90 million records from the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection bring to light the stories of millions of immigrations, arrivals and visits to America spanning 138 years

Ellis Island & Other New York Passenger Lists

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 2, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the addition of the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection to SuperSearch™, the company’s global search engine containing more than 8.25 billion historical records. The records are of major significance for anyone looking to trace their immigrant ancestors’ arrival in America, and include names, dates, countries of origin, addresses of family members and friends, occupations, and physical descriptions, among many other details.

The passenger manifests are an unparalleled source of information spanning key years of immigration from all over the world, including those entering the United States as refugees during the First and Second World Wars. The records include millions of entries via Ellis Island, which opened its doors on January 1, 1892. The first 72 years of the collection pre-date Ellis Island; Prior to the establishment of Ellis Island, the primary immigration station in New York City was Castle Garden, which opened in 1855, and before then, immigrants were received at several piers across the city. Towards the end of the time frame, in the 1940s and 1950s, advancements in transportation methods are noticeable as records begin to include those who arrived via airplane to various airports in and around the city. The plethora of information in the records is expected to invigorate family histories, adding previously unknown stories of how family members uprooted their lives, and replanted them in the United States.

As of 1897, immigration officials began asking those entering the United States for the name and address of the relative or friend whom they are joining in the USA, and in 1907 they began asking for the name and address of their closest relative or friend in their home country. The responses to these supplemental questions, that have been filled in the passenger manifests, have now been indexed by MyHeritage for the very first time, yielding an additional 26.6 million names in the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection on MyHeritage. These passenger manifests have been digitized by other organizations in the past, but the answers to these vital supplemental questions have never been indexed — until now. Furthermore, many of the passenger manifests span two pages, and a common omission for genealogists has been to locate the first page and miss the existence of the second. MyHeritage has solved this problem for the first time by stitching the double pages into single document images, ensuring that users do not miss information again.

Many historical figures of interest are found among these records, including Albert Einstein (who arrived in the US on October 17, 1933), former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright (arrived November 11, 1948) and Charlie Chaplin (arrived October 1912). Composer and songwriter Irving Berlin who moved to the U.S. in 1903, appears on several manifests arriving from different places in Europe.

Users with family trees on MyHeritage will immediately benefit from Record Matching technology that automatically reveals new information about their ancestors who appear in these records.

“The Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection is a major asset on MyHeritage is a major asset for family history enthusiasts,” said Russ Wilding, Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage. “When we digitized this collection we employed out-of-the-box thinking to cover important aspects that were overlooked by others in the past. This makes this collection on MyHeritage the most complete and useful of its kind.”

MyHeritage is working to add additional immigration records into the collection from other port cities from around the United States, as well as several important Canadian border crossings, in the near future.

Searching the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection is free. A subscription is required to view records and scanned images and to access Record Matches.

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