3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2021 10:10 AM by m smith

    Seeking record of denied immigration request for Wilhelm Spieker

    Giu Chagas Newbie

      Hello, I am trying to find information about my great grandmother's family. They left Germany in the mid-1920s. Apparently my great-grandmother's father tried to come to America, but his request was denied. I am not sure if he tried to do this through correspondence or if he personally came to the US. He had some contacts in Portugal who helped him secure a trip to South America. It would be nice to find his request, it might contain information to shed some light on their story.  This would have happened in the 1920s and his name was Wilhelm (Erns August) Spieker, and he would have probably been trying to gain entry for himself, his wife, and their son and daughter(my great-grandmother, Hildegard). If anyone knows of any tips or resources, that would be of great help and extremely appreciated!

        • Re: Seeking record of denied immigration request for Wilhelm Spieker
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Mr. Chagas,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you review these Genealogy: Passenger Arrival List Research Tips  and NARA’s page on Immigration Records for suggestions on how to locate immigration information for your ancestors.  There are numerous ways that individuals could enter the United States from Europe such as on a ship that arrived at various coastal ports or over land from Canada, etc. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 111 series pertaining to passenger lists from 1920 to 1929 in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85). For more information about a particular series, please email the reference unit listed as the contact in the Catalog description.


          Many of the passenger lists have been digitized and are name-searchable online using Ancestry and FamilySearch.  There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, you may wish to contact your local library. Many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for patrons.


          If you locate records of the Spiekers on an incoming U. S. passenger list, check the margins and the end of the manifest for details about their detention and any Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) hearing. For background on manifest notations, please see Manifest Markings - Left Margin and Manifest Markings - Board of Special Inquiry


          Beginning in 1903, inspectors used Form 818 or “Record of Aliens Held for Special Inquiry,” to document both the process and the resolution of cases of detained immigrants.  We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files, 1903 - 3/31/1957 (Microfilm Publication T458) that serves as an index to part of the Subject and Policy Files, 1906 - 1957 in Record Group 85, which may include a record of any BSI hearing regarding Wilhelm Spieker’s immigration.  For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 and various other NARA reference units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking record of denied immigration request for Wilhelm Spieker
            Timothy McGoldrick Adventurer

            In the 1930 U.S. Census I found 4 likely name  matches and in the 1940 U.S. Census found 5 but no matches for Hildegard. If he was in the 1930 U.S. Census see  Question -22  " Immigration year" the 1940 U.S. Census does not have this question. I also ran across some information Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 on Familysearch see attachment:



            • Re: Seeking record of denied immigration request for Wilhelm Spieker
              m smith Wayfarer

              It sounds as if this man applied for (or tried to apply for) US immigrant visas for himself and his family, which were required by the US since July 1, 1924.  He would have applied at a US Embassy or consulate abroad (US Department of State).  If denied, it is unclear whether the State Department kept any record, or if so, for how long.


              It does appear some consular records at least (RG 84) have logs or volumes listing applications or requests for services, but I do not know if such exists for every embassy/consulate or if those logs include applications for immigrant visas.  See, for example, NAID 657151.  You might send an inquiry to NARA asking for help from an archivist familiar with Record Group 84.


              Marian Smith