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What You Can Learn From Internment Records

In 1942, the United States government responded to growing national fears of suspected Japanese spying by signing Executive Order 9066. This allowed the army to take anyone of Japanese ancestry from their home and place them in temporary camps called “Civilian Assembly Centers.”

The War Relocation Authority was created to care for those who had been relocated, and 10 “Relocation Centers” across 7 states were created:
Gila River
Heart Mountain

Between 1942 when the first camp opened and 1946 when the last camp closed, over 127,000 Japanese Americans were held along with over 14,500 German and Italian Americans. These records can help you learn more about the people who endured this dark time in American history.

Our database helps you shed light on more than just their time there. We can give you information on where they came from, what they did, and what their journey looked like before, during, and after their time in internment. With our tools, it's easier to view information on relocation centers and who went to which one and for how long. In addition, we give you an idea of what was going on in their lives before and after internment.

A big part of the lasting effect that internment had on the country came in the form of displacement and relocation in the aftermath. Because this was such a drastic removal from many Japanese Americans' homes, many took this as a chance to relocate once it was over.

For example, only 30 percent of the Japanese Americans living in Tacoma, WA returned once their time in internment was over. If you want a great tool to view where relatives lived before internment, we can shed some light on the path they traveled. Knowing about where relatives were living before and after can offer unique insight into your own background.

Using our tools to research which of the internment centers people stayed at is another way to gain context on the lives relatives lived all those years ago. We can help you trace back what they were doing before they were detained, giving you insight into their immediate family, where they lived, and more. Our site provides an easy way to trace back your family's history through this dark point in American history.

Our records go back decades and account for millions of people, meaning that we can add a great level of detail to any family's history. In addition to seeing which internment center family members went to, you can also view how long they were there, where they went afterward, who they ended up marrying, and how those choices in their lives may have been influenced by the time they spent in captivity. All of that adds up to an incredibly rich source of data for a family tree. To learn more, search and get started for free!