Kansas, Registration Affidavits of Alien Enemies, 1917-1918  

This record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) collects registration documents of German (and certain other foreign) immigrants living in the state of Kansas during World War I who registered as alien enemies per government orders.

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, President Wilson authorized the registration of aliens living in the United States. This edict included all German males aged 14 and older who had not begun the naturalization process. Their wives also had to register, even if the woman was an American citizen born in the United States. A proclamation in April 1918 required Austro-Hungarian nationals and their wives to register as well. Most of the registrations in this collection were completed by June 1918; the registration requirement was rescinded in December that same year.

Registration forms differ somewhat for males and females. Affidavits for male aliens ask for the following information:

    place of registration
    birth date and place
    current residence and other residences since 1 January 1914
    employment since 1 January 1914
    arrival information (date, port, name of ship)
    names and residence of mother and father and whether they were living
    information about wife and children
    whether any family member was fighting for or against the United States and its allies
    whether registered for the selective service and previous military service
    naturalization status
    whether contacted by, or registered with, a foreign government since 1 January 1914
    whether arrested
    thumb, hand, and fingerprints with a photograph
    physical description

Affidavits for female aliens ask for the following information in addition to the questions above:

    name (including maiden name if applicable)
    marital status
    names and birth dates of children
    names, birth dates, and places of residence for brothers and sisters
    whether engaged in governmental service
    whether husband had applied for citizenship
    languages spoken, written, and read

As you can see, there is much information of interest in these affidavits if your ancestor is one of the 21,741 Kansans who filled one out!

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