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Ship Images Fill in Your Ancestor's Story

Ellis Island and Angel Island are iconic locations for ship-based immigration, and for many people researching their family tree, figuring out the name of the boat our ancestor was fresh off of is exciting. Seeing a picture of that boat can really add depth to the appreciation for our ancestor’s life and experiences.

The Mystic Seaport Museum has a fantastic database of ship images. Once you figure out the name of the ship, see if the image and other details are available here!

Grover Cleveland said that “in calm water, every ship has a good captain” but just like ships’ captains, you don’t want to get sloppy tying down the ropes of your research. You must cite the ship image properly! Here is the information you need to gather in order to write a complete citation.

  1. Ship name

  2. Year the ship was built

  3. Name of the website the image is from

  4. URL (web address) of the site

  5. The date you accessed the website

  6. Instructions on how to get to that image from the website homepage

For details on how to cite a ship image, join our community!

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