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Hamburg America Line History and Ephemera

Hamburg-Amerika Linie

Hamburg Amerika Linie / Hamburg American Line / Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG)

Hamburg America Line was one of the major steamship companies to handle the immigrant trade. Their primary routes of Hamburg, Germany to New York via Southampton were supplemented by other vessels that called on the ports of Portland ME, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Galveston and New Orleans, in addition to Canadian ports.

The Hamburg America Line Piers at Hoboken NJ (NYC) ca 1910

The Hamburg America Line Piers at Hoboken NJ (NYC) ca 1910

Their early passenger lists featured some of the most intricate and beautiful graphic designs, especially prior to World War One. They are a favorite among collectors who value these passenger lists from the Hamburg American Line for their artwork, instead of their historical value. This unfortunately, makes the pre-1918 passenger lists quite scarce for this steamship line.

Hamburg America Line or Hamburg-America Line. We are often asked this question - officially, the English branding of this steamship line, based on their published materials was The Hamburg America Line.

A simple translation from German to English of "Hamburg Amerika Linie" is "Hamburg America Line". Hamburg America Line, while correctly translating the German to English is not correct in referring to steamship line as they intended.

HAPAG Office in St. Louis, MO ca 1909

HAPAG Office in St. Louis, MO ca 1909


Interior View of the HAPAG Office in St. Louis, MO ca 1909

Interior View of the HAPAG Office in St. Louis, MO ca 1909

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The Folks Behind the GG Archives

The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.