Alien Registration Files
World War I
An executive order was issued by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1917 requiring the registration of German born men ages fourteen and older who had not been naturalized. Registration occurred the the nearest United States District Court. German born women were required to register starting in April of 1918.
Related Collections of Alien Registrations - National Archives
- Alien Enemy Index, 1917-1919. NAID 602456
- Descriptive Enemy Cards, ca. 1914-ca. 1919 of enemy prisoners of war and alien enemies in prison. NAID 7513259.
- Alien Correspondence. War Department. Office of the Provost Marshal General. NAID 1157783
- Lists of Alien Suspects Investigated,1917-1918. Department of the Navy. Third Naval District. Ship Inspection Investigation Bureau. NAID 5635505
- Record of Aliens and Reporters,1918-1920. Office of Alien Property Custodian. Bureau of Investigation. NAID 7384967
- Records of Interned Aliens, 1917-1918. Office of Alien Property. Bureau of Investigation. NAID 7381637
- Alien Registration Affidavits, 2.6.1918-6.28.1918. US District Court, Phoenix Division, District of Arizona. NAID 294758
- Enemy Alien Registration Affidavits, 1917-1921. RG 118, Dept. of Justice. Office of the US Marshal, District of Kansas. NAID 286181
- Alien Application Permits. Dept. of Justice. Office of the U.S. Marshall for the District of Kansas. NAID 5917758
- Alien Enemy Registrations, 1917-1920. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Franfort Term. NAID 5752917
- Lists and Forms Relating to Alien Registration, 1918. US District Court, Shreveport Division, Western District of Louisiana. NAID 4706580
- Reports on Aliens,1917-1919. Department of Justice. Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Judicial District of Minnesota. NAID 5821666
- Reports of Special Agents, 1917-1918. Department of Justice. Office of the US Attorney for the Judicial District of Minnesota. NAID 5923162
- Correspondence Relating to Enemy Alien and Espionage Act Violations. Department of Justice. Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Judicial District of Nebraska. NAID 5917191
- Alien Registration Affidavits, 1918, US District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina. Raleigh Term. NAID 5889371
- Case Files on Detained Enemy Aliens, 1917-1919, Western (Cincinnati) Division, of the Southern District of Ohio. NAID 17408476
- Aliens' Applications for Permission to Depart from the United States, 1918-1919. Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Immigration, District 4 (Philadelphia). NAID 567234
- Records of American Citizens Living Abroad, 1918-1921. Office of Alien Property. Bureau of Investigation. NAID 7384971
Related Collections - FamilySearch
- California, San Francisco, World War I Enemy Alien Registration Affidavits, 1918. - FamilySearch Historical Records
- U.S. District Court (Kansas). Registration Affidavits of Aliens, 1918 - images
- U.S. District Court (North Dakota) .Enemy alien registration affidavits, correspondence, and supporting documentation, 1918 - images
- Julie Miller. Enemy Alien Registration during World War I. NGS Magazine 44 (April-June 2018): 21-28. FHL 973 D25ngs
- Mary J. Manning. Being German, Being American. Prologue (Summer, 2014): 15-22.
- Friend of Foe?: Documenting Alien Ancestors during Times of War. National Archives. 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair.
World War II
Under the Alien Registration Act of 1940, immigrants in the United States were required to register and be fingerprinted. Beginning 1 April 1944 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began creating Alien Files to record the cases of registered aliens as they passed through the United States immigration and inspection process, as well as their subsequent interactions with Federal agencies. There are over 450,000 Alien Files maintained by the National Archives (NARA) belonging to individuals born 1910 and prior. World War II Enemy Alien Control Program Overview
Alien Files hold a wealth of data including visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more. These files can contain a lot of biographical information about an alien. Some of the information you might hope find could include:
- Name at time of entry to the US
- Other names used
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Marital Status
- Height & Weight
- Hair & Eye Color
- Port, date, ship and class of admission at last arrival in US
- Date of first arrival in US
- Years lived in US
- Intended stay in US
- Usual occupation
- Present occupation
- Present employer, including address
- Club, organization, or society memberships
- Military service (Country, branch, dates)
- Date and number of Declaration of Intention (if filed), and city and State where filed.
- Date of Petition for Naturalization (if filed), and city and State where filed.
- Arrest history
- Date and place of registration
Alien Registration Forms - National Archives
- Arkansas,1940-1946. NAID 576612
- Colorado,1942-1946. NAID 1143076
- Delaware,1942-1946. NAID 6171948
- Louisiana,1940-1946. NAID 576614
- Montana,1942-1946. NAID 1491221
- New Mexico,1942-1946. NAID 1145523
- Oklahoma,1940-1946. NAID 576616
- Texas,1940-1946. NAID 576580
- Utah,1942-1946. NAID 1145525
- Wyoming,1942-1946. NAID 1145526
Alien and Japanese American Registration Forms - National Archives
How to locate Alien Registration Files
You can request copies of these files through the National Archives (NARA). The majority of the records can be found in the Kansas City National Archives location. Some of the files from aliens living in the immigration districts of Guam; Honolulu, Hawaii; Reno, Nevada; and San Francisco, California are housed in the National Archives Regional Office in San Bruno, California.
An online index that includes both locations is available at the NARA website.
Click on Online Catalog to begin your search.
Enter the name of the person you are looking for.
Next view your results. If the information appears to be the person you seek, contact NARA with the contact information found at the bottom of the results page. They will tell you how much copies will be and how to make payment.
Related Collections - FamilySearch