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The Key to the Golden Door
7/31/2014
Now you can find your Ellis Island ancestors on the Web. Our exclusive first look at the new American family Immigration History Center, online and at Ellis Island, shows how to unlock the secrets of your immigrant past.
Annie Moore, a 13-year-old Irish immigrant who came to these shores in 1892, was looking to land in a new country, not in a cutting-edge computer database. But there she is, on the World Wide Web and in new multimedia kiosks at Ellis Island — along with the 17 million immigrants who followed her through the "golden door" into America.

More than 100 million Americans have at least one ancestor who came through Ellis Island, the famed "island of hope, island of tears." It served as the nation's main immigration gateway from Jan. 1, 1892, when young Annie Moore was the first to pass through Ellis Island, until 1924. But the records of those "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" have been accessible only on microfilm and have been only partly indexed — until now.

In late April, the American Family Immigration History Center launches on the Web <www.ellisislandrecords.org> and opens to the public in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the former main building of the immigration facility. The new Web site and the multimedia visitor stations at the center will let users easily search and access the ships' passengers manifest records of everyone who entered the US through the Port of New York from 1892-1924. For the first time, the actual pages showing your ancestors' arrival in America will be only a few mouseclicks away.

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