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# Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Help Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors!
Posted by Diane



It took me two years to find my great-grandfather in Ellis Island’s passenger database. I finally found him after getting his naturalization papers, then using the arrival date reported in those papers and Steve Morse’s passenger search to browse records by month.

It turns out my ancestor was listed under a short form of his birth name—not the name he used in America—and both he and his wife made themselves two years older.

(You can read the long version of my immigrant ancestor search saga here.)

Almost half of all Americans have a relative who immigrated through Ellis Island, making its passenger records a key source for linking your family tree to the old country. But if your ancestors fibbed, used an unfamiliar name, didn’t arrive when you think they did, or were mistranscribed in the passenger database, you’ll have a hard time finding them. 



Our July 21 webinar will help you overcome these challenges by sharing the secrets to finding your ancestors in a sea of records. Presenter Lisa A. Alzo will show you how to identify Ellis Island immigrants, take you around the EllisIsland.org website, and demonstrate tools to help you search efficiently.

Click here to register for the live webinar Ellis Island: Find Your Ancestor in a Sea of Online Records.

And we're giving registered attendees $25 off our Family Tree University course Tracing Immigrants: How to Research Your Family’s American Arrivals.

Click here to view all FTU courses.

Editor's Pick | immigration records | Webinars
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:57:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 4:35:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
What is your source for the assertion that "Almost half of all Americans have a relative who immigrated through Ellis Island"?
Oxa
Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:23:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hello,
See the first paragraph here: http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island.asp

And see the tenth bullet point here: http://www.ellisisland.org/Eiinfo/Press_PASSENGER.asp

Best,
Diane
Diane
Thursday, July 15, 2010 3:20:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Steve Morse's One-Step Ellis Island search was instrumental for me in finding my Oseas family's passenger manifests. I had tried in vain for many years searching through microfilm, then later, the Ellis Island database.

Only when the One-Step search engine came online did I discover my family's records and learn the reason why: the family last name was indexed such that the Soundex value was sufficiently different than what I was looking for (a misreading of the name or typo in the index value). Also, all of the family members were listed by their Yiddish first names, which I did not know at that time.
David Oseas
Comments are closed.