Free Access to Immigration Collection Extended Through 31 December 2006


Free Access to the Most Comprehensive Collection of Available Passenger List Records 1820-1960 Sparks 25 Percent Increase in Site Usage; Offer Extended Through December 31, 2006

PROVO, UTAH – November 28, 2006 –, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced it is extending free access to the most extensive immigration records collection online through the end of the year. On November 9, the company released the most comprehensive collection of all readily available U.S. passenger list records from 1820 to 1960, providing access to more than 100 million names from the height of U.S. immigration. originally offered free access to its immigration records through November 30 to celebrate the launch of the passenger list collection. Due to overwhelming response, the company is now extending the offer through the end of 2006.

“The passenger list collection has struck a chord in communities, sparking interest like we’ve never seen before,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO,, Inc., parent company of “Each record in this collection is a memorial to what was most likely the most important day in the lives of our ancestors and millions of people are connecting emotionally and literally to these records. To commemorate and honor their remarkable stories, is providing free access to the largest collection we have ever offered for the longest period of time.” has experienced its highest-ever site page views since the launch of the passenger list collection. Average page views per day have increased by 25 percent, from 12 to 15 million over the past month, and by more than 30,000 page views per day from new visitors. In its first week, the site experienced a 26 percent increase in average unique visitors per day from the previous month. is the only source for the largest compilation of passenger list records available and fully-searchable online. An estimated 85 percent of Americans have an immigrant ancestor included in this passenger list collection, which took more than three years to digitize and transcribe and includes the complete Ellis Island Collection, as well as records from more than 100 other U.S. ports of arrival. The collection also provides access to more than 7 million original passenger list records and 1,000 digital images of actual ships, allowing users to easily view and print these documents at the click of a mouse from home. Of the 23,000 record sets available on, this collection is one of the most moving as it celebrates the courage, hopes, fears and memories of millions of America’s immigrant ancestors.

To memorialize and complement the collection, Ancestry has also launched the Ellis Island microsite, an interactive glimpse into the immigration experience. This unique site delves into the details of the entire immigrant experience, illustrating the story of immigration from start to finish through original photos, maps, first-hand accounts and oral histories from people who arrived in America during this great immigration era. Users can access’s Ellis Island site at has received numerous emails and stories from users about their breakthrough discoveries while searching the immigration collection:

“I knew when my uncle was born, that he had lived with his father in London and had immigrated to the United States after WW II. Beyond this, I knew very little. I entered his name in the search, gave a 10-year span when he might have traveled and guessed that his departure port would have been London. Within moments, I had found that he and his family traveled from Auckland, New Zealand aboard the S.S. Orsovaon June 4, 1956, arriving in San Francisco 17 days later,” said Anto, an customer.

10 thoughts on “Free Access to Immigration Collection Extended Through 31 December 2006

  1. Thank you so very much for the extension. This was an early Christmas present and much appreciated.

  2. I knew that my grandparents had married in Ontario, Canada, in 1909. I found this out on the Ontario marriages site. I never knew my grandfather or what happened to him; however, I knew that my dad grew up in Scotland and England. On the free immigrant site I found that my dad and his mother had crossed the Canadian/United states border in 1924, along with some other info. On this my grandmother was listed as a widow. Now I need to find out just when and where my grandfather (John Brown) died. I do have his date and place of birth in Coldstream, Scotland, in 1881.

  3. I found my great-great-great grandmother, and her two children, on the good ship SS Wisconsin, which traveled from Liverpool, England to New York, in 1870. It is so awesome that I can print out the original document, listing them. Thanks for access to this material.

  4. So glad it has been extended. I only have the UK subscription and if I want to look at the American/Canadian stuff I have to trek to the library and book a slot on their computers. Not a problem really but I do most of my research between 9pm and 11pm when the library is closed.

  5. Thank you for making this collection available to everyone. I have an Ancestry subscription, but it does not include the Immigration Collection. A few days(nights)ago I found my gr gr grandparents and their 7 year old son coming in 1852. Their reason for coming was to avoid the wars in Europe, but when the Civil War came along, their son enlisted (in his father’s place) and died in the war. Now I have an exact date and the name of their ship.
    Sue Dufour

  6. Thank you so much for the great Christmas present. I was able to find the ship that my great-great grandmother and her family took to come to the US. I was also able to follow them from the 1900 census through the 1930 census!

  7. Thank you sooooo much for your labor of years to organize the shipping records. I have been trying to find my great grandparents immigration from Corwall England for decades and grew tired of going through ship by ship by ship at the National Archieves.

    I found both families immigrating from Liverpool in 1852 and 1855 respectively. And seeing the original documents provided other relatives with whom they sailed. Many, many thanks!!!

  8. I had periodically checked the Ellis Island files for info about my grandmother’s immigration in 1911, but was unable to locate her. As a result of the files I was thrilled to find her and a picture of the ship she arrived on. I tried to print or copy a picture of the ship, but was not able to do that. Then I went back to Ellis Island and found additional info that was not available on, i.e. where she had been living before she immigrated and where she would live once she arrived here. That leaves me wondering if just copied one page of the immigration roster. If so, there is a great deal more info on subsequent pages that is of genealogical value. I would also like to note that one reason I was not able to locate her on the Ellis Island files when I first searched was that her first name, Josephine, was spelled Josefine on the ship manifest. I think makes it easier to find people with their search features.

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