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16 August 2013

Angel Island Family History Day: Tour the Ellis Island of the West

Saturday, October 5, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Angel Island Immigration Station
Angel Island State Park
San Francisco Bay

The California Genealogical Society is partnering with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society to present Angel Island Family History Day on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the restored Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park. The event will feature lectures, genealogy resource tables, and free viewing of the Immigration Barracks.

“Angel Island played a crucial role in the family histories of many Bay Area residents,” says Grant Din, Director of Special Projects at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. “Close to one million immigrants were processed at Angel Island between 1910 and 1940, and hundreds of thousands were held at the Angel Island detention center for days, weeks, or months. The Immigration Station is best known for the Chinese poems that were carved in the barracks walls. It housed people from over 80 countries as they sought new lives in the United States."

The open house at the Immigration Barracks will give visitors a glimpse into the daily life of newcomers from Japan, Korea, Russia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust.

Angel Island is located in San Francisco Bay, east of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is accessible by ferry from Oakland, Alameda, Vallejo, Tiburon and San Francisco. The state park entry fee is included in the ferry ticket rate. Please make your own transportation arrangements by purchasing tickets online. Be sure to verify departure points and weekend ferry schedules. Take the first ferries in order to get the most out of your day on the island and to arrive in time for the programs.

Angel Island Immigration Station

The U.S. Immigration Station is a pleasant one-mile walk from the ferry dock at Ayala Cove that starts with a climb of about 140 steps to the main road. For those who do not wish to walk, Angel Island Company provides shuttle service from Ayala Cove to Immigration Station. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online in advance. The shuttle service departs from the from the The Angel Island Café at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Shuttle tickets include return service to Ayala Cove. For more information on shuttle service, please contact the Angel Island Café at (415) 435-3392.

Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to the Island. Picnic tables are located near the Immigration Station. Alternatively, boxed lunches are available for advanced purchase online. Pick up will be located at the Angel Island Cafe in Ayala Cove. You must bring a printed copy of your confirmation email in order to receive your lunch.

To avoid lines, please purchase shuttle tickets and lunches in advance using the online services of the Angel Island Company.

There is no advanced registration or fee for this event. Island admission is included in the ferry ticket price. Participants are responsible for arranging ferry transportation. Advanced purchase of optional lunch or shuttle service is strongly recommended to avoid long lines. There is no food service available at the Immigration Station. 

For photos, maps, and more information about the island, be sure to visit the Island Insights: The Angel Island Blog.

The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is the nonprofit partner of California State Parks and the National Park Service in the effort to preserve, restore and interpret the historic immigration station located in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

The California Genealogical Society (CGS) founded in San Francisco in 1898, maintains a library, gathers and preserves vital records, and offers research services and online databases. CGS disseminates information through publications, meetings, seminars, workshops and its website,

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development, preservation and distribution of Jewish genealogical knowledge and material, and the sharing of techniques and tools with others who may be researching their Jewish roots.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.


Janice M. Sellers said...

It might be helpful to point out that the Angel Island Company Web site only talks about traveling to Angel Island from San Francisco and Tiburon. I ws told by the nice man at the Blue and Gold Fleet this morning that you for Oakland and Alameda, you can't buy tickets online ahead of time. You will have to buy your tickets when you board the boat.