James & Lucinda Blakeley - Arrival In New York City 1861

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Castle Garden

Prior to the establishment of Ellis Island in 1892, Castle Garden was the entry point for immigrants coming into New York.

The ship, John Bright, was built in 1853 by William H Webb at New York City, New York. The John Bright sailed from Liverpool in 1861 carrying 706 passengers, with Henry Cuttings recorded as master of the ship, bound for the new world.  (Not to be confused with the British ship built in 1847 also named "John Bright")

Among the emigrants from Ireland, was a young family - James Blakeley and Mrs Blakeley ages 29 and 24 respectively, and infant Ann Blakeley. These three were the only immigrants on this crossing of the John Bright bearing the surname Blakeley. The vessel docked at New York on 23 May 1861.

Passenger List Sheet from the John Bright - Arrival in New York City 23 May 1861

While it isn't certain that this Blakeley family arriving on the John Bright in 1861 is the same as the James & Lucinda Blakeley family living in Canada (grandparents of William Earle Blakeley), it is highly likely. The information captured in the John Bright ship manifest (the names, ages, and the location of birth for the Blakeley family) matches the documentation from the Canadian records for the family of James and Lucinda Blakeley. 

James Blakeley & Lucinda Calvin as captured in the Canadian records were born in Ireland circa 1833 and 1837 respectively. The oldest child of James & Lucinda Blakeley, Ann Blakeley, was born in Ireland circa 1861. The other eight children were all born in Quebec after 1861.  

James & Lucinda Blakeley arrived in America, with their infant daughter Ann, just as the Civil War was beginning, which may explain why they wound up in Canada.

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