"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."


Coming to America

by  Phyllis Zeck

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892 and was closed in 1954, with twelve million immigrants processed there by the US Bureau of Immigration.    Today, over 100 million Americans – one third of the population – can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country.

In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, over eight million immigrants had been processed by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in lower Manhattan, just across the bay.  The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed.

Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island.  Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried.

Ellis Island was sometimes known as “The Island of Tears” or “Heartbreak Island” because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage.

If you visit Ellis Island be sure to stop at The American Immigrant Wall of Honor.

In the 1980’s we made a donation to the foundation so that we could honor our immigrant ancestors.

Look for “The Pietro Del Principe Family” inscription.

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor is an exhibit of over 700,000 individual and family names.

Ashley and Don

It is the only place in the country where an individual can honor their family’s heritage at a national monument.


One Response to Coming to America

  1. 11 years ago by Don

    Great memories about our 1999 vacation to Ellis Island


Leave a Reply to Don Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *