National Ellis Island Family History Day

National Ellis Island Family History Day is a holiday observed annually on April 17th. It celebrates all the ancestors who passed through Ellis Island and encourages people to discover the history behind their names. This day is an excellent opportunity for individuals to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument or to search online for their family history using the website

People can also research famous immigrants who have entered through the “Golden Door” to America. This holiday has been celebrated for many years, and as time passes, more individuals become interested in their ancestral origins and begin to commemorate this day.

The History of National Ellis Island Family History Day

This holiday was created in 2001 when Ellis Island provided digital access to its records. This initiative gave millions of American families the chance to research their family history from their homes. Shortly thereafter, several American governors officially proclaimed April 17th as National Ellis Island Family History Day, and it has been observed ever since.

Some Interesting Facts About Ellis Island

Below are some interesting facts we have uncovered about Ellis Island. We hope these facts will highlight the significance and role of the busiest immigrant inspection station in the U.S.

  • Ellis Island was used to execute pirates during the early 19th century.
  • The first immigrants arrived at Ellis Island on New Year’s Day of 1892.
  • There is no evidence that ethnic-sounding names were Anglicized as immigrants passed through Ellis Island.

Observing National Ellis Island Family History Day

This day can be observed by taking a few moments to learn more about your family history. Of course, a few minutes of your time will only be the beginning of the journey, because once you start exploring your family history, you are likely to find it hard to stop.

You can also use the hashtag #EllisIslandFamilyHistoryDay to spread the word about this holiday or to share the amazing genealogical discoveries you have made.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 17 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
April 17 Thursday
Last year (2023)
April 17 Monday
Culture & History, Relationships & Family