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S/S Oceanic (1)
The Oceanic (1), 1871
first steamer if the line
Teutonic, White Star Line
Teutonic, 1889
Majestic (1)
Majestic (1), 1889
Oceanic (2)
Oceanic (2), 1899
Baltic (2)
Baltic (2), 1903
Olympic, White Star Line
Olympic, 1911
The ill fated Titanic, 1912
Ill fated Brtannic (2)
The ill fated Britannic (2), 1914
White Star Line advert by Ismay, Imre and Co
White Star Line advert by Ismay, Imre and Co. ca. 1876 - "Royal and United States Mail Steamers. Sailing from Liverpool and New York every Wednesday, calling at Queenstown to land mails and embark passengers. The R.M.S. Adriatic and Celtic have superior accommodation for a limited number of second class passengers - Second cabin and steerage passage at low rates. Through bookings to all important centers in the United States, Canada and Europe. - Please note that steerage passengers are only conveyed upon the same decks as Saloon ; also that steerage entrances are permanent, and not trough the hatchways, the latter being used only for light and ventilation in addition to that obtained through the portholes. The steerage is warmed by steam. Surgeon and steerage Matron are carried on each steamer. Apply to Ismay, Imre and Co., 10, Water Street, Liverpool"
White Star Line advertisement by agent Ferdinand Elster
White Star Line advert ca. 1905 by the Norwegian agent Ferdinand Elster: The largest steamers in the world, White Star Line ocean steamers... - The tweendeck (steerage) is arranged with rooms for 2, 4, 6 or more passengers - family accommodation which is much desired... - Departure from Christinia every Friday at 10 AM.

White Star - Dominion Line, service to Canada
Advert for the White Star - Dominion Line, service to Canada showing the steamships Doric, Regina, Megantic, Arabic and Canada.
The White Star Line was founded in September 1869 as the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company. From the earliest days it was to be known as the White Star Line, owing to the ships flying a red swallow-tailed flag with a white star. The company entered in the North Atlantic passenger trade soon after. The first steamer launched for the line was the Oceanic (1), which departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York March 2nd 1871. She was soon followed by her 3 sisters, the Atlantic, Baltic (1) and Republic (1). In 1872 two other slightly improved versions of the first quartet was built, namely the Adriatic (1) and Celtic (1). These ships are often refereed to as belonging to the Oceanic (1) class. The Britannic (1) launched 1874 and the Germanic launched 1875 were the first steamers of the line with two funnels, and were actually enlarged versions of the Oceanic (1) class steamers. All ships built by the famous yard of Harland and Wolff at Belfast.

The White Star Line as newcomers in the emigration trade had to compete with other well established companies like the Cunard Line, Inman Line, Allan Line, Anchor Line, National Line, Guion Line. However, the new White Star Line ships were fast offered a high standard even for steerage passengers. The company soon became popular and a great numbers of emigrants crossed the Atlantic ocean on White Star Line ships in the decades after the line was established. Unfortunately, they were not without mishaps, and in 1873 the S/S Atlantic was wrecked near Halifax with the loss of 545 lives.

Like the other great transatlantic companies the White Star Line soon established a network of ticket agencies in many European countries and in America. Passengers from Sweden and Norway were conveyed by Wilson Line steamships to Hull, and from Hull to Liverpool by train. There were similar kind of arrangements from the other European countries, from Denmark, Germany, France, and Holland passengers were transported from the mayor ports across the English Channel and conveyed to Liverpool by train. The early White Star Line steamships departed from Liverpool every Wednesday, calling at Queenstown (Cobh) to embark mails and additional passengers from Ireland. The time of passage from Queenstown to New York was about 8 days in the first decades. Several of the White Star Line steamers became record breakers, the Baltic (1) in 1873, when crossing in 7 days, 20 hours and 9 minutes, Germanic in 1876 when crossing in 7 days 11 hours and 53 minutes and the Britannic (1) in 1877 when crossing in 7 days 10 hours and 53 minutes. The ocean passage was gradually cut down as new and faster ships were built. In 1891 the Majestic (1) which had been launched 1890 crossed in 5 days 18 hours and 8 minutes, and the same year her sister, the Teutonic which had been launched 1889 crossed in 5 days 16 hours and 31 minutes. The Teutonic turned out to be the last record holder of the line.

