Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II

This record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) contains information collected by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) on over 100,000 Japanese-Americans who were relocated during World War II. Evacuees were taken from Washington, Oregon, and California and placed in ten relocation centers in California, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Arkansas.

Japanese Americans boarding train to internment camp (NARA.gov photo)
Japanese Americans boarding train to internment camp (NARA.gov photo)

The following information was collected about each relocated citizen (and is available when you click View Record):

Name of evacuee
Relocation project and assembly center assigned to
Marital status
Race of evacuee and spouse
Birth year
Previous address
Birthplace of parents
Father's occupation
Evacuee's occupation
Whether attended Japanese language school
Highest grade completed
Language proficiency
Foreign residence
Indication of military service
Public assistance
Physical defects
Indication of an alien registration number and/or Social Security Number

A search of birthplaces revealed the following interesting mix:

BIRTH—LOCATION: California, USA (Exact) [53,544 hits]
BIRTH—LOCATION: Japan (Exact) [38,005 hits]
BIRTH—LOCATION: Washington, USA (Exact) [8,945 hits]
BIRTH—LOCATION: Oregon, USA (Exact) [2,255 hits]

This search also reveals a birthplace of interest:

KEYWORD: Hawaii (Exact) [7,268 hits]

Note: A different search is necessary because Hawaii was a territory (not a state) at that time.

You may use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a complete list of SLPL reference databases.

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