National Ellis Island Family History Day

National Ellis Island Family History Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on April 17th. It celebrates all of the ancestors who passed through Ellis Island and encourages people to find out the history behind their names. This is a fine day for people to visit the Statue of Liberty History Center or to do a search online for their family using the website

People can also research famous immigrants who have come through the “Golden Door” to America. This is a holiday that’s been celebrated for many years now and as the years pass, more people become interested in where their ancestors come from and begin to celebrate this day.

The History Of National Ellis Island Family History Day

This holiday was created in 2001 when Ellis Island decided to give everyone digital access to their records. This gave millions of American families the opportunity to research their family history from the comfort of their homes. Not long after, several American governors officially declared April 17th as National Ellis Island Family History Day and it’s been observed ever since.

Some Interesting Facts About Ellis Island

Below are some interesting facts we’ve uncovered about Ellis Island. We hope the following facts will illuminate the importance and role of the busiest immigrant inspection station in the entire U.S.

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

Observing National Ellis Island Family History Day

This day can be observed simply 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 adventure because we’re quite sure that once you start digging into your family history then you’re probably not going to be able to stop.

You can also use the hashtag #EllisIsldanFamilyHistoryDay to spread the word about this holiday or to spread the word about the amazing genealogical discoveries you’ve made.

When is it?
This year (2023)
April 17 Monday
Next year (2024)
April 17 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
April 17 Sunday
Culture & History, Relationships & Family