The Oceanic (2) was launched in 1899. She was not built to beat the speed record, as the new policy of the company was to offer comfort before speed. The later ships built became more known for their appearance and reliability. By 1904 the White Star Line in addition to the Liverpool - Queenstown - New York (and Boston) service also had a colonial service to New Zealand operated by the steamers Gothic, Corinthic, Delphic (1), Ionic (2), Athenic and Tropic (2). A colonial service to Australia (Liverpool - Melbourne - Sydney via the Cape) was operated by the Afric, Medic and Persic. A Pacific service was operated by Doric (1), Coptic and Gaelic (1). In 1907 a service from Southampton via Cherbourg to New York was opened. The line also owned some live stock steamers, such as the Georgic (1), Cevic and Bovic. In 1909 a joint service with the Dominion Line to Canada was inaugurated, known as the White Star - Dominion Line. This line was operated with a combination of White Star Line steamers and Dominion Line steamers.

The first General agent to be authorized to represent the line in Norway was Frederik Lie . In 1871 he was authorized to convey emigrants by via Hull to Liverpool and from Liverpool to New York and inland. A network of agents worked to sell tickets in different parts of country, like in other European countries. In Norway the line was better known as "Hvide Stjerene Linien", or just "Stjerne Linien". The Norwegian network of agents was organized with the general agent situated in Christiania (Oslo). From 1881 till 1910 the general agent (in Christiania) was Ferdinand J. Elster.
Stjerne Linien, announcement by agent Lie
Stjerne Linien, announcement by agent Frederik Lie 1879
Departure from Christiania every Friday (via England)

The general agent was the companies main representative in in the country. He, along with the agents of other lines had to be authorized by the Norwegian police every year, and the company had to deposit a certain amount of funds with the Norwegian government a security for the fulfilling of the agreements in the passenger contracts.

In the Norwegian cities like Bergen and Trondheim there were head agents appointed by the general agents, responsible for their respective regions. The first White Star head agent in Trondheim was H. Hansen in 1872. Within each region a network of sub-agents operated. The sub-agents enrolled passengers for the line by taking a small advance, and sent lists to the head agents with names of the enrolled passengers. The emigrants had to go see the head agents to pay for the tickets, and to sign a contract for the voyage. Those contracts were the result of the Norwegian passenger act of 1869. The act stated that the agents had to sign contracts describing the conditions for the voyage. The contract had to be shown before the police, and to be signed at the police station. At the same time the police would list the emigrants in protocols, with information about who they had tickets with, and personal data. These protocols, or lists are known as the Police Lists or the "Emigration Protocols". Those are the sources that many people will be using when trying to find the name of the ship their on which their ancestors departed Norway. The problem is that none of the White Star Line ships departed from Norway. The emigrants was listed by name, age and other personal information, and the line (or "Rederi") was in many cases listed as "Hvide Stjerne". In some of the lists there will also be listed the name of a ship. However, this ship was not the name of the White Star ship, but the name of a ship that brought the emigrants from Norway to Britain. In many cases that would be a ship belonging to the Wilson Line of Hull. The transatlantic steamers of the White Star Line departed from Liverpool and Southampton.

In addition to the police lists, some of the personal records belonging to the White Star Line general agent "Elster", has survived in the Norwegian "Statsarkivet i Oslo". The material covers the Christiania passenger lists for the years 1883 - 1923. The lists gives the names of both the feeder ships to Britain and the transatlantic steamer, and it also gives additional information about the fee. There are also some similar lists for Trondheim covering the years 1911 - 1924.

