Obtaining Passenger Details and Travel Companions in One Step
Frequently Asked Questions

Stephen P. Morse , San Francisco

1. What can I obtain by using this form?

My white Ellis Island search forms search for passengers in the Ellis Island database and display a limited amount of information on each passenger found.  Specifically they give the passenger's name, age, year of arrival, and place of residence.  This form allows you to view additional details on each passenger found such as sex, marital status, ethnicity, port of departure, and full date of arrival.

My gold Ellis Island search form is capable of displaying all of these details directly.  On that form you are able to specify which of these additional fields you would like to have displayed.

By seeing all these details on one screen, you don't have to navigate to several pages to obtain the information.  Also it makes it convenient to copy the information into a spreadsheet.

Another advantage of this form is that it can be set to display the details for any companions traveling with the passenger found.

2. The form asks me to enter the passenger ID number.  What is that and how do I find it?

Every passenger in the Ellis Island database is assigned a 12-digit passenger ID.  In order to display the details for a particular passenger, you need to enter that passenger's ID in the appropriate field on this form and click on the "Show Details" button next to that field.

The white and gold forms normally don't display this ID, but you can check off a box at the bottom of those forms indicating that you want the ID to be displayed.

You can also see the passenger ID by moving the mouse cursor over any of the links for the particular passenger.  If you then look at the bottom of the browser window you will see a line that looks something like the following:

Those 12 digits following pID= are the passenger's ID.

3. How do I obtain the details on a list of passengers instead of on a single passenger?

The white and gold forms will search through the Ellis Island database and generate a results page consisting of a list of passengers who meet the conditions that you specified.  You might want to get the additional details on all the passengers in the list rather than just on a single passenger.

You can do that by first indicating on the white or gold form that you want the passenger ID to be displayed.  Then you would generated the list of passengers, and copying-and-pasting the entire results page into the large box on this form.  Then you would click on the "Show Details" button next to that large box rather than the one that is next to the individual passenger ID field.

Another way to do this is to view the source code of the results page and then copy-and-paste that source into the large box on this form.  Then you would click on the "Show Details" button next to that large box.  This method will work even if the  passenger ID is not one of the items displayed on the results  page.

To view the source code, go to the VIEW menu and select SOURCE (Microsoft browser) or PAGE SOURCE (Netscape browser).  Furthermore, for the white form there is a button that says VIEW SOURCE.  The source code obtained from that button is different from the code obtained from the VIEW/SOURCE menu item, but either source code can be pasted into the large rectangle and the detailed results obtained will be the same.

4. Can you give me an example of how I would use this form?

Using the white or gold forms, search for Albert Einstein.  You will get four hits.  One for an Albert Einstein with no middle initial, two for an Albert E. Einstein, and one for an Albert Elliot Einstein.

To get details on all four of them, do the following:

While on the results, select the entire contents of the window (control-A for windows users) and copy it (control-C)
Go back to the current form ("Obtaining Passenger Details ...").
Paste (control-V) the contents you saved into the large rectangle
Click the "Show Details" button below that rectangle.
The results you obtain will not only show the additional details (marital status, ethnicity, ship, port, and full date) but will also show the traveling companions.  In particular it shows that
Albert Einstein with no middle initial is traveling with Elsa Einstein
First Albert E. Einstein is traveling with Bertha Einstein
Second Albert E. Einstein is traveling with Birdie W. Einstein
Albert Elliot Einstein is traveling with Bertha Einstein
From the traveling companions, it is clear that both Albert E. Einsteins and Albert Elliot Einstein are all the same person.  And the one with no middle initial is probably a different person.  (If you delve further, you'll discover that the one with no middle initial is the famous Albert Einstein.)

-- Steve Morse