Expanded Ellis Island Immigrant Records 1820-1957 are now Online for Free

FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced today the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are now available online on both websites giving the opportunity to the descendants of over 100 million arrivals to discover their ancestors quicker and free of charge.

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.

Details may be found in the FamilySearch Blog at: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/archive-ellis-island-records/.


Apparently, Family Search did their own transcriptions of these records instead of using Castle Garden’s. Several years ago I downloaded a couple of my ancestor’s immigration records from Castle Garden and found that the new transcriptions have the arrival date one year late.
Additionally, whoever did the transcription assumed that the column “The Country to Which They Severally Belong.” means their place of birth. This is not correct, this means the Country where they live.
I know that transcriptions can be difficult, yet this particular image is good. I’d recommend comparing the two records and always remember that transcribers can & will make errors. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find how to submit corrections to Family Search.


    Exactly my thought! I find it very helpful that Find my Past has a form on their transcription page for censuses where you can submit corrections. Some errors are SO obvious and severely affect the ability to find the records that my conscience demands I submit a correction if I come across an obvious
    mistake. For instance when the head of the household has been transcribed one way and the rest of the family’s name is misspelled/mistranscribed, it’s a fluke if you can find a daughter, for instance. I know the rule of transcription is ‘ONLY what is written’, but when you can see dad’s name right above, clear as can be, that’s frustrating. If you aren’t sure about handwriting when transcribing, you look for clues in other entries in the same hand. Browsing is still a Very valid search technique!


“Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957”
Those poor immigrant souls arriving in 1820 who had to wait 72 years until Ellis Island opened!


    There was a really long line the first day Ellis Island opened. Fortunately, everyone had brought lawn chairs to ease the 72 year wait.


Thank you transcribers, hope that eventually the records are tied to a photo of that record. What would really May me holler Yippie would be a list of the many physicians who worked at Castle Garden or Ellis Island. My great grand father should be on that list somewhere.


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