16 April 2008

Antwerp and the Red Star Line

Many of our immigrant ancestors traveled to America on the vessels of the Red Star Line, out of Antwerp, Belgium.

Artist Eugeen Van Mieghem (1875-1930) recorded many scenes at the port, and in fact Antwerp has a Van Mieghem Museum.

Joy Rich of New York informed me about two events in Philadelphia and New York where the program, "Eugeen Van Mieghem and the Emigrants of the Red Star Line," will be presented. Both are free and open to the public.

The Philadelphia program is set for noon, Wednesday, April 30, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while the New York program is at 6.30pm, Wednesday, May 7, at the Museum of the City of New York. For more information, contact van.mieghem.museum#skynet.be

An exhibit, "Antwerp=America=Red Star Line," is at the National Maritime Museum in Antwerp through December 28. Click here or here for more details.

For more information about the Red Star Line, click here.

From 1873-1935, the line brought nearly 3 million people from Antwerp to America and Canada. The Red Star Line buildings till exist in Antwerp on the Scheldt, from where their ships set off across the Atlantic. The old buildings will soon accommodate a historic heritage center museum being developed by the Antwerp Tourist Department and the Museum on the River.

Other website sections include history, why emigration, heritage center, ships, buildings and the museum.

Among the ships listed were several which brought my ancestors. Sara Talalai arrived from Mogilev in 1902 on the Vaderland; there were others on different ships.


  1. Thanks for this info Schelly! My grandfather travelled from Belgium via the Red Star Line. I didn't realize they had a web site. Great info!

  2. Hi, Jasia,

    I'm always delighted to see your name in the comments list.

    Sorry I've been so far behind on responding to comments. I'm trying to play catch-up as quick as I can.

    There is so much information out there and so few hours in the day!