Source Information

Ancestry.com. Kansas, Registration Affidavits of Alien Enemies, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:

Registration Affidavits of Alien Enemies and Alien Females for the District of Kansas under the Presidential Proclamations of November 16, 1917, and April 19, 1918. NARA microfilm publication M1997, 9 rolls. Records of United States Attorneys, Record Group 118. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

About Kansas, Registration Affidavits of Alien Enemies, 1917-1918

This collection contains records of German immigrants living in the state of Kansas who registered as alien enemies per government orders.

Historical Background

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, President Wilson authorized the registration of aliens living in the United States. This included all nonnaturalized German males aged 14 and older, who were classified as enemy aliens. A later proclamation in April 1918 required Austro-Hungarian nationals and women within the age and nationality requirements to register as well. This included American-born wives of non-naturalized Germans, who had to register as alien females. Most registrations in this collection were complete by June 1918, and the registration requirement was rescinded in December that year.

What’s in the Records

Most of the records in this collection are registration affidavits, with some summary sheets listing aliens registered and occasional pieces of correspondence as well. The affidavits differ for males and females.

Affidavits for male aliens ask for the following information:

  • name(s)
  • 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 alien females asked 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

Note that records for Goya, Hamilton, Haskell, and Lance counties are missing.

Information for this description was adapted from NARA’s published guide to M1997, which contains more details about this collection.