As mentioned in the last post, female enemy aliens were required to register between June 17 and June 26, 1918 using a slightly different form called Registration Affidavit of Alien Female. Both men and women made three sets of their affidavits with one being sent to Washington, one held by the United States marshal within the district where the person registered, and one kept in the local records. Each enemy alien was given an identification card which had to be carried on their person at all times for the duration of the war.
German born women who had become naturalized or were married to American men before April 6, 1918 were not required to register. But what was very surprising to me is that American born women who married German men were required to register. In fact, of the seventeen women who registered as enemy aliens in Edwards County, eleven of them were actually American citizens.
The June 20, 1918 edition of the Kinsley Mercury set forth how registration should take place. The instructions end with the following:
“The regulations admonish registering officials to be courteous to their treatment of the women, and to render all necessary assistance in filling out the affidavit blanks. The photographs required must be unmounted, and ‘without hat or other head covering’. (Kinsley Mercury, June 20, 1918
Richard Nickel’s wife, Ellen, was one of the American-born women who was required to register. We learn from her form that she was born Ellen Collier in Stockton, Cedar County, Missouri on January 21, 1884. Her parents were John and Mary Collier and United States citizens who lived in Kinsley. On the female form it asks for the names of children without the age restrictions. She lists one son, Virgil S. Nickel, who was born July 24, 1901 in Lewis, Kansas. On the female form it also asks what language is spoken and she lists English.
Following are the names of the 17 women who registered as Enemy aliens in Edwards County. The women’s names un red were U.S. citizens.
Anna Breitenbach, Lydia Neidig, Mathilda Griep, Bertha Grimm, Louisa Grybowski, Elizabeth Herrmann, Mathilde Krenzin, Ellen Nickel, Emma Grimm, Emily Scwarz, Ella Ploger, Elizabeth Ploger, Emma Ploger, Margaret E Salm, Margaret M. Salm, Elizabeth Scholtz, and Helen Tuchtenhagen.
Below are Ellen Nickel’s registration forms. I recommend looking for these affidavits if you are of German descent and might have an ancestor who was required to register as an enemy alien. The information, descriptions, fingerprints, and picture (if it is good quality) are surely interesting.