More than 100 million Americans have ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island or one of the New York Harbor immigration stations that preceded it. Thanks to a joint project announced today between FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., they will be able to access their ancestors' records.
The entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are now available online on both websites.
Originally preserved on microfilm, 9.3 million images of historical New York passenger records spanning 130 years have been digitized and indexed in a massive effort by 165,590 online FamilySearch volunteers, according to a press release from both organizations. The result is a free, searchable, online database containing 63.7 million names, including immigrants, crew, and other passengers traveling to and from the United States through the nation’s largest port of entry.
“The Foundation is delighted to make these immigration records accessible to the public for free for the first time,” said Stephen A. Briganti, president and CEO of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. “This completes the circle of our decades-long collaboration with the team from FamilySearch, which began with providing the public with unprecedented access to their genealogy and sparking a world-wide phenomenon linking past and present.”
The expanded collections can be searched at the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s website or at FamilySearch in three collections, representing three distinct periods of migration history.
- New York Passenger Lists (Castle Garden) 1820-1891
- New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892-1924
- New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists 1925-1957
The ship manifests list passengers, their names, age, last place of residence, who is sponsoring them in America, the port of departure, and their date of arrival in New York Harbor and sometimes other interesting information, such as how much money they carried on them, number of bags, and where on the ship they resided during its sail from overseas, according to the joint press release.
Ellis Island’s predecessor — Castle Garden — was actually America’s first immigration center. Today it is known as Castle Clinton National Park, a 25-acre waterfront historical park located within The Battery, one of New York City’s oldest parks and the departure point for tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.