Thursday 9 November 2017

MyHeritage adds enhanced NYC immigration records

MyHeritage has indexed the names and addresses
of immigrants' families 'back home' as well as those
of the relatives/family they were joining in the USA.
These details from the passenger manifests have not
been indexed before.
MyHeritage has added the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection to its database.

Holding more than 94 million records, this collection contains details of immigrants arriving at the port of New York between 1820 and 1957. While the Ellis Island database (1892-1957) is best known, the 'Other' of the new collection's title refers to two earlier immigrant processing stations in the city: Castle Garden (1855-1890) and the Barge Office (1890-1892).

Early passenger lists were single-page manifests and recorded minimal information about passengers,but  forms were standardised over time and additional questions added. Depending on the year of immigration, information recorded about a passenger may include name, age, gender, occupation, dates, destination, physical descriptions, and information regarding place of origin, e.g. native country, citizenship status, race, nationality or birthplace.

From 1897, immigration officials began asking passengers for the name and address of the relative/friend whom they are joining in the USA, and in 1907 they began asking for the name and address of their closest relative or friend in their home country.

The responses to these questions were filled in on the passenger manifests, but they have now been indexed by MyHeritage for the very first time, yielding an additional 26.6 million names in this collection. In addition, many of the passenger manifests span two pages, and a common omission for genealogists has been to locate the first page and miss the existence of the second. MyHeritage has solved this problem by stitching the double pages into single document images, ensuring that users do not miss information.

The new collection can be found under the Research tab on the Startup page. Searching the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection is free but a subscription is required to view records and scanned images.