(UK) National Archives Aliens' Registration Cards 1918-1957 #general

Jan Meisels Allen

The (UK) National Archives Alien Registration card (MEPO 35) are
registration cards for about 700 immigrants to Britain who arrived between
1918 and 1957. They were known as aliens. They cover the London area only
and include British-born wives of aliens, who lost their British status
upon marriage.

The MEPO 35 records have been digitized and are available online. While
there are only 700 online they represent a sample of the tens of thousands
of cards yet to be digitized. Due to the UK Privacy law, only those who
were born more than 100 years ago are able to be downloaded. Aliens were
required to register with the police >from 1914 onwards and pay a
registration fee. In turn they received a certificate. The digitized
documents are the registration cards created by the police. Information
includes: name, date of birth, date of arrival in UK, marital status,
children if any, address, employment history, date of naturalization and
usually include a photograph, On the instruction page they have, for
example, the documents of Joe Coral, then Joseph Kagarlitsky, born in
into a Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland in 1904. He was founder of the
famous British bookmakers. Joe Coral and his brother had failed to
register as 'aliens' resident in the UK until 1924 and were fined GBP20
each at Thames Magistrates Court. It was the beginning of a long running
feud that would see Joe on the wrong side of the law until 1952. The
documents show where he was cautioned for not reporting his marriage,
failing to report his change of address and more.

You will need to fill out a brief form to search the records in their
Discovery catalogue which is included in the instructions.
Go to:
Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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