An inside look at four Alien Cases from one box sitting in the National Archives and Research Administration Pacific Region-San Francisco Collections in San Bruno.
They arrived from Mexico, Italy, Ireland and China (via Mexico). Landing in New York, El Paso and San Francisco, their A-Files ultimately ended up in the USCIS collections at the Federal Records Center storage facility in San Francisco (San Bruno). On 22 May 2012, they were among the files of individuals that were born at least 100 years ago that were released by the National Archives for public use.
The A-files were originally given a shelf life of 75 years from the last use of the file (any addition to a file or request to view it would restart the time clock). The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), years ago recognized their potential value for family research, and kept the rescheduling of the records to permanent status on a back burner. In 2000 when Dominick Gentile took over as chief of the Records Division, that rescheduling became a priority. As he stated at the opening of the files, “It became sort of a bucket list item for me - something I wanted to accomplish before I retired. I set our records managers to work drafting a schedule and finding a solution to a long list of logistical problems that we needed to overcome.” With “unexpected help” from the research community, the mission progressed and finally in 2009 a new retention schedule was signed. More than 300,000 files were released to the National Archives at Kansas City and have been available to the public since September 2010. Due to public request, the files stored in San Bruno were not sent to Kansas City, but processed separately and as of May 22 are available for use at the National Archives at San Francisco. Dominick can retire this fall knowing his mission is achieved.
The USCIS staff worked long and hard to provide a usable index to the files, which allowed them to be released for use soon after they were accessioned into the NARA facilities. NARA staff both in Kansas City and San Bruno have worked equally hard to be sure that they were stored correctly and ready for public use. Files will be released on a regular basis as they meet the 100 year requirement. Files that have not been released to the National Archives may be available to family members. Visit USCIS Genealogy for more information.
Agnese (Quilici) Giusti (A7124483)
According to an Italian passport, issued by Lucca Police on 24 Mar 1948, Agnese was born on 30 Oct 1897 in Lammari, Lucca, Italy to Guiseppe Quilici and Domenica Frugoli. Both her parents were still alive on that date, residing in Lammari. She was 5ft 7in and had black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. She had attended four years of elementary school. With Agnese came a pile of heavily stamped documents proving her birth, marriage, family, right to travel and more.
According to paperwork submitted on 19 Jan 1948, her husband, Amedeo Giusti, was a legally admitted resident of the US residing at 352A Francisco Street, in San Francisco. He had declared his intention to become a citizen on 6 Jan 1948. Verification documents included proof of employment and information on his bank accounts, which he had first opened in March of 1941. His employer is listed as Panelli’s which was located at 453 Pine St. He was earning $52.58 a week and had over $5300 in the bank.
Agnese was admitted to the US on 22 Feb 1949. Her entry papers list brothers Elia in Nevada and Pietro in San Francisco. Her medical examination lists only varicose veins.
Amedeo and Agnese had one daughter, Valeria Giusti, who was born on 26 April 1926. In 1948 she was working as a midwife. Although the paperwork is not in this file, it appears that Valeria accompanied her mother to the United States.
This post was written by Cath Madden Trindle, SMCGS Publications Chair.
Thank you to Sharon Rummery, USCIS for help in preparing this article.
The San Mateo County Genealogical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit open to all who are interested in the study and promotion of all matters genealogical.