No, not an alien from space! My ancestor's sister (Amy Kinman) was married to Adam Smith in Philadelphia (1795). He died in 1805 and his will directed the executors to sell his land in Cheltenham Township. However, the state considered him an "alien". I assume this means he never became a citizen, but the legislature passed an act in 1810 to prevent the state from seizing the land from the widow (Amy) (see below). My question is whether this was a common occurrence in that time period, or was it an exceptional case for the state to prevent itself from seizing the property of an "alien" married to a citizen? Would it have made a difference if they had children? -----------Thanks, Ken
An act to relinquish the title of this commonwealth to a tract of land: Whereas it appears ADAM SMITH, an alien late of Bristol twp., Philadelphia county, yeoman, died without issue, seized of a tract of land in Cheltenham twp., Montgomery county, containing 13 acres and 16 perches, as described in an indenture from JOHN LAPP and MARY LAPP his wife, to Adam Smith, dated 2 Jun 1801, and recorded in Norristown, deed book #15, page 157, and the land by reason of the alienage of Adam Smith, is liable to be forfeited, to the prejudice of his widow, who by her industry chiefly contributed to its acquisition, therefore, all right and title of the commonwealth to the tract of land are forever remised and released to AMY SMITH, the widow of Adam Smith, and she shall have and enjoy the tract forever. 22 Dec 1810.
(Source: LAWS OF PENNSYLVANIA GENEALOGICAL DATA, Copyright Vi P. Limric 1999 on Pennsylvania USGenWeb site citing The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg PA, 1911).