Look for pictures of White Star Line ships, or upload pictures: The White Star Line picture gallery

Recommended reading: The S/S Atlantic of the White Star Line, disaster in 1873 by Trond Austheim & BÝrge Solem - about the disaster and the Norwegian and Scandinavian passengers on the ship when it went down off Halifax in 1873

Recovering the dead, the cargo and valuables from the wreck of the S/S Atlantic - (Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Apr. 1873 - Transcribed by BÝrge Solem Aug. 2005) - The story and illustrations showing various incidents and phases of the operations of recovering the the dead, the cargo and valuables from the wreck of the S/S Atlantic conducted off Marr's Island in 1873

The White Star Liner Baltic Completes Maiden Voyage in 1904 - (NEW YORK TIMES Saturday July 9, 1904 - Transcribed by Jo Anne Sadler 2005), "Greatest Ship Built Comes to Port at New York - White Star Liner Baltic Completes Maiden Voyage - STEAMSHIP 726 FEET LONG - Made Trip from Liverpool in 7 Days 13 Hours and 37 Minutes-Brought 906 Passengers"

Norwegian passengers on the S/S Titanic (by Per Kristian Sebak 2003) - When the legendary Titanic set sail from Queenstown, Ireland, her last port of call, on 11 April 1912, there were 31 passengers of Norwegian origin on board. This article tells the story of how the 31 traveled to the Titanic, and is mainly based on Chapter 3 in the book, "TITANIC - 31 Norwegian Destinies", which gives a comprehensive account of all 31 Norwegians on the ill-fated liner.

Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SAdriatic (1)1872 Harland & Wolff 3†888 gross 
  S/SAdriatic (2)1907 Harland & Wolff 24†542 gross 
  S/SAfric1899 Harland & Wolff 11†948 gross 
  S/SAlbertic1923 AG Weser 18†940 gross 
  S/SArabic (1)1881 Harland & Wolff 4†368 gross 
  S/SArabic (2)1902 Harland & Wolff 15†801 gross 
  S/SArabic (3)1908 AG Weser 16†786 gross 
  S/SArmenian1903 Harland & Wolff 8†825 gross 
  S/SAthenic1902 Harland & Wolff 12†234 gross 
  S/SAtlantic1871 Harland & Wolff 3†707 gross 
  S/SBaltic (1)1871 Harland & Wolff 3†707 gross 
  S/SBaltic (2)1904 Harland & Wolff 23†876 gross 
  S/SBardic1919 Harland & Wolff 8†010 gross 
  S/SBelgic (1)1874 Harland & Wolff 2†652 gross 
  S/SBelgic (3)1911 New York Shipbuilding Corp. 9†748 gross 
  S/SBelgic (4)1917 Harland & Wolff 24†547 gross 
  S/SBovic1892 Harland & Wolff 6†583 gross 
  S/SBritannic (1)1874 Harland & Wolff 5†004 gross 
  S/SBritannic (2)1914 Harland & Wolff 48†158 gross 
  M/VBritannic (3)1930 Harland & Wolff 26†943 gross 
  S/SCalgaric1918 Harland & Wolff 16†063 gross 
  S/SCanopic1900 Harland & Wolff 12†268 gross 
  S/SCedric1903 Harland & Wolff 21†035 gross 
  S/SCeltic (1)1872 Harland & Wolff 3†867 gross 
  S/SCeltic (2)1901 Harland & Wolff 21†035 gross 
  S/SCeramic1913 Harland & Wolff 18†495 gross 
  S/SCevic1894 Harland & Wolff 8†301 gross 
  S/SCoptic1881 Harland & Wolff 4†367 gross 
  S/SCorinthic1902 Harland & Wolff 12†367 gross 
  S/SCretic1902 Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. Ltd. 13†507 gross 
  S/SCufic (1)1888 Harland & Wolff 4†639 gross 
  S/SCymric1898 Harland & Wolff 13†096 gross 
  S/SDelphic (1)1897 Harland & Wolff 8†273 gross 
  S/SDelphic (2)1925 Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd. 8†006 gross 
  S/SDoric (1)1883 Harland & Wolff 4†784 gross 
  S/SDoric (2)1923 Harland & Wolff 16†484 gross 
  S/SGaelic (1)1873 Harland & Wolff 3†888 gross 
  S/SGaelic (2)1885 Harland & Wolff 4†206 gross 
  S/SGallic (2)1920 Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd. 7†914 gross 
  S/SGeorgic (1)1895 Harland & Wolff 10†077 gross 
  M/VGeorgic (2)1931 Harland & Wolff 27†759 gross 
  S/SGermanic1874 Harland & Wolff 5†008 gross 
  S/SGothic1893 Harland & Wolff 7†755 gross 
  S/SHaverford1901 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 7†493 gross 
  S/SHomeric1913 F. Schichau 32†354 gross 
  S/SIonic (1)1883 Harland & Wolff 4†753 gross 
  S/SIonic (2)1902 Harland & Wolff 12†352 gross 
  S/SJusticia1917 Harland & Wolff 32†234 gross 
  S/SLapland1908 Harland & Wolff 17†540 gross 
  S/SLaurentic (1)1908 Harland & Wolff 14†892 gross 
  S/SLaurentic (2)1927 Harland & Wolff 18†724 gross 
  S/SMajestic (1)1890 Harland & Wolff 9†965 gross 
  S/SMajestic (2)1914 Blohm & Voss 56†551 gross 
  S/SMedic1899 Harland & Wolff 11†985 gross 
  S/SMegantic1908 Harland & Wolff 14†878 gross 
  S/SNaronic1892 Harland & Wolff 6†594 gross 
  S/SNomadic (1)1891 Harland & Wolff 5†749 gross 
  S/SNorthland1915 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11†905 gross 
  S/SOceanic (1)1871 Harland & Wolff 3†707 gross 
  S/SOceanic (2)1899 Harland & Wolff 17†274 gross 
  S/SOlympic1911 Harland & Wolff 46†439 gross 
  S/SPersic1899 Harland & Wolff 11†973 gross 
  S/SPittsburgh1922 Harland & Wolff 16†322 gross 
  S/SPoland1922 Furness, Withy & Co. 8†282 gross 
  S/SRegina1918 Harland & Wolff 16†313 gross 
  S/SRepublic (1)1871 Harland & Wolff 3†707 gross 
  S/SRepublic (2)1903 Harland & Wolff 15†378 gross 
  S/SRomanic1898 Harland & Wolff 11†394 gross 
  S/SRunic (1)1889 Harland & Wolff 4†833 gross 
  S/SRunic (2)1899 Harland & Wolff 12†482 gross 
  S/SSouthland1915 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11†899 gross 
  S/SSuevic1901 Harland & Wolff 12†531 gross 
  S/STauric1891 Harland & Wolff 5†728 gross 
  S/STeutonic1889 Harland & Wolff 9†984 gross 
  S/STitanic1912 Harland & Wolff 46†329 gross 
  S/STropic (1)1871 Thos. Royden & Co 2†122 gross 
  S/STropic (2)1904 Harland & Wolff 8†262 gross 
  S/SVaderland1914 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11†899 gross 
  S/SVedic1918 Harland & Wolff 9†332 gross 
  S/SVictorian1903 Harland & Wolff 8†825 gross 
  S/SZealandic1911 Harland & Wolff 8†090 gross 
  S/SZeeland1900 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11†905 gross 

You can click the Sort icon icon to sort the table by different parameters.
Some companies may have had additional ships in their fleets to those mentioned above. They might not have been included if the ships were not engaged in the conveyance of emigrants. Some ships mentioned in the fleet lists may have been chartered from other companies, see the ship's description and history for more details.

Emigrant Ship databases

Agents & Shipping lines
Shipping lines, Norwegian agents, authorizations, routes and fleets.

Emigrant ship Arrivals
Trond Austheim's database of emigrant ship arrivals around the world, 1870-1894.

Norwegian departures
100 Years of Emigrant Ships from Norway - indexed by year 1825-1925
Passenger lists
Norwegian Emigrants 1825-1875 Pre 1875 Norwegian emigrants, passenger lists
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A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
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