There is a lot of political discussion these days about registering aliens who live in the United States. Indeed, one well-known example is the registration and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2 as a precedent. However, that was not the first and certainly not the only such registration.
In 1940, the State of Maine’s Governor Lewis O. Barrows issued a proclamation stating that alien residents of Maine were required to register at their local town office. Over the next month, more than 30,000 people registered with their town. Overseen by the Adjutant General, the registrations were then collected by his office at which point the statistical data was extracted to create data sheets. These data sheets can now be viewed online, thanks to the Maine State Library. These documents provide a new resource for genealogists, as well as historians of immigration in Maine.
Of the 35,000 foreign nationals registered in Maine, the vast majority were Canadians. New Brunswickers actually comprised the bulk of these, followed by Québécois(es). These 35,000 adults represented 4% of the state’s population in 1940. Aside from the Canadians, nearly all the other immigrants were of European birth, with only a handful of Chinese, Japanese and Middle-Eastern immigrants in the state in 1940.
You can search the Maine State Library’s Alien Registration records are available at http://digitalmaine.com/alien_reg/.
You might first want to read some background information in an article by James Myall published in the Bangor Daily News at https://goo.gl/veACOE.
My thanks to newsletter reader Terry Mulcahy for telling me about this new online resource.