New York Ports of Entry

By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack Premium

Q. Were there New York-area ports of entry other than Ellis Island during the late 1890s and early 1900s? If so, please provide their identity and how I may contact them.

A. For New York, Ellis Island was the only port of entry during this time period. If you’re having trouble locating someone who supposedly came through the Port of New York (Ellis Island) on the Ellis Island online database, it may be simply because the name wasn’t transcribed correctly.  

Try using the flexible Ellis Island search options on Stephen P. Morse’s One-Step website. You also can check the microfilmed passenger lists or browse them online, though you’ll want to know your ancestor’s approximate arrival date and ship name. You’ll find microfilm through FamilySearch Centers, the National Archives and large genealogy libraries.
If you still aren’t finding the person, try other ports. Because Ellis Island was so well-known and publicized, many people who came to America as small children mistakenly believe they came through Ellis Island. In reality, they may have arrived at another port, such as Boston or Baltimore. You can search passenger lists on subscription site; they’re being added to the free

For more in-depth help finding your ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island, download our Ellis Island Web Guide, just $4 in Family Tree Shop.

Our Family Tree University course Tracing Immigrants: How to Research Your Family’s American Arrivals can help you find immigrants through all US ports using a variety of genealogical resources.