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Search Ellis Island Records for Free

 
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Suronda
Co-Founder


Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 97
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Search Ellis Island Records for Free Reply with quote

Ellis Island's website at http://www.ellisisland.org has made ship lists available for electronic searches. The records cover 1892-1924 - the period when many immigrants, Asturians among them, arrived in the United States.

The search engine was fairly easy to use even with the limited information I had at hand. Although I didn't know the year of entry, I guessed as to the time period (1909-1915 for example). I searched by first and last name, and based on the information returned about port of departure I was able to whittle the list down. It also helped to check alternate spellings since names were often misspelled (Nicanor was listed as Nicunor, for example). The search engine will return names that are similar to the one you've entered which really helped.

Doing a search is completely free and somewhat addictive! I learned more than just the ages and names of my family when they arrived. Categories on the manifest include maiden names, place of birth, last residence, occupation, abiltity to read and write, destination in the U.S., who paid passage, previous entry to the United States, relative or friend whom immigrant is joining in the U.S. You can also see the names of others on the same ship, and I noticed that some of my grandparents' neighbors in Spelter, WV had travelled with them. Too bad it's not possible to search these records by final destination!

The site allows you to keep a notebook of your findings which is quite convenient. I also liked the fact that they use actual images of the manifests rather than showing a simple list of names. It's like looking at the real document. The site also makes pictures of the various ships used to transport immigrants available in their photo section. Enrolling is easy and this is a great place to gather information for further searching.
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:38 pm    Post subject: Ellis Island website Reply with quote

The Ellis Island website really is a gem well worth exploring. Unfortunately, it has recently disabled our ability to print pages from ships' manifests, perhaps because it sells such printouts as a fund raising device (although with little guarantee of quality).

My advice is to purchase the printouts from the website to support what they do when you are sure you have located one that you want, but to use software such as Snag-It to capture sceen images for printing when you are in the exploration stage of your genealogical research.
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Suronda
Co-Founder


Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 97
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:40 pm    Post subject: Poor Quality of Ellis Island Manifest Prints Reply with quote

Bob,

I was very disappointed with the quality of the prints I ordered from Ellis Island this past winter. Even the larger size prints (which are expensive for simple photocopies) were difficult to read. While the availability of information related to immigrant arrivals, and family searches are incredible, copies of manifests aren't. My advice is to use the sight for gathering information. Unless you're really set on having a hard-to-read copy for personal use, I see no reason to purchase the prints. Despite the site's advertising, I thought copies of the manifest pages were hardly suitable for framing!

Has anyone else had this experience?

S.
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Sweeney



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 205
Location: Virgina

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 11:49 am    Post subject: names Reply with quote

After months of searching for my grandmother's name in the Ellis Island records, I had finally given up. Today I decided to look for possible brothers or sisters of my grandparents instead. I was looking up a Manuel Artimes to see if he was possibly related to my grandfather when I spotted my grandmother and grandfather listed as travelling with manuel. Imagine my surprise. My grandfather was not listed in the index properly because he put his first name where last name should have been listed. My grandmother's entry was even stranger. It had her listed as Berdin instead of Verdin. I have seen this mistake on her Baptismal transcripts. I thought it was just a transcription mistake, but now I wonder. Is there something in Spanish spelling that would allow a B to substitute for a V? Or do the Spanish make their "V"s in such a way that they would appear to be a "B"? Making my search even harder is the fact that the person who indexed the documents recorded my grandmother's name as Bodine. I would have very found them if not by accident.
So do not give up in your search. Cool
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Donna
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1724
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:10 pm    Post subject: B and V Reply with quote

The two letters are different ways of writing exactly the same sound, which to my ears sounds somewhat like and English "b" sound made without quite closing the lips. I think that a nonstandard spelling is more likely to have been used at Ellis Island with a relatively rare surname (such as Verdin) because it is likely to have been recorded phonetically by somesome familiar with Spanish but unfamiliar with the name. Verdin itself was probably an arbitrary spelling choice (instead of Berdin) when your Werdin relatives first moved to Asturias from Belgium.

Sometimes different spellings, although pronounced alike, can have different meanings. Consider the English homophones "there", "their" and "they're" or the castellano "barón" (baron) and "varón" (a male or man).
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Sweeney



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 205
Location: Virgina

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:18 pm    Post subject: Verdin Reply with quote

Since Verdin and Berdin sound similar, I checked the Ellis Island records for Berdin. I found my grandmother's Aunt Prudencia and her brother Jose and Francisco. Supposedly, Jose returned to Spain where he died during the Civil War. Cool
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Donna
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Sweeney



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 205
Location: Virgina

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 9:02 pm    Post subject: Check for switched surnames Reply with quote

If you cannot find your relatives in the Ellis Island records do not give up. Try all variations of your family name. for example, my grandfather, Donato Artimez Menendez is listed in the records as: Donato Artimez, Donato Artemis, Donato Artimes, Donato Menendez, and Donato Menendez Artimes (he often returned to Spain to visit family). I wish I could just do a search on a first name. Cool
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Donna
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