Lady Liberty and Ellis Island

We did what needed to be done: ‘All ferry ticketing is run through Statue Cruises, which is the only vendor authorized to provide tickets and transportation to Liberty and Ellis Islands.’

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Lill has a picture of herself in this pose from so many years ago.
I know, my hair, always good for a laugh.

Here it is below, Ingalill herself, circa 1987.

The visitor’s center was very good, with interesting displays about the history and construction of the statue.


The arrival building at Ellis Island.

When talking about Ellis Island we mostly hear numbers, how many passed through this hall, from where, how long did it take, how many were turned back, and how many were sent to the hospital. The displays here tried to personalize at every turn. We saw images of individuals, the things they brought, the clothes they wore, pictures of their families back home.

And for $10 you could use their computer for 30 minutes to try to find your relatives. Is this my grandfather? We thought he came in 1910, we thought he was 17, we thought he came from Ukraine but then google has never heard of Hamentz, Russia.

We three sisters remember the story differently so I’m going to tell my version! Grandpa told me that when he was coming to America, when he first caught sight of the Statue of Liberty he jumped off the ship and swam the rest of the way straight to New York City. But then he was the kind of guy who might very well make up a city to be from…

Inside our 30 minutes I couldn’t remember the first and last name of my other grandparents, all immigrants who would have come through Ellis Island. Lill couldn’t remember the full names of any of her relatives that came during the time frame (1892-1954) either! I think this resource is available online and you might not even have to pay the 10 bucks.

The below is a photo from the screen.

UPDATE Sep 26!

Above is the ship’s handwritten manifest including my grandfather’s entry, line 4, and this is a blowup of the Place of Birth in Russia. The typist had transcribed the name as Hamentz, so I started googling around starting with a K and look at that, Kamenetz (Kamenets) is a place in western Ukraine!

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