Web Smarts

www.ellisislandrecords.org

WHAT: From 1892 to 1924, some 5,000 people a day passed through Ellis Island. All told, some 22 million immigrants entered the US through its gates. Now, in collaboration with the Mormon Church, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has made finding the records of those who arrived here much easier.

BEST POINTS: The database, which has cataloged 70 percent of immigrants who arrived, includes: immigrants' names, port of origin, age, nationality, hometown, and marital status. In addition to having passenger data, the site also has historical data, first-person accounts, and detailed stories of how people conducted in-depth genealogical searches. A spokeswoman from the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation says 40 percent of Americans have a relative who entered America through Ellis Island.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The popularity of the site has been a problem for potential users. It had 26 million visitors in its first 54 hours of operation. To help alleviate the congestion, Compaq has loaned the site an extra 10 servers.

You may still have difficulty connecting to all parts of the site, since the new servers will come online gradually. We tried it several times and weren't always successful.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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