Ellis Island was either an “island of hope” or an “island of tears” depending of whether an immigrant received a chalk mark on his or her clothing.
The chalk mark meant officials suspected a medical problem that required further study, a problem that could lead to deportation or perhaps a lengthy stay in the Ellis Island Hospital.
Perhaps many a Mormon ancestor spent time in that facility, which is actually a set of 22 buildings on two small islands.
Lorie Conway has documented the hospital’s history (www.forgottenellisisland.com) and shared it with the audience gathered at the Immigration Family History Expo 2010 Thursday.
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