How Do You Search for Passengers at Ellis Island?


Quick Answer

To search for immigrants who entered the United States between 1892 and 1924, the Ellis Island records database is available online and through kiosks at the Ellis Island American Family Immigration History Center. Records for passengers arriving after 1924 aren't available in the database. Those records are available on microfilm from the National Archives and local Family History Centers.

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Full Answer

The Ellis Island records database allows searches by the passenger's name, year of arrival, year of birth, ship name and town or village of origin. Results provide links to a transcribed record and digitized copy of the original ship manifest. Searchers may find information such as surname, gender, date of arrival, ethnicity, marital status and other personal details in the records.

More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island during its time as an entry facility to the United States. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, an Irish girl, in 1892. The last person to pass through Ellis Island was Arne Peterssen, a Norwegian merchant seaman, in 1954. In 1954, Ellis Island closed, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1990, after a long renovation, the main building re-opened as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Ellis Island is administered by the National Park Service.

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