MyHeritage: Smart “stitching” and search for New York arrivals 1820-1957

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.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading global destination for family history and DNA. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and groundbreaking search and matching technologies. Through MyHeritage DNA, the company offers technologically advanced, affordable DNA tests that reveal users’ ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to find new family members, discover ethnic origins, and to share family stories, past and present, and to treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

NYGB Society Organizes Response to the NYC Proposal on Restricting Access to Birth and Death Records

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: This is an urgent call to action.The following message was received this morning from Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee. IAJGS is the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, an active member of RPAC – the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. 

NewYorkG_B

IAJGS Records Access Alert reported on September 17 about the proposal from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene proposal on restricting access to birth and death records by imposing a 125 year embargo on birth records and 75 year embargo for death records once they are transferred to the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS).  The Municipal Archives is within DORIS.  This is similar to the 2011 Model Vital Records Act which imposes a 125 year embargo on birth records, 75 years for death, and 100 years for marriage records.  A hearing is scheduled for October 24, 2017  and written comments are invited and must be received by October 24, 2017 5:00PM ET. With about 50% of all immigrants to the US entering through Ellis Island in  New York City almost everyone, regardless of ethnicity, has an ancestral  tie to New York City and should be concerned about this proposal.  If this passes we will undoubtedly see this type of restricted access proposal spread across the United States.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is taking the leadership role on behalf of the genealogical community.  They have placed a “landing page” on their website, including a video and a petition to sign: https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/nyc-vital-records-access


Ol’ Myrt visited https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/nyc-vital-records-access to learn more about the new rules. I’ve added my name to the petition. Here are three ways you can help spread the message:

So, DearREADERS, since you are genealogists who understand the importance of access to public vital records, please share this information. 


ADDITIONAL INFO
Provided by Jan Meisels Allen

  • Marriage records are not covered by the NYC Department of Health but by the City Clerk’s Office and therefore marriage records are not affected by the proposed regulation.
  • Records currently at DORIS (birth records up to 1909 and death records to 1949) are not affected by the proposed rule.
  • To access the previous postings about  NYC Department of Health proposed regulation see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts.  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts.  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)