An inside look into U.S. National Archives’ best research gem for WWII-era immigrants

For years, I have been glowing about the importance of Alien Case Files, possessed by the U.S. National Archives. There is nothing like a nice stack of documents filled with information on individual immigrants in one simple file.

Anyone wondering about relatives or ancestors who fled war-torn Europe during and after World War II should consider looking into obtaining Alien Case Files on their family. Only a small portion of records included in these files can be found on any online genealogy website, including

So here is a sneak peek into the life of Helen, my relative by marriage. Born in Ukraine, she fell in love in Russia, had her heart broken by her husband, escaped the USSR with her two children with her ex-husband and his new wife before a major battle between the Soviet Union and Germany occurred in her new hometown.

She was eventually captured by the German army and forced to fix the railroad damaged in the war. The American Army liberated her and she traveled through western Europe before coming abroad to live the American dream.

Her Alien Case File below shows how much can be discovered on WWII-era immigrants. Not all immigrants will have the same amount of records on them but Alien Case Files are the most complete records on immigrants in U.S. National Archives. I deleted several personal details in these scans for privacy reasons.

If you would like to find Alien Case Files on your family, read this FAQ on increasing chances of success in finding these records.


4 thoughts on “An inside look into U.S. National Archives’ best research gem for WWII-era immigrants

  1. Yuri

    Hi! I am Yuri Lebedev, my grandfather (Sergei Lebedev) was born in Novocherkassk in 1898. His father was Abrahmovich Lebedev and his mother Helena Stepan Lebedeva. My grandfather had two brothers Paul and Peter and one sister called Olga Helena. During the red revolution my grandfather escape to England and after to Brazil. His family stayed in Novocherkassk and during the second war they lost the contact. How can I find my relatives?



    Errh… the Word Press format does not support the Control + to enlarge the images from the Alien case files on my computer setup.
    Could you describe in words some of the info you found??
    The half-blind bat genealogist


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.