During the early twentieth century, immigration to New York and into the United States took place through Ellis Island. Between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million immigrants came through Ellis Island on their way to a new life in the United States. In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, immigrants entered the country. Today, you can use the records at Ellis Island to help trace your family’s history.
On January 1, 1892, the first immigrant was processed in the national facility on Ellis Island. A fifteen year old girl, Annie Moore, is the first recorded immigrant through Ellis Island. Most immigrants entered through the New York port during its years of operation, although some did enter in other places like Boston or on the West Coast. Experts suggest that over one hundred million Americans can trace their family histories through Ellis Island.
In order to pass through the immigration process into New York City, the immigrant had to have their health certified by a doctor. For those in good health and with the proper papers, the entire immigration process took between three and five hours. About two percent to immigrants were denied entry for one reason or another.
The records at Ellis Island can be an important tool for individuals who want to trace their history. Some immigrants changed their names when they immigrated so the records at Ellis Island allow their descendents to trace their ancestors back to the home country. The records can also be helpful in identifying additional family members and information about the family.
If you have the names of family members who traveled into New York, you can go online and enter the name into the Ellis Island Foundation’s search engine. You’ll need to create a free account in order to view the results of your search, but it is quick and easy to do. You’ll be able to see the passenger record and the ship manifest for many individuals that immigrated through Ellis Island.
You can also join the interactive forums online when you join The American Family Immigration History Center. The individuals posting may be able to give you help and support as you search for family history. You’ll find information and valuable research ideas.
You can also search through passenger information at Ellis Island. This can be a great vacation idea, giving you a better idea of what your ancestors experienced on their immigration journey. You’ll walk through the same buildings that they did and the museum can give you a great deal of information about what the experience on Ellis Island was like. (more…)