Most researchers know the value of Naturalization records for our immigrant ancestors. They can provide wonderful information and open up or clarify new avenues of research for us. This page is about another important document that was kept on our ancestors who were not citizens. That is the Alien Registration Form.
The Alien Registration Program began to be used in August of 1940. Its purpose was to identify all non-citizens living in the United States at that time. Usually, resident aliens went to their local Post Office to register. These forms contain a wealth of information on our ancestors!
This is some of what a typical Alien Registration Form will contain:
So, as you can see, these papers, often overlooked by researchers, are a gold mine of information. If your immigrant ancestors were here in 1940, but were not naturalized, then you would be wise to make every effort to get these valuable records.
For more information:
Be prepared to wait for, what could be, several months. But, it WILL be worth it! You may find out some valuable information on your ancestors that could even take you beyond your "brick wall." Please see examples below of an Alien Registration form I received on an ancestor.