Genealogy Research Just Got a Whole Lot Easier — and Closer

43,000 new case files have just arrived at the National Archives in San Bruno - and one just might hold the key to your...

Cultural institutions in San Francisco continually search for new acquisitions. Alexis Coe brings you the most important, often wondrous, sometimes bizarre, and occasionally downright vexing finds each week.

43,000 new case files now call the National Archives in San Bruno home — and one might hold the key to your family's history.

The Alien Files (A-Files) have just arrived from the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) offices in San Francisco, Honolulu, Reno, and Guam, with over 100 different countries of origin represented. The files are full of an exciting mix of materials, including INS interrogation transcripts, “coaching maps” of homeland villages in China, personal letters, family photographs, and marriage certificates.

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