All Ellis Island passenger records are now available and free to search at FamilySearch.org! It’s one of 8 free fresh FamilySearch collections profiled in this article. You’ll also find: New Jersey brides, France vital records, Northumberland parish records, Palermo and Chieti (Italy) civil registrations, Maryland funeral homes and the 1905 New York state census.
Ellis Island Passenger Records All On FamilySearch
Over 100 million Americans have ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island or one of its predecessor immigration stations. Now the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are available online on both FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island website, giving researchers even more options for discovering immigration records.
According to a FamilySearch release, “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.”
Searching on FamilySearch (in addition to or instead of the Ellis Island site) takes advantage of advanced searching tools on the site and the ability to attach records to profiles in the FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch has divided these records into three collections that represent three phases of migration history:
- 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
“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.”
More FamilySearch additions
England. Upwards of a million records have been added to FamilySearch’s existing collection, England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950. These are “Church of England parish registers containing baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in the county of Northumberland from 1538 to 1950. Records may include: name, parents, spouse, father’s occupation, residence, date of birth, date of marriage, burial date and place and much more depending on the record type. The original records are held at the Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives.”
France. Over 50,000 indexed names have been added to an existing collection of France, Vital Records, 1542-1900. These include “various birth, marriage and death records indexed by Bibliothèque Généalogique et d’Histoire Sociale de France.”
Italy. FamilySearch has made two major additions to its unique online collection of free Italian civil registration records. A new browse-only collection, Italy, Palermo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1820-1947, contains over 4.3 million images. Also, over 3.2 million images have been added to the existing collection, Italy, Chieti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809-1930. Available records vary by time and locale but may include civil registrations of births, marriages, and deaths; marriage banns; ten-year indexes; residency records and supplemental documents.
United States – Maryland. Over 4,000 records have been added to the collection, Maryland, Baltimore, Lock Funeral Home Records, 1936-2007. Available documents for deceased persons vary but may include death certificates, ledgers, obituaries, and miscellaneous loose papers, filled with rich genealogical information about the deceased and their relatives.
United States—New Jersey. A new collection, New Jersey, Bride Index, 1930-1938, contains nearly 240,000 indexed names. It was acquired by ReclaimTheRecords.org and donated to FamilySearch for publishing of images.
United States—New York. Over 130,000 indexed records have been added to the free-to-search New York State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch. This is a key resource for those with Empire States roots in the early 20th century, given the enormous immigrant and migrant population in New York and the general lack of public access to New York vital records.
Learn more about Ellis Island Immigration records
Learn everything you need to know about using Ellis Island immigration records in 3 special episodes in the free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast!
- Episode 29: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 1. Learn about passenger arrival lists in the U.S., the little-known certificates of arrival and naturalization records: how to find them and what’s in them.
- Episode 30: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 2. Passenger departure records created in European ports and more in-depth exploration of U.S. naturalization records.
- Episode 31: Immigration and Naturalization Records for Family History, Part 3. Learn about those mysterious scribbled annotations on passenger list annotations and the immigrant’s experience at Ellis Island.
About the Author: Sunny Morton
Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.