Sailing With the Stars

By Lisa A. Alzo Premium

Maybe your immigrant ancestors’ names never appeared in lights, but they had different sort of brush with fame — Great-grandpa Johann might’ve sailed to America on the same ship as a future star.

Among the more than 16 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island’s “golden door” between 1892 and 1924 were quite a few passengers who eventually became US entertainment icons: Leslie Hape (you know him as Bob Hope) arrived from Bristol, England, with his parents March 30, 1908. A 5-year-old Israel Beilin — the future composer Irving Berlin — sailed with his Russian family from Antwerp on the Rhynland, arriving in New York Sept. 14, 1893.

You’ll find links to the ship manifests of these celebrity-to-be passengers on Ellis Island’s Famous Arrivals Web page <>. You can view the digitized passenger records, too, by signing up for a free registration.
From the January 2008 Family Tree Magazine