Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman





Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Ellis Island


Ellis Island was the entry for millions of immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1954. There have been numerous books, documentaries, and movies made about the experience of those immigrants. Now people tour the museum to get a feel for those people who were looking for their dreams. 

It is possible to learn about this piece of history at Ellis Island. It is also possible to do a search for your own immigrant ancestors.

My family all came here long before Ellis Island was opened but my husband has ancestors who came through that New York port. One of them was Francesco Belmonte. He arrived in the U.S. in 1903 from Italy. He was born in 1880 and married Vicenza Bartalucci. They lived out their lives and died in Queens, New York.

Not only is it possible to find the ship passenger list but a photo of the actual ship. How wonderful is that?

The Roma


I recently read Pamela Redmond's The Possibility of You: A Novel. In the author's note she says she happened upon the Ellis Island site and found her own grandmother, Bridget McNulty, who she remembered as an old woman.

Ms. Redmond went on to question what life was like in New York for the twenty-two year old Bridget. She learned a derogatory term for Irish servants of the time was "Bridgets." The questions led to more research and in the end a book.

Writers must always be open to ideas. Family historians are always searching for more information; more about each ancestor and a step back in time. Both must keep their eyes and their minds open.





9 comments:

  1. My mother's brother came through Ellis Island (from Switzerland). when my mother came over, I don't know if she was planning on staying, but while going to WVU, she met my father and that was that. :O)

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

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    1. Who knows where your decisions will lead.

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  2. I would love to visit Ellis Island, great post. Nice to connect and follow on http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I'll be over soon.

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  3. I find the story of Ellis Island endlessly fascinating. I've been there twice and I wish I lived close enough to camp out there and do some serious writing while soaking up the atmosphere. I'm currently reading a book called World Of Our Fathers about Eastern European Jews in America, and there's a great chapter including info on Ellis Island.
    My own forefathers came via Philadelphia. :-)

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    1. I'll have to look for that book. I've never been there but I understand about wanting to write in these types of places.

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  4. We are on the same page! I considered the Eastman newsletter, English records, and even the need for Evidence. But Ellis Island is E - ssential. Right?

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  5. We are on the same page! I considered Eastmans newsletter, English records, and even the need for Evidence. But Ellis Island is E-sential! Right?

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    1. Funny. My list included everyday life and evidence. Great minds think alike.

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