Salt Lake City, Utah (14 August 2018), What do over a 100 million Americans have in common? Their ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island or one of the New York Harbor immigration stations that preceded it. FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced today the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are now available online on both websites giving the opportunity to the descendants of over 100 million arrivals to discover their ancestors quicker and free of charge. (Find and share this announcement and more downloadable photos and infographics from the FamilySearch Newsroom.)
Originally preserved on microfilm, 9.3 million images of historical New York passenger records spanning 130 years were digitized and indexed in a massive effort by 165,590 online FamilySearch volunteers. 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.
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.
For millions of Americans, the first chapter in the story of their lives in the New World was written on tiny Ellis Island located in upper New York Bay off the coast of Manhattan Island. An estimated 40 percent of Americans are descended from those who emigrated, primarily from European countries in the period from 1892 to 1954. Millions of them passed through Ellis Island’s immigration center in route to lives in “the land of the free”.
A lesser known fact is that what we know today as “Ellis Island” didn’t exist before 1892. 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.
See Ellis Island and Castle Garden Immigration Records for more fun, quick facts and helpful resources.
Create your free FamilySearch Family Tree, and preserve and share your immigrant ancestors’ photos and stories.
About the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center®, and the Peopling of America Center® which transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Its newest project will be the new Statue of Liberty Museum. The Foundation’s endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.