Column: Finding Ancestors Who Were Aliens

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Finding Ancestors Who Were Aliens

Snippet: Before 1940, it was easier for residents of Canada and the United States to cross the border, and work and live in the country not of their birth. If they wanted to stay, they stayed. Many took advantage of the open border, working seasonally, short term or long term in whichever country they preferred. Members of both my mother’s and father’s family lived there temporarily and a few remained for the rest of their lives.

Ancestors who disappeared from the community in which they were born or no longer lived where other members of their family lived, may have easily gone south of the border as easily as they could have gone west. Census records could discover their whereabouts, but sometimes they went under the radar, particularly if they felt they didn’t have to be counted because they were Canadians in the United States.

Things, however, changed in 1940. The Second World War (1939-1945) raged in Europe, and while the US had not yet declared war and joined the fight, their borders were at risk. In June 1940, the Governor of Maine, Lewis Barrows, ordered a registry of all adults who were non-citizens living in the state. This created the Maine Alien Registry.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.

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