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About Ellis Island

About Ellis Island

Ellis Island, now a 27.5-acre site located just minutes off the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York, is likely to connect with more of the American population than any other spot in the country. It has been estimated that nearly half of all Americans today can trace their family history to at least one person who passed through the Port of New York at Ellis Island. Now, nearly a century since the peak years of immigration, Ellis Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the National Park Service.


 Browse the sections below to locate additional information about Ellis Island.

During the years of Ellis Island immigration from 1892-1924, there were more than twenty million individual stories that would eventually be shared with family and friends. Whether passengers or crew, first class or steerage, the voyage was an unforgettable experience. This section depicts two examples of the trip to paint a more vivid picture. Read more.

Ellis Island History 

Have you ever wondered where the name Ellis Island came from or what the island was used for before it became known worldwide as the Gateway to America? This detailed history, courtesy of the National Park Service, takes you through the pre-Colonial period, through the American Revolution, the beginnings of Ellis Island as an immigration portal, and ultimately documents the use of Ellis Island as a museum to American immigration. Read more.

Ellis Island Timeline 


The timeline history of Ellis Island allows you to select a period of historical interest and quickly read a brief description of what the island was used for, what it was called, and how it would evolve into the Ellis Island we know today. Read more.

Ellis Island Photo Albums 

These photo albums depict Ellis Island then and now. A collection of images from the 1890's and early 1900's show conditions aboard various ships, the Ellis Island Dining Room, immigrant processing at Ellis Island, and close-up views of the clothing worn by newly arriving immigrants. The "Ellis Island Now" album is a collection of modern day images of the attractions of this popular National Monument - including views of the Statue of Liberty, the Great Hall, the American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center® and more. Read more.

Ellis Island Family Histories 

Share the experience of searching for an Ellis Island ancestor with one of six individuals. These individual stories, each unique in their own way, present a theme common among Americans today in searching for clues about their ancestral homeland. Read more.

Ellis Island & The Peopling of America 


Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Lithuanian . . . there were hundreds of immigrant groups that contributed to the building and expansion of America throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. As word of new opportunities in America reached foreign shores, some entire villages relocated to this Land of Opportunity, bringing their customs, culture and cuisine with them. The Peopling of America examines the trends in a changing population.

Visiting Ellis Island 

Are you planning a visit to Ellis Island? Each year, more than three million visitors from around the world walk through the Great Hall at Ellis Island. The ferry ride and island grounds are a favorite destination for family vacations and reunions, school and group trips. Ellis Island also provides a clear view of both the New York City and New Jersey skylines. Read more.

Plan Your Trip to Ellis Island Today!

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