Friday, May 25, 2012

Something more about Ellis Island and immigration

Yesterday we talked about Ellis Island, the gateway to the USA for millions of immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. Here you have some more information about this small island, located in New York harbor, very close to the Statue of Liberty. 

Its name comes from Samuel Ellis, the man who bought it at the end of the 18th century. Ellis sold it to the New York state at the beginning of the 19th. A fort was built there, but at the end of the 19th century the federal government decided to create there an immigrant centre to control the access to the USA. Around 12 million immigrants entered in the USA through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. The island was used as customs, medical examinations centre and also as a detention station for the immigrants who were rejected and later deported (around 2% of the total number of immigrants arrived).

Today Ellis Island hosts the  Immigration Museum and belongs to the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The website of the island allows the descendants of the immigrants to know their origins. Estimates say that the ancestors of around 100 million current citizens of the USA arrived in the USA through Ellis Island. 

Liberty Island in the foreground and Ellis  Island in the background to the left

In green, the original extension of the island, which was enlarged to build different facilities 

Aerial view

An old image of Ellis Island

A Family of Russian immigrants arrived in Ellis Island in 1905

Ellis Island website, to learn more about the history of this place and look for immigrant ancestors: 

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