View Full Version : Immigrant routes inland from Ellis Island

Karen Mattson
25-01-05, 22:17
Dear Finlanders, All of my grandparents passed through Ellis Island but I have always wondered what means of transportation they took to their final destination in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have often heard of the St. Albans Vermont stopping point but then how did they travel? Do any records of this exist? Thanks again, Karen Mattson

June Pelo
25-01-05, 22:33
My father came with his mother and sister through Ellis Island in 1909. He said there were trains leaving from there to various parts of the country. The officials helped them board a train headed for lower Michigan - it went into Canada and crossed Lake Huron at Port Huron and then went to Saginaw, MI. They had to transfer there to a train headed for Ludington, on the western coast of Michigan. I wonder if there was a train that went north from Saginaw to the UP of Michigan? I know there was a train that went to Alpena from Saginaw, but don't know if it went farther north.


Karen Mattson
25-01-05, 23:00
Dear June, Thanks for your reply and let me add a personal note. Your website was the first one I found when began my hobby of genealogy and my first steps were taken after reading your valuable info. You were certainly a big help to me. Thanks again, Karen Mattson

25-01-05, 23:57
My grandparents also traveled by train to their final destination from Ellis Island. My grandfather actually came earlier but I believe my grandmother's travel was arranged to the final destination of Iron Belt, WI prior to her leaving.

Jaska Sarell
26-01-05, 00:56
Besides other maps http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/states.html also has state maps from 1895 showing railway lines and stops.
Warning for modem users: files are rather big

:) Jaska

Karen Norwillo
26-01-05, 01:14
My grandfather, Gabriel Mikonpoika Sulasalmi, came to the UP of Michigan from Salmivaara, Salla in 1891, so he was before Ellis Island. So far, I have not been able to trace his route or entry into the US. His first destination was Manistee, MI. The archives in Oulu tell me his passport was issued May 6, 1891, but the records are missing. So I don't know if he left from Sweden or elsewhere. Any hints as to how to proceed? My uncle said he just "got off the boat", but didn't know where. Karen

June Pelo
26-01-05, 02:30
Karen Mattson: Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad my website was of some help, even though it probably is outdated now.

And Karen Norwillo: Manistee isn't very far from Ludington, where my father was headed. If your grandfather came through Ellis Island, I think that it was also possible to get to Manistee by train to Chicago and then by carferry to Manistee, although I don't know what years the ferries traveled between Chicago and cities along western coast of Michigan, and the eastern coast of Wisconsin.

Before Ellis Island opened in 1892?, the immigrants landed at Castle Garden. If you go to google and search there for immigrants at Castle Garden, I think you'll find some information.


26-01-05, 02:47
My research subject's adoptive mother Elsa Sund from Sundom landed in Ellis Island, then traveled through Canada and down to WA state, to end up with her brother Andy Johnson in Aberdeen, where she worked, until she met Evert Sund whom she married.

27-01-05, 06:13

We arrived at a railroad station in Chicago, from where immigrants were taken by a two horse drawn wagon to another railroad station, from which by train we were taken to Calumet, Michigan

The above came from a story at the website listed. It shows a 1906 routing to the UP of Michigan.

Seems realistic for me.

Karen Mattson
28-01-05, 01:29
Hello from Rome Italy, My usual thanks to everyone for their help. A note to Chuck about the surname Ryssy. I have that surname in my family which has its roots in the Nurmo, Alavus, Lapua area in Finland. It appears in my family in the 1700's on my paternal great grandmother's side. By the way, in your U.P. database do you have the surname Uusineva? My paternal grandmother's brother Isak with whom she immigrated to America with in 1900, according to Finnish records died in Michigan in 1912 but no specific place was named. I presume in the Ishpeming, Marquette area as that was where my grandparents first settled. My grandmother and her brother came from Ilmajoki. Thanks, Karen Mattson

28-01-05, 21:00
That name Uusineva never did ring a bell for me.
I thought this more Finnish speaker sounding name might be at a Finnish church so I have two of them, one in Champion in Mqt Co and other in CFalls in Iron Co. Of course the search hit all churches in the counties.

re: Ryssy, I sent my cuz Ernie an email about your posting and I believe he's registered at sfhs so he'll likely be able to share something, maybe:)