Ellis Island's 128th Anniversary was New Year's Day 2020

The 128th Anniversary of Ellis Island was on January 1, 2020. It is possible that some of your relatives and ancestors arrived at Ellis Island in the past.

In 1890, the States turned over control of immigration to the Federal Government. The U.S. Congress appropriated $75,000 to build the first Federal immigration station on Ellis Island. In 1892, the first Ellis Island Immigration Station was officially opened. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was an Irish teenager named Annie Moore.

In 1897, a fire destroyed most of the immigration records dating back to 1855. If your ancestors or relatives came over before that fire happened, it is likely that their records have been destroyed.

In 1921, the first Immigration Quota Law was passed. It stated that the number of any European nationality entering in a given year could not exceed three percent of foreign-born persons of that nationality who lived in the United Stated in 1910.

The Immigration Act of 1924 changed the quota basis from the census of 1910 to the census of 1890, and reduced the annual quota to 164,000. The Act also allowed for the examination and qualification of immigrants at U.S. consulates overseas. Ellis Island became a center of assembly, detention, and deportation of those who and entered the U.S. illegally. From 1938-1946, approximately 700 aliens and citizens with German, Italian, and Japanese comprising the largest groups, were detained at Ellis Island.

Ellis Island was closed in 1954, and did not reopen until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation adding Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

In 1990, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened to the public. In 2001, the American Family Immigration History Center opened. Journeys: The Peopling of America Center opened. A second phase was added in 2015.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

Your Family Name Didn’t Change at Ellis Island

‘Peopling of America Center’ on Ellis Island

USCIS to Raise Fees for Genealogy Information

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