questions about an adopted great grandparent

Are you eligible for Italian Citizenship jure sanguinis?

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questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:41 am

i have a great grandfather his name is jon do (obviously italian because his name ends in a vowel) he was adopted.. so i am assuming that the uscis will not have naturalization paperwork on him (not so much because he was adopted, but more so because my family said that they did not know much about his parents)

my questions are

1. where do i request one of these naturalization records searches (website)?? i just dont want to end up in the wrong place and get scammed on some bs family tree junk

2. if they have NO records on him ... is that good?? how do i prove that he came from italy?

3. if they have records on him.. but none on his parents..is that good???

4. how far is too far in generations for them to give you the citizenship (great great great grandparent)???

5. if this person (who was my great grandfather.. more specifically.. my mother's mother's father) turns out to have no records.. but i have other grandparents who have records (and not ones that help me out for italian citizenship) am i less likely to get it.. or do they even check up on that type of thing...????

my hope is that i can use his potential lack of records as a way to get my citizenship, any other grandparent of mine was naturalized before having children, making it impossible to get citizenship through them, so i am curious to know exactly what i need to have for info in order to pursue citizenship thru this particular great grandfather.
thanks so much
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:08 pm

Actually, it is MUCH more difficult to obtain citizenship without naturalization records because Italy requires substantive supporting documentation to prove that the person never naturalized on his own behalf or derivatively, through a parent. Without birth records, the task is impossible. A vowel at the end of a name does not prove that a person held Italian citizenship; it doesn't even prove he was Italian. You must prove both to the satisfaction of the consulate, and they don't deal with guesswork--only substantial paperwork that supports your claim.

You will need to prove (with birth records) that your ggf was born of Italian parents and that his father did not naturalize before he was born. If your ggf was born in Italy, you will need to prove that he never naturalized or that he naturalized after your gm was born. Also, you would not qualify if you mother was born before 1948 because women could not pass citizenship before that date.

Your task is made even more difficult because adoption records may be hard to locate. I would strongly suggest that you make a concerted effort to obtain your ggf's birth records before you proceed further. Without this, your journey may end before it begins.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:15 pm

i have already read the faq's page of the website thanks for the reiteration though

surprise, jon do is NOT his real name - try not to take things to literally- it was supposed to be a joke

i do appreciate the effort
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:34 pm

I did understand that Jon Do was not his real name, but that is not the issue. You provide few details about your gf other than that he was adopted and that he has a name ending in a vowel. You obviously know this is an issue since you ask "How do I prove he came from Italy?" So I will reiterate--you prove it with a birth certificate from Italy. This is actually the first, and the most critical document in your application. Next, of course, is the naturalization document.

So let's take your questions one at a time:

1. You can obtain naturalization documents from the regional NARA offices or USCIS. These are federal records. If records are not found, they will issue a statement to that effect. You will also need to search county records because many immigrants did not naturalize in the federal courts.
2. No, it's not good if you don't find records. The consulates make it considerably more difficult to obtain citizenship if records are unavailable because they are aware that many records from years back were lost, misfiled, etc. Also many immigrants received derivative naturalization through their parents, and records do no exist in their names. Proof of non-naturalization is usually supported by certified census records (also obtained through NARA). The census records should show the person as "AL" or "PA." If "NA" appears by his name, the consulate will assume that the person did indeed naturalize but that the records were not found. You may also want to check immigration records.
3. If they have records for him but not his parents, it's only good if you can somehow establish that he was born in Italy. If he was the child of immigrants, you will have to find records for his parents or it's a no-go. Since your ggf was adopted, the procedure is more complex, and much depends on when and where he was born.
4. There are no generational limits to citizenship.
5. Records for your other grandparents only help if they show a continuous Italian line. If the line ended with naturalization, it neither helps nor hinders your application, but the consulate will not want to see them. Their concern is the citizenship line only.

I must stress that a failure to find records does not help you; it only makes things more difficult. So you need to do some extensive research. You may want to visit your library. Many libraries subscribe to ancestry.com or do a trial (and free) membership. That is where I found my grandfather's information. It's a great source for immigration records, census data, and naturalization petition numbers, not at all "bs."

