From the National Park Service. Located in Battery Park on the southern-most tip of Manhattan, Castle Garden was the arrival point of some eight million immigrants who entered New York harbor from 1855 to 1890. It was the Ellis Island of its day.
For anyone with a genealogical interest in Castle Garden, the first center in the United States for processing arriving immigrants, which was founded by New York State on an island off the southwest tip of Manhattan in 1855.
Passenger lists for over 13 million immigrants arriving in New York City from 1820 through 1891. NARA publication M237: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. This collection is being published as records become available.