Before your wedding at Ellis Island, it’s a fabulous wedding trend among our luxury wedding couples here at our historic venue to research their ancestors who passed through our landmark upon arrival in this country. Our wedding couples have begun their research online, and come to Ellis Island to research their ancestry using our detailed databases including ship manifests and fascinating hand-signed registries. They then create displays on their family wedding photo table, sharing their ancestral connections to Ellis Island from long ago.
Your detailed photo boards, copies of the ship registers and photos of your ancestors add sentiment and charm to your personalized wedding decor, especially considering your dream wedding takes place in our historic venue with so much of a heart-connection to your families. After all, had each of your ancestors not come through Ellis Island, nor to this country, the two of you might never have met. The Ellis Island register of immigrants is a testament to your fate, future and present happiness.
Here is some information on how you can access our database of Ellis Island immigrants, for your own wedding research:
Did Your Ancestor Come Through Ellis Island?
Today, a good percentage of American citizens are related to at least one of the 12 million+ people who immigrated through Ellis Island. If your relative passed through Ellis between 1892 (when Ellis Island opened) and 1924, you can look for their immigration records* in one of two ways:
1) When you visit Ellis Island, you can go to the American Family Immigration History Center (AFIHC), operated by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. For a nominal fee, the people in AFIHC will put you on a computer so you can search for your relative.
2) You can also gain access to this same database by going to www.ellisisland.org on your home computer. Since the database is so comprehensive, it will help narrow down your results if you have the correct and alternate spellings of your relatives’ names, the year of their arrival (or a range of years,) the name of the ship they traveled on, and the names of other people traveling with them. These names will probably be grouped together, and can help you determine if a particular name is the name you are looking for.
If your ancestors did not come through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924, you will not be able to search for their records when you visit us. Records do exist, it’s just that our database does not include them. Here are some helpful suggestions and a list of other resources that can help you search for your family.
*The immigration records on this database are the ship manifests created by the shipping companies. “Ship manifests” are another way of saying “Passenger lists”. If you are looking for other kinds of records, the link above will give a list of other resources.
You can also buy commemorative copies of ship records and photos of the ships that brought your ancestors to their new world.
Some famous arrivals: http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island_famous_arrivals.asp