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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
on our Web Guides CD from ShopFamilyTree.com.
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.