ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It is National Ellis Island family history day and it’s a day to remember and honor the women, men, and children who migrated to this country from 1892-1954.

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, and immediately started processing immigrants through its doors.

According to statueofliberty.org, Most immigrants entered the United States through New York Harbor, but there were other ports to enter from in cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

First and second-class passengers entering the New York harbor were not required to undergo the rigorous inspection process on Ellis Island instead they received a cursory inspection aboard the ship.

A local member of our community named Robert Parasiliti shared his family’s experience entering America.

Robert said, His family was originally supposed to live in Schenectady but a threat from the local mafia at the time threatened his family’s livelihood forcing the migration to Jamestown.

“I know my grandfather wanted to start a business in the cheese commercial business. So he came with my grandmother’s family to Ellis Island in 1911, but he only took our family with him.” Parasiliti added, “And they ended up in Jamestown, New York, where he started a business in the wholesale, commercial, and retail industry. And that lasted in our family business for 90 years.”

Today he remembers the journey his ancestors endured for a better life and the legacy they left behind.