Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com is making its entire US Immigration Collection searchable free through Labor Day, Sept. 6. (You’ll need to register for a free account to access full search results.)
The freebie celebrates the site’s release of more than 1,700 recorded oral histories from immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island. Starting in the 1970s, the National Park Service recorded of immigrants recalling the lives they left behind, why they left and the journey to America. Before now, the stories were available only to Ellis Island Immigration Museum visitors. The Ellis Island Oral History Collection will remain permanently free on Ancestry.com.
Also part of the immigration collection are nearly 2 million new US naturalization record indexes dating from 1791 to 1992, part of Ancestry.com’s World Archives Project. The indexes cover the states of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington.
And the Boston Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1943, database has been enhanced with nearly 2 million records documenting crew members on ships who arrived in Boston.
Of course, Ancestry.com’s Immigration Collection also has virtually every available passenger list for US ports, as well as the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, a good resource for tracing early immigrants.
For help searching Ancestry.com, use Family Tree Magazine’s Ancestry.com Web Guide, available on our Web Guides CD from Family Tree Shop.
Update: Ancestry.ca, the Canadian sister site to Ancestry.com, also is offering its immigration records free through Sept. 6. Here, you’ll find Canadian passenger lists and border-crossing records, among other resources.