Help reading an Ellis island record

Can you search Ellis Island records for free?

Ellis Island has an online searchable database, created by the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, of 22.5 million arrivals to New York between 1892 – 1924. Registration is required but free, and you can view scanned images of actual passenger manifests. You can also purchase copies through the site.

Can you search names at Ellis Island?

You can search the name index for your ancestors or browse the record images. This is a searchable index of 25 million names of immigrants and international passengers who arrived at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. Once you find a name of interest, you can click through to view individual record images at FamilySearch.

Can you look up your ancestors at Ellis Island?

At the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration and on the Foundation’s website you can explore your family heritage by searching nearly 65 million passenger records and ship manifests, examining information collected at debarkation points.

How can I find the passenger list of a ship?

The National Archives has passenger arrival records, sometimes called “ship passenger lists,” for arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and December 1982 (with gaps). The records are arranged by port or airport of arrival.

Are immigration records public?

The USCIS arrival records and A-Files are available through the USCIS Freedom of Information Act Program (FOIA).

How do I find my immigrant ancestors?

Census records are the perfect place to start

Try to locate the immigrant and their household in both federal and state census records. Most censuses will ask each individual where they were born – an excellent piece of information for determining exactly which ancestor of yours was an immigrant.

What happened to most immigrants when they arrived at Ellis Island?

Despite the island’s reputation as an “Island of Tears”, the vast majority of immigrants were treated courteously and respectfully, and were free to begin their new lives in America after only a few short hours on Ellis Island. Only two percent of the arriving immigrants were excluded from entry.

How do you find out when your ancestors came to America?

The primary resource for most genealogical research in the United States is the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and every year more documents and records are being made available online.

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