We always tend to think of people resettling in the United States or Canada, however, many people resettled in the 19th and 20th century in England, coming from other European, African or Asian nations. The National Archives for the United Kingdom has a collection of those individuals seeking to be admitted to England between 1801 and 1871.
The collection has naturalization applications along with denization letters which entitled people to certain rights, but not the full rights of a British citizen. Some of the information includes names, nationality, birth place, when they arrived in England, their occupation, where they would live plus any character references.
There is a keyword search box to use. Place a surname such as ‘van der Hoeven’ would produce the name Dirk Jean van der Hoeven from Holland and applied for naturalization in 1803. There are about 17 pages of documents. There is a fee to get a digital copy.
Another collection available is registration cards for over 600 immigrants to Britain, known as ‘aliens’ in the legal terminology of the time, who arrived between 1918 and 1957 and lived in the London area only. Some of the detailed information on these registration cards include, names, birth dates and places, occupation, information about children, marital, and home address.
The search box can be done with a surname, full name or nationality. For example, finding Samuel Perez, born Aug. 16, 1884 in Spain, there are five pages of records relating to his registration. Always check any similar surnames, there could be parents or a spouse with a registration card. There is a fee to get a digital copy.
Photo: Joseph Coral, born 1904 in Poland, photo with his registration cards (from 1930s to early 1950s)< Return To Blog