I saw this today on FindMyPast – Delve into the colorful history of Ellis Island and Castle Garden: https://www.findmypast.com/blog/history/ellis-island-castle-garden. It’s a long article, but thought I would give a glimpse of it.
I also wanted to point out there were many places your ancestors could enter the U. S. While Castle Garden and Ellis Island may be a good starting point if they wound up in the New York area, some ancestors could have slipped in through Canada or arrived on ships from Europe or Canada without ever registering at any port. A friend had a great-grandfather who landed at Galveston in the late 1800s, but a hurricane destroyed the records later.
The Findmypast team 1 September 2020
Ellis Island may be the most iconic immigration port in the world. Jen Baldwin provides essential information on both Ellis Island and Castle Garden to help you uncover your ancestor’s immigration records.
Ellis Island. Neighbor to the Statue of Liberty. The place where millions of immigrants entered the United States for the first time. The mental picture that many of us form when we think about our family arriving in the New World. But Ellis Island was only one of many important ports at which immigrants arrived.–snip–
Understanding the history of immigration to North America is just as important as finding your ancestor’s passenger list or naturalization record…and will help you to do just that.
Castle Garden came first
Before Ellis Island, there was Castle Garden. While the history of the two sites crosses over for several years, if you have earlier immigrants into America, you will certainly want to check the Castle Garden Immigration Index on Findmypast.
Built on the site of Fort Amsterdam, back when New York City was known as New Amsterdam, it is now part of Battery Park in lower Manhattan. On 1 August 1855, after years of use as a fort, fortifications, administrative headquarters for the Army, a beer garden and restaurant, exhibition hall, opera house, and a few other things, the Emigrant Landing Depot officially opened.