Monday, November 5, 2012

Revisiting the Farkas Cousins' Visit to Ellis Island, 1996

My sister, my hubby, and I joined several cousins for a visit to Ellis Island in October 1996. It was a day to remember!

(You can see the Twin Towers behind us here and at far left in the photo below.)

Moritz Farkas, my great-grandpa, arrived at Ellis Island in May 1899. His wife Leni Kunstler Farkas arrived at Ellis Island in November 1900. An earlier generation put their names on the Wall of Honor.

Moritz and Leni's children, born in Hungary where the family originated, arrived in two waves: The first (including my grandma Hermina Farkas) landed at Ellis Island in November 1901; the second landed in April 1903.

After touring the main building of Ellis Island, we cousins walked the grounds and found the names of our Farkas ancestors on the immigrants' wall.

Thanks to Cousin Betty, who spent 25+ years researching the Farkas family, we know a lot about this branch of the family tree.

2022 update: My twin and I have paid to put the names of four immigrant grandparents on the Ellis Island Wall of Honor: Theodore Schwartz and his wife, Hermina Farkas Schwartz, plus Isaac Burk and his wife, Henrietta Mahler Burk.


  1. Cousin Betty has helped produce a great body of work for our family. Thanks!

  2. Cousin Betty did most of her research in the pre-Internet period. She had to sit in front of a microfilm reader and turn the crank for hours in search of our ancestors' Census records and naturalization papers. Plus she gathered family stories from the cousins and is posting those along with the family tree. All her hard work is much appreciated!