Thursday, April 16, 2009

Question About Pre-1906 Naturalization Records ...

A few years ago, I found my ancestor's naturalization paper in the State of Michigan archives, and since this naturalization occurred before 1906, I figured that this was the only record. Lately, though, I have been wondering: Should I be looking for an additional record even though this is before 1906? I still am not having any luck in determining where my ancestor was born, and I wonder if there is more than this half-page to his naturalization record. Does anyone know?
Although I have posted the image so that other genealogists could look at the record, I have covered up the last name to protect the identities of living relatives.
Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Jessica, this appears to be the order of citizenship by the court, which would have issued a certificate of citizenship to Charles at that time which would have been kept in his personal possession (not in the court archives). This was the final step in the naturalization process.

There would have been three previous steps: the Declaration of Intention (First Papers), the Petition for Naturalization (Final Papers...even though this was not the final step), and the Oath of Allegiance.

Prior to 1906, there was little information of genealogical value in these papers. However, they may be of sentimental value to you, and/or you may wish to obtain them to place your ancestor at a specific location and time period. It appears that the previous steps of naturalization probably occurred within the same county...unusual, as in those days, the steps could take place wherever the person lived at the time and may often be difficult to find if you don't know where your ancestor lived when he took each step. Some people started the process and never finished.

Since there's so much to say on this, I'm sending you via e-mail a copy of my Naturalization and Immigration syllabus from my Intermediate Online Genealogy class that I teach for Community Colleges of Spokane.

Happy Hunting!