Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.
Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy parts of the historic Main Building and museum, including most of the exhibits and both elevators, remain closed at this time. More »
Conducting Family History Research on Ellis Island
The American Family Immigration History Center (AFIHC), located on the first floor of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, is where visitors can conduct family history research on Ellis Island. For a small fee, you and your family can log on to one of the computers, type in a name, and begin your journey of discovery. You can access the passenger records of the ships that landed millions of immigrants, crew members, and other passengers at the Port of New York from 1892 to 1924. Copies of these ship manifests as well as pictures of most of the ships are available for purchase. For the use of the AFIHC computers and for the help provided by the trained staff of the AFIHC, there is a minor fee.
The same information being accessed by the AFHIC's computers at Ellis Island can also be accessed online for no cost at ellisisland.org. You can order copies of passenger manifests, ships pictures, and other family heritage documents.
The other "list of names" at Ellis Island is the Wall of Honor, located north of the Main Building. The Wall of Honor contains names of people whose families donated to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation in order to have the names inscribed on the wall as a way to honor their ancestors and family heritage. The people listed on the Wall of Honor did not necessarily enter the United States through Ellis Island and not all of the Ellis Island immigrants are listed on the Wall of Honor.
Did You Know?
Although Ellis Island is federal property and has always been historically considered in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed a "Special Master" to mediate. The ruling in 1998 determined that the original island belongs to New York and the rest of the island, added after 1834, belongs to New Jersey.