Complete Archive of Ellis Island Records—Now Online for Free

August 13, 2018  - by 
Search free new Ellis Island archives and historical records to find your ancestors

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are famous landmarks in U.S. history. The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island, is a symbol of freedom. Ellis Island opened the gates to millions as the home of the Ellis Island Immigration Station—and millions of passenger arrival records for U.S. immigrants came with it. Now, a complete collection of Ellis Island passenger lists is available online and searchable for free at FamilySearch.

These ship passenger records span more than half the nation’s history, including millions of arrivals during the “Great Wave” of immigration (1880s–early 1920s). They also include a variety of transportation types, from the 380-ton cargo ship Hector that arrived from Liverpool on 8 January, 1820 to VARIG Airlines flight 850 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that arrived in New York on 2 July, 1957.

Ship passenger lists can teach you more than you might think about your traveling ancestors. Earlier records may include a full name, age, gender, occupation, nationality, intended destination (country), name of ship and date of arrival. Later records may also name traveling companions and relatives “back home” or in the United States. You may also learn a relative’s marital status, physical description, last permanent residence, or birthplace. Any of these details can help you build your family tree and connect with your immigrant ancestors.

Find your immigrant ancestors that came through Ellis Island with FamilySearch's complete collection of passenger lists.

Search Ellis Island Records for Free

A trio of new collections representing the complete archive of Ellis Island passenger records is now available on the free genealogy website, FamilySearch. Search these to discover your immigrant ancestors during 3 distinct time periods:

How to find your Ellis Island immigrant ancestors and where they came from.
New York Passenger Lists (Castle Garden) 1820–1891

These passenger lists document over 13 million immigrants and international travelers who arrived in New York City beginning in 1820, when the federal government first required ship captains to submit lists of passengers to customs officials. Among these records are customs passenger lists for those who arrived at Castle Garden, the State of New York’s official immigrant reception facility, during its years of operation (1855–1890). You can search the name index for your ancestors or browse the record images.

New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892–1924

This is a searchable index of 25 million names of immigrants and international passengers who arrived at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. Once you find a name of interest, you can click through to view individual record images at FamilySearch. If you’re interested in seeing a photo of the actual ship your ancestor travelled on, or learning more about Ellis Island as a historic port of entry into the US, check out the free Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island website.

New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists 1925–1957

Search nearly 29 million indexed names (and over 5 million record images) for these lists of post-Ellis Island-era international arrivals in New York Harbor and at New York airports.

Not sure when your immigrant ancestors arrived? Here’s a tip: If they were alive between 1900 and 1930, look them up in the 1900, 1910, 1920 or 1930 U.S. censuses. There should be a column indicating their year of arrival. Still not sure? Search for their names in all three of the passenger list collections—it’s free.

Search now for your ancestors in passenger arrival lists for 1820–1891, 1892–1924, or 1925–1957. Then share your story! We’d love to hear about your search. #familysearch

Find and share your Ellis Island immigrant ancestors' stories through FamilySearch.


Learn more about Ellis Island and the immigrants that came through there. Who were they? Where did they come from? Did my ancestors go through Ellis Island?

How to use Ellis Island archives in genealogy research to find your ancestors



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  2. My husband’s grandfather, Albert Haegele, came to Ellis Island in 1902 from Germany. Looking for more information.

  3. Searching for Susanna Knapek, my Grandmother w ho came from Prague, Czech around 1900, married my Grandfather Stephen Stefl in1906 in Wiscomsin.

  4. Dear Sir or Madam,
    My name is Kazuhisa Ogawa, Project Professor University of Shizuoka,Japan.

    I am looking for the identities of Jewish twin brothers, and I would greatly appreciate your help and advice.

    I was told about your site by the JewishGen Discussion Group.

    The purpose of this research is to write a biography of my mother, who was born in 1903.

    I am not proficient in English, so I will use machine translation and itemize the survey items.

    My mother told me about the following 14 points.

    1) They are adult male twins.
    2) I don’t know their name.
    3) In 1938, they escaped from Shanghai to New York via Yokohama.
    4) They were persecuted by the Nazis and are thought to have fled from the Austrian area.
    5) It was my mother’s friend, Ernst Stoeri, who sent them into defection.
    6) Stoeri was the Austrian Honorary Consul General in Tokyo until 1938.
    7) Stoeri is also Jewish, and his brothers were killed in the Dachau concentration camp.
    8) Stoeri was also detained by the Japanese military police in Tokyo on the orders of the Gestapo.
    9) The twin brothers were part of a wealthy American family, and the wealthy family was apparently involved in the oil business.
    10)They contacted Stoeri to offer him the right to sell oil in Asia as a reward for helping their escape.
    11)Then, they sent a tanker to Japan as a sample.
    12) My mother suggested that the Japanese Navy buy that oil.
    13)However, while the Japanese Navy faltered, ironically, the German ambassador, Major General Ott, bought it.
    14) That one incident led my mother to accuse the Japanese military of incompetence, which was suppressed until the end of the war.

    What I would like to know are the following 8 points. Please only tell me what you know.

    ・The names of these twin brothers.
    ・Age at the time
    ・Where have they escaped from?
    ・Date of arrival in New York
    ・The name of the family living in the U.S. that took them in.
    ・The twin brothers were able to offer Stoeri the rights to sell oil in Asia because the family, who lived in the U.S., was involved in the management of what company?
    ・The factual basis for sending a sample tanker to Japan
    ・What happened to the business relationship between the American company and Germany after the German Ambassador Ott bought it?

    The facts as they turn out will not be used for any other purpose than to describe my mother in her biography.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kazuhisa Ogawa

  5. Looking for records of Thomas or Tomasz Flis DOB 12/23/1890. Could you please help me to find him. This is very important for our family! He came to the USA before 1920. 1910- maybe. We want to know exactly where he was from? Nationality was: Polish, or Austrian or Russian.

  6. looking for great-great-grandmother and information, suspected from England, she was born 1846, Name: Susani Baker. I don’t know the year she would have come over. but in 1876 she had a son named Thos Atwell Cordova born in the states. thank you I would appreciate any help. sincerely, Rudy Ramirez

  7. Ik zoek naar afstammelingen van de Belgische / Vlaamse tak van de familie ALLIET

    Google Translate – Dutch to English: I am looking for descendants of the Belgian / Flemish branch of the ALLIET family

    1. Hi Ludo! Thank you for your research question. Please check out the FREE Virtual Genealogy Consultation Sessions where you can schedule time with a specialist to help you on any family history question you may have. You can also connect with other FamilySearch users who may be able to help you, by joining the FamilySearch Community. Good luck and thank you for reading the blog!

      Google Translate – English to Dutch: Hallo Ludo! Bedankt voor je onderzoeksvraag. Bekijk de GRATIS Virtual Genealogy Consultation Sessions < /a> waar u tijd kunt plannen met een specialist om u te helpen met al uw vragen over uw familiegeschiedenis. U kunt ook in contact komen met andere FamilySearch-gebruikers die u mogelijk kunnen helpen door lid te worden van de FamilySearch-community. Veel succes en bedankt voor het lezen van de blog!