How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold a live webinar that should interest many genealogists. Here is the announcement:

How Castle Garden Records Burned in the Ellis Island Fire*

USCIS “Records Found” LIVE Webinar, Friday, May 29, 2015 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Exactly what records burned in the 1897 fire that consumed Ellis Island? Were “some,” “many,” “most,” or “all” records destroyed? Were passenger lists destroyed or “only administrative” records? Some say State and municipal records were burned, but why would those records be at a Federal immigration station? Did we really lose anything in that fire? Join Marian L. Smith and the live USCIS Records Found webinar at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 29th for answers to these burning questions for New York passenger list research.

More information and links to the handout and the session are at

* This webinar presentation was previously delivered on March 27, 2015, but suffered audio difficulties. For this reason the presentation will repeat. The webinar is not recorded. Please do not place recording devices near your phone or computer as these cause feedback and prevent others from hearing.

“Records Found” Case Studies – A bi-monthly “teaching with documents” webinar presenting selected documents from among those processed by the USCIS Genealogy Program or found among agency records at the National Archives or online. Professional genealogists, genealogical writers and educators.


I’ve never taken part in a webinar which required installing software. I may have missed it but, I don’t see any provision to view the recorded session if you can’t be there at the scheduled time. That’s beyond silly.


This requires downloading an AT&T program to your computer, which is on a trial basis unless you are an AT&T customer (which I am). It does not say how much it costs if you are a customer. They had one in March which was a flop, could only handle 129 calls.
Go figure, our Government could not run a car wash let alone a webinar. How much did their contract with AT&T cost the Taxpayers? Not your fault Dick.


I too was unable to sign on just now. They do say on the website that 125 is their limit. Nowhere did I find the numeric event ID.


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