Discovering Stored Treasures

Discovering Genealogy, One Ancestor at a Time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 9: Fearless Females: A Mexican Immigration Document

March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

Immigration Registration Papers Ana de Gerson(Cwilich Shapiro)
(Click to enlarge)
Remember Anita Gerson? The beautiful woman whose engagement ring I proudly wear on my finger? (see: Day 6: Fearless Females: Las Mañanitas). Today, I present to an immigration paper. This is not a US immigration paper, but a document issued by the Immigration services of Mexico. The document is titled Registro de Extranjeros which means registry of foreigners, and provides the following information about my husband's grandmother.
Number 132238 85185
Place: S. Luis Potosi, S.L.P (City of St. Luis Potosi in the State of St. Luis Potosi).
Issed: March 15, 1940 whose stay in Mexico remains proven with this card.

Mode of Identification of Foreigner:
Physical Appearance: Regular
Height: 1.56 m Color: white
Hair: Light brown Eyebrows: populated
Eyes: Blue Nose: Straight
Mouth: Double lipped
Beard: ------- Special Signs: None 
Complementary Information: 
Age: 15 Date of Birth: June 19, 1924
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Student
Native Language: Polish Other Languages Spoken: Spanish
Place and Country of Birth: St. Luis Potosi   (Inconsistency: family reports she arrived in Mexico as a toddler)
Actual Nationality: Polish
Religion: Israelite Race: White
Place of Residence: St. Luis Potosi, S.L.P
Name of address of person who can give references of the foreigner: Manuel Perez-Allende
108 St. Luis Potosi, S.L.P.
Signed by: P. of chief of the department of demographics
V.P Carlos A Gomez

Signed by Ana Cwilich Shapiro who states she entered Mexico through Veracruz, Veracruz on the 7th of February, 1927 (Consistent with the fact that she entered as a child).
Exp 4.355.1/115487 ana

Yesterday, I was honored to be part of a #genchat on twitter with some amazing genealogist sharing tips about researching our female ancestors. I'm still catching my breath from this first time experience. @MariannSRegan mentioned how glad she was her ancestors "stayed put" which makes them easier to track especially via directories and cemeteries. Mine, and my husband's seem to migrate quite a bit, reflecting the history of the Jewish people. @lisaapp made the point that we ourselves will be hard for our ancestors to track as many of us move around so much. I have followed in my ancestors footsteps and this may be why I am fascinated with the immigration story.

I'm afraid, I will leave you hungry for more of Anita's story and how she arrived in the little known town of St. Luis Potosi! Today the present is interfering with my look into the past. My son is in the school musical this evening and we are off! In the mean time, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this document and the differences between this document and US documents.


  1. This is another great document! Hope to hear more of her story. Hope you really enjoy the musical!

    1. Thanks, Betty! The musical was a lot of fun! It's wonderful to see the High school Kids as they develop through the years with the theater department. They did the Pajama Game and it was great! I've fallen behind in my prompts, I hope to catch up this week! More about Ana Gerson soon!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow what a wonderful detailed record, and a lovely photo as well. You are lucky to have that document. I missed genchat last night but it is a great way to share information!

    1. Thanks so much, Patricia. It is a unique record, one the family had which I'm grateful. It's much harder for me to get records from Mexican databases so I'm happy they found this record for me. Hope to see you at the next #genchat (March 22nd). The summery is at: (there were some great tips!). I loved your son's video today! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Now I'm wondering what populated eyebrows are.

    And I need to get myself focused - this is the second recommendation I've read in the last 10 minutes for genchat/Hangouts and such activities.

    1. I loved the populated eyebrows description as well Wendy! Especially since it looks like hers were very fashionably trimmed! The next #genchat is on March #22, I'll make sure to forward you the time. Are you on twitter? You can see the summery at There were some great tips you can get from the summary. Live, it goes really fast so the summary is very useful!
      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! Much appreciated!

  4. The school musical! Yay! By all means that is the most important thing--what is the musical, what part does he have? I recognize Anita Gerson from your previous blog about your engagement ring, and I notice she immigrated into Mexico when she was 16, right? Wow. She is Polish and at 16 speaks both Polish and Spanish. How did that happen? And you are right, I'm fascinated by how much your family and your husband's family moved around. First time I've heard of St. Luis Potosi.

    1. The Musical (Pajama Game) was amazing! My son had the role of Hines (if you're familiar with the musical). It's a very funny role and he did a great job! I'm now a bit behind on the prompts for the month and replying to comments, but I hope make up the gap soon!
      As to Ana, she was 15 at the time this document was issued, it's something like a Green Card I think. She arrived in Mexico at the age of two and a half according to the document (though it also states she was born in Mexico which is clearly a mistake). My next goal is to find the ship manifest from Veracruz! He Spanish was excellent as she did arrive as a toddler. St. Luis Potosi is a beautiful colonial town north of Mexico City, well worth the visit!

  5. What a wonderful document! I love travel-related documents such as this one. They can contain so much information. Plus the bonus of a photograph. Awesome!

    1. Thanks, Jana! I love travel documents also! The later ones tend to have photos included. I don't know what year the Naturalization certificates in the states started including photos, but I love when they show up or the passport ones! The profile photo is an added bonus!

    2. Smadar,

      I just wanted to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

      Have a great weekend!

  6. Smadar - What a wonderful look at a family document and a really good idea! I'll bet we could find further clues or information on family members if we looked at their documents with a keener eye! I think I'll try to do that with some of those that I have. They'll also make good blog posts too! :)
    I loved your engagement post and look forward to learning more about Anita!

    1. Glad you liked the post Cindy! One of my favorite parts of blogging is the exchange of ideas with other bloggers. I learn a lot from my readers and their blogs which helps advance my research! I'm glad I could help in yours! That's my goal!
      Thanks the support!


Thanks for sharing your comments!