One of my passions is genealogy and family history. Today is the 100th anniversary of the busiest day at Ellis Island.
On April 17, 1907, 11, 747 immigrants were processed in a single day. As immigration is now a hotly debated topic, educators have this opportunity to promote discussion and comparisons of immigration today with immigrations in the past.
Ancestry.com is providing free access to passenger lists for the period from April 12 to 30th. As this is school vacation, it might be a good time for educators to learn about this type of database and to plan to have students working with creating charts of their families. Where you are a blended family, a family with foster or adoptive situations or a single parent family, genealogy is still about family and all of us need to discuss what family means to us and how the definition of family has changed over the years.
To honor, my immigrant grandparents, I sent to the National Archives for my grandfather's naturalization papers. I didn't gain any new knowledge about them but these papers are often valuable glimpses into the past and promote the importance of keeping precious family artifacts.
My Web pages about Ellis Island:
Looking for America
Ellis Island Resources