Explore Your Family History


Together we tell
the story.

Ellis, sign, museum 
American Passage

The History of Ellis Island

Ellis Island may not appear large on a map, but it is an unparalleled destination in United States history. After welcoming more than 12 million immigrants to our shores, Ellis Island is now a poetic symbol of the American Dream.

Explore the History

Travel Through History

The National Immigration Museum

The immigrant experience comes to life in this fascinating, world class museum. Walk the halls of the former processing station to discover the trials and triumphs of the people who passed through the Golden Door  

Tour the Museum

A Record of Dreams

The Family History Center

Find out where you fit in the continuum of American immigration. Search an extraordinary collection of arrival records to discover new layers in your ancestry and retrace your family’s journey to the gates of the United States.

Start Your Search

Chronicling the Journey

The Role Of The Foundation

Since restoring and re-opening Ellis Island in 1990, the Foundation has worked to connect modern families with their lineages, expand the Island’s education offerings, and spark interest in the history of American immigration.

How We Help

The Next Voyage

The Future Of Ellis

The Foundation brings our country’s past to light through the passion and generosity of everyday families and communities. With your support we are able to honor the legacy of American immigration and provide visitors with a meaningful connection to our nation’s heritage.

What's on the Horizon


Prepare to Embark

Explore America’s roots and find a deeper connection to your heritage and history.

Experience History

Show Your Support

Keep our ancestry alive, and help us share the story of America.


Have questions?

To get to Ellis Island, visitors must take a ferry from either Battery Park in Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Statue Cruises operates the ferry service.

Visitors should note that Statue Cruises is the only authorized concessionaire permitted to sell tickets and provide ferry access to Liberty and Ellis Islands. As such, visitors should avoid street vendors peddling tickets in and around Battery Park. Tickets sold by street vendors will not provide access to the grounds on Liberty Island and Ellis Island and the museums on each island – the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

It is not. The Statue is located on Liberty Island, just a short distance from Ellis Island, home to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

Visitors can tour the Main Building of the former immigration complex, which is now home to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. A world class experience, the Museum is home to an evocative series of exhibits and houses an amazing collections of artifacts from America’s history.

Yes. In 2001 the Foundation opened the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island, which contains a searchable database of passenger manifests for Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1820 and 1954. The database is also available online.

For information about guided tours, please visit the National Park Service website. 

Audio tours are available inside the main entrance of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration for no additional cost. Content is available in 12 languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. A family-friendly tour is also available, as are an American Sign Language (ASL) version and an Audio Descriptive (AD) version.