What does over 100 million people in America have in common? Their ancestors arrived in the United States via Ellis Island or another New York immigration port. FamilySearch and Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. recently announced that the entire Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrivals list collection from 1820 to 1957 are now available on both websites, allowing offspring to have the opportunity to get to know their ancestors faster and for free. Originally a microfilm, more than 130 years old, New York passenger lists were digitalized and re-recorded with a massive amount of work of the Volunteers from FamilySearch teams. The result is a free, searchable online database with 63.7 million names, including immigrants, crews, and other passengers travelling to and from the US  via the largest port.

“The Foundation is pleased that these immigration books are for the first time free to the public,” said Stephen A. Briganti, president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. “This completes the decades-long collaboration with the FamilySearch team, which gives citizens unprecedented access to their genealogy and raises a global phenomenon that unites the past and the present.” Extended collections can be browsed on the Ellis Island Foundation website or in FamilySearch, where it is available in three collections, which represent three different migration periods. 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 previously published New York passenger arrival lists (Ellis Island) from 1892-1924. Also expanded with high-quality images and 23 million additional names.

Passenger lists of ships; Their names, ages, most recent residence, the person who sponsored them to America, the departure port and the date of arrival at New York Port and sometimes other interesting information, such as how much money they had, the number of bags and in what cabin class they were located onboard. For millions of Americans, the first episode of their biography was written on the small island of Ellis Island, located on the Upper New York Harbor. About 40% of Americans are their descendants, those who moved mainly from the European countries in 1892-1954. Millions of them passed through the Ellis Island Immigration Centre “in the Land of the free”. The lesser known fact is that Ellis Island, with the current name, has not existed until 1892. The predecessor of Ellis Island-Castle Garden was actually America’s first immigration center. Today it is known as Castle Clinton National Park, a 25-acre-beach historical Park, one of New York’s oldest parks. A tourist Mecca with the Statue of Liberty.