or knew of, and it was good to know the good or bad news in advance before you bumped into them on the promenade deck at sailing time.
My mother would immediately take out a pencil and bracket familiar names. Annotations would appear when she made new acquaintances such as they are “friends of so and so,” or he is a member of the “Metropolitan Opera,” or she is a “recent widow” who would undoubtedly like to be included in our group. The initial passenger list would often be supplemented within 24 hours by those who booked late or got missed for some reason.
Our family would be listed as Mr. Theodore Scull, with Mrs. Scull on a separate line, and then my brother and I appeared as Master Sandy Scull and Master Teddy Scull. Sometimes, though not often, the city and state or country were included–an extra recognition clue.
Aboard P&O’s Cathay, from London via Marseilles for Australia in May 1926, titles were used, such as: Gainsborough, Mary Dowager Countess of; Somers, H.E. The Lord, D.S.O., M.C., and two valets; and on the next line Somers, Lady, child, and nurse. It is interesting to see for whom the lord and lady were responsible.