Ellis Island National Monument

Ellis Island National Monument

Ellis Island Immigrant Oral Histories Available Online

September 15, 2010, 7:07 am

Ancestry.com has added a collection of more than 1,700 recorded oral histories from immigrants who arrived in the United States through Ellis Island. This is the first time this collection of poignant recordings has been available online.

Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants between 1892 and 1954. The oral histories were captured by the National Park Service starting in the 1970s, and contain uniquely inspiring first-hand accounts recalling the lives these immigrants left behind, their reasons for leaving and their incredible and often-trying journeys to America. These recordings are housed at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and until now could be heard only by visitors to the Island itself. In addition to oral histories from immigrants, the collection also includes recordings from military personnel who were stationed on Ellis Island and former Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty workers.

The Ellis Island Oral History Collection will remain permanently free on Ancestry.com.

The Ellis Island Oral Histories are the latest addition to Ancestry.com, which boasts the world’s largest online collection of U.S. immigration records. Comprised of more than 170 million records, the Ancestry.com U.S. Immigration Collection includes lists of passengers who immigrated by ship to America between 1820 and 1960, including those who came through Ellis Island; more than 7 million citizenship and naturalization records; border crossings, passport applications and more to help reconstruct our ancestors’ journeys and early lives in America.