1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 10, 2021 10:31 AM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking transcripts & information about my grandfather

    Gretchen Quarterman Newbie

      Hi, How do I get transcripts and information about people "held for further inquiry" at Ellis Island?  My grandfather was held for 99 days and then deported in 1907. I would like to know why he was held? To where was he deported? Did anyone testify on his behalf? If so, who was it? Was he waiting 99 days for money or a letter to arrive? I was told by contactus@ellisisland.org that the records I seek are held at the National Archives but was given no additional information. Thanks.


        • Re: Seeking transcripts & information about my grandfather
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Ms. Quarterman,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          When your grandfather arrived and failed inspection, he was not formally admitted to the United States, but detained and given a brief hearing in front of the Board of Special Inquiry (BSI).  Lists of detained aliens are often located at the end of a passenger manifest and include notations regarding meals provided, etc.  We suggest that you check the end of the manifest for details about his Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) hearing. For background on manifest notations, please see Manifest Markings - Left Margin and Manifest Markings - Board of Special Inquiry


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files, 1903 - 3/31/1957 (Microfilm Publication T458) in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that serves as an index to part of the Subject and Policy Files, 1906 - 1957 In Record Group 85) which may include a record of his BSI hearing. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!