Do you have access to his adoption papers? If not, that might be a first step because it may contain the information you need to determine your next step. You can be eligible for citizenship either through his birth father or adoptive father. If you can trace citizenship through his birth father, you will somehow need to establish the name and citizenship status of his birth father. If he was adopted by an Italian family, you can also trace citizenship through them if the family registered his adoption in Italy (or an Italian consulate) and were themselves Italian citizens when they adopted him. The latter approach is generally easier since the adoption records will list them as his parents, and information about birth parents may not be accessible.

Your application is difficult, not because of the number of generations, but because of the adoption, which makes it more difficult to obtain the documents you will need.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:34 pm

thank you for the reply.. that was much more comprehensive and very helpful as a result..

i wonder if you can tell me if there is a way of checking up on naturalization records without having to pay the $129 fee.. since i would probably want to check up on at least 4 records before actually purchasing them.

is there a website where i can find some information like this?
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:25 pm

Best bet--ancestry. LDS also has some records.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:08 am

call me an idiot, but i am not sure how i can look up a persons possible naturalization status on ancestry..

and i am not sure what LDS is, can you clarify?

you said some naturalization happens at the county level? can you explain further? if the state was New York, what county office would have those records?

thanks again for all the info.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:59 pm

Once you log into ancestry, you can search immigration, birth, marriage, census, death and naturalization records. It's easier if you have dates, but you can also find information by trial and error. I located my grandparents on census records and also found their petition numbers (and date of naturalization). With this information, I was able to request naturalization papers (declaration, petition and oath) at NARA, which is the regional depository for many federal records.

I can't help you with county records because fortunately I did not have to go that route, but from what I understand, it was possible to naturalize in the county of residence (for example: Allegheny County in NY) rather than in the federal courts. This means you have to check the county records for each county in which your ancestor resided. This is especially important if you think your ancestor did not naturalize because the consulate will expect you to explore all possibilities. You should also try to locate census records because many consulates will ask for them and also because they provide clues about the naturalization status of your family.

LDS is the Church of Latter Day Saints, which has done substantial research on genealogical records. I believe you can access their site through www.myitalianfamily.com

Both genealogy sites are often accessible at local or county libraries without charge to patrons.

If you continue to have problems, you may want to ask for some help. You will have to provide more information on names and dates, but the members who post on www.italiangenealogy.com are very helpful and quite efficient. Many posters are amateur and/or professional genealogists, and they are great resources. This is a free site, and the information they provide is also free.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:22 pm

do you happen to know how to search for the actual naturalization records on ancestry? i went to my local library today and actually found some info on the ancestors that i was looking for, but found no information on naturalization date- is there a way to search for this more specifically?

thanks
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:12 pm

I'm not too adept at working with ancestry. I found my grandfather's information accidentally and then had difficulty finding it again. I used only the trial membership so did not spend too much time there. If you're having difficulty navigating the site, check the genealogy forum, www.italiangenealogy.com The people there have found information that seemed impossible to locate, and they may be able to help you.

Short of that, all I can suggest is continue to search as many records as your can using soundex, multiple years, various name spellings, etc.
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:24 pm

thanks for all your help... i really appreciate this
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby Em » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:38 pm

Good luck in your search. Italiangenealogy is a very active forum, and I'm certain someone will be able to help you. You may have to provide names and tentative dates or they won't be able to search for you. Happy hunting!
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Re: questions about an adopted great grandparent

Postby threeboneslater » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:03 am

i have been getting somewhere... visited the local library and found some info on ancestry. com

i printed the actual image of the census page from 1900 and it does in fact say "AL" next to my great great grandfather's name- so I am to assume that in the year 1900, he was an alien

the missing pieces of the puzzle are still these, however:

My great grandfather was not born until 1903- so I cannot yet prove that my great great grandfather was an alien at the time of my great grandfather's birth-

my gg grandfather died shortly (not sure how shortly though) after my g grandfather's birth, which (i believe) is why there is no record of him in the 1910 census according to my searching

so i still need to find:

some record of my g grandfather's birth which was in 1903 (in manhattan i believe)

some record of my gg grandfather's immigration status at the time of my g grandfather's birth

and not sure if i need anything else - other than records of the bloodline leading to me from g grandfather...

any advice on where/ how to find this info???

thanks
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