American Family Immigration History Center. Explore Your Family History at Ellis Island.  
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New York, NY (March 2005) -  You don’t have to be a genealogist or have ancestors who came to America through Ellis Island to enjoy discovering the “famous arrivals” now featured on Among the millions of records that are available online for free as part of the American Family Immigration History Center® brought to you by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, you will find:

  • Madeline Astor—19-year-old pregnant bride of John Jacob Astor IV, who was rescued from the sinking Titanic by the Carpathia and brought with other survivors to New York, while her husband perished with the ship.
  • Rudolph Valentino—legendary silent film star who left Italy penniless to find fame and fortune in America.
  • Henny Youngman—“King of the One Liners” who arrived with his Russian Jewish parents from England, where he had been born just six months earlier.
  • Leslie Howard—British-born son of Hungarian Jews came to America and headed for Hollywood and is best known for his portrayal of the quintessential Southern gentleman Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind.
  • Xavier Cugat—Spanish-born bandleader known as “King of the Rhumba” arrived as a teen-ager from Havana, Cuba, where his family had emigrated years earlier, to further his music career.
These are just a few of the famous immigrants and travelers who are listed on For example, did you know that Harry Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt shared a boat to New York? Or how about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung?

The “famous arrivals” are included in the immigration and travel information of the 25 million people who entered America through the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1892-1924. Forty percent of Americans can trace their roots back to at least one ancestor whose records are included in this database.

The American Family Immigration History Center® is located at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Its online database has had over 6 BILLION hits since its launch in April 2001. Its fascinating treasure trove of historical information makes one of the most popular genealogical destinations on the Internet.

About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created a museum in the Statue’s base and the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and the American Family Immigration History Center™ and saved and restored a total of five buildings on Ellis Island. The Foundation promised to its donors in the 1980s and established in 1993 an endowment under the auspices of its board of directors that would annually help maintain the work the Foundation had done on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and enhance the visitor experience for years to come. Since the endowment’s inception, proceeds from its principal have funded over 200 projects at the islands for a total of $12.3 million. The Foundation spearheaded a campaign, in the wake of 9/11, to raise the funds for and manage the construction work necessary to make critical safety and security upgrades to the Statue so that the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior could reopen Lady Liberty's doors to the public on August 3, 2004.

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