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Did some people arrive via Ellis Island multiple times?

Did some people arrive via Ellis Island multiple times?

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 12:59PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Feb 2011 3:32PM GMT
I have manifests for my great-grandfather that seemingly show him coming over more than once. Once by himself, once with his mother and younger siblings. The details of the manifests seem to show the same person, with details like age, destination, and relatives matching up.

Question: why would someone have come over more than once, and if they did would they have had to go through the Ellis Island process each time?

Travel was from Poland (Russia) to the US.

Thanks!

Re: Did some people arrive via Ellis Island multiple times?

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 6:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
Lots of immigrants were "long distance commuters" who traveled to the US for a few months to get work before heading back home. I think these were mostly Italians, but I'm sure it could've been the case with other nationalities. If you bought a steerage ticket, you had to go through Ellis Island. Depending on the length of time between the two visits, you could guess that he came over, worked for a while, went back, and then came with his family. I think the reasons for going back instead of just sending for the rest of the family would've been personal more than anything...although I have read about the "long distance commuting" many places, I still don't fully understand why someone would do it instead of simply looking for another job in the US.

Re: Did some people arrive via Ellis Island multiple times?

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 10:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Interesting. Thanks for the insight!

Re: Did some people arrive via Ellis Island multiple times?

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 9:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
My great grandfather traveled back and forth 4 times. The late 1800s and early 1900s were very tough times in Europe and people came here for work. Some men came alone so they could establish themselves and get a job. If they were planning on staying in the US, they would either send for their family members, or return home and then they would all come back to the US together.

My great grandparents arrived at Castle Garden in 1886 (the port of arrival before Ellis Island was open). They returned to Italy c 1891. My great grandfather came back to the US by himself in 1897. I don't know when he returned to Italy, but in 1901 he and my great grandmother came back to the US (she was pregnant with my grandfather during the voyage). All three returned to Italy c1915, and then my great grandfather came back to the US by himself in 1916 (and I believe he died here that year).

My grandfather married in Italy, and my father was born there. My grandfather came through Ellis Island alone in June 1924; my grandmother and my father followed 5 months later. I don't believe they ever returned to Italy.
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