fastest way to find out if someone naturalized or not?

Determine if an ancestor was ever naturalized and, if so, discuss your consulate's requirements for proving this.

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fastest way to find out if someone naturalized or not?

Postby manning626 » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:56 am

what is the fastest way to find out if someone naturalized or not?
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Re: fastest way to find out if someone naturalized or not?

Postby AnotherCitizenToBe » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:08 am

manning626 wrote:what is the fastest way to find out if someone naturalized or not?


What time period would we be talking about?

Where would he/she have been living during this time?

a) Obtain his/her full death certificate; there will be an indication such as "Citizen of:" or "Nationality:". If it says USA, he/she *probably* naturalized, if it says Italy he/she *probably* did not.

b) Contact the National Archives ("NARA") for the region in question (http://www.archives.gov/locations/) by telephone and ask about the liklihood that they would have records; they may suggest you contact another archive at the state or county level - NARA only holds records from the Federal courts whereas your ancester may have naturalized in the State court system, especially if before 1950.

c) If NARA thinks they may have the record, fill out an online request ( https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe?SWECmd=GotoView&_sn=LKqRg5IrFDdxhzKhccL5NlRDfKosUk.VHTjOIHHBi28_&SWEView=GPEA+Microfilm+Landing+Page+View+MIF&SWEHo=eservices.archives.gov&SWETS=1193388568&SWEScreen=GPEA+Microfilm+MIF , click the "Order Reproductions" tab at the top of the screen then the "Immigration & Naturalization Records" link).

d) If NARA believes the State court archives will be more fruitful, they will usually give you some idea as to who holds those records for the region in question. In the case of my grandfather, for example, they pointed me to the Westchester County, NY Archives who did indeed have the records and I was able to obtain them just a few days later.

e) In any event, you may want to go ahead and file a Freedom of Information Act request with the USCIS ( http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=7b21d0676988d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=34139c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD ). If your ancester *did not* naturalize, you will need a certified "No Records" letter from USCIS and if he/she *did* naturalize, they will have the complete record. Unfortunately, it is taking two years on average to get anything at all from USCIS; as of a few weeks ago, my request "is currently number 57934 on a list of 82015 pending cases to be worked" (my request was logged into their system in April, 2007!).
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Postby Em » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:16 am

If you just want to know if he did or did not naturalize, sometimes the fastest way is to do an on-line search. That's the way I discovered the date my granddad naturalized (and his Petition number). This told me that I qualified so I began collecting documents. The on-line information, however, is better suited for finding naturalization than for demonstrating non-naturalization.

In any case, I used www.ancestry.com (I took the two-week trial membership). You may find the actual date of naturalization or, by checking census records, determine his status (for 1920 and 1930).

You may also want to ask the people on the dual citizenship forum at www.italiangenealogy.com to do some research for you.
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Postby manning626 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:38 am

My great grand father is Leonardo Demarco born 1886 in Bari Bitetto. He arrived in the USA in 1903, went back to Italy in 1912 where he married Donata Loverro born in 1893 of Bitetto. They then traveled together in 1913 to the USA.

They lived in Kings County Brooklyn.

On his 1918 WWI draft card, he lists Alien. On the 1930 Census, he lists NA for naturalized. My grand father was born before 1918. So, it seems that I now need to locate the final piece of the puzzle, his Naturalization Certificate.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Postby AnotherCitizenToBe » Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:52 am

manning626 wrote:My great grand father is Leonardo Demarco born 1886 in Bari Bitetto. He arrived in the USA in 1903, went back to Italy in 1912 where he married Donata Loverro born in 1893 of Bitetto. They then traveled together in 1913 to the USA.

They lived in Kings County Brooklyn.

On his 1918 WWI draft card, he lists Alien. On the 1930 Census, he lists NA for naturalized. My grand father was born before 1918. So, it seems that I now need to locate the final piece of the puzzle, his Naturalization Certificate.

Any help would be appreciated.


As stated in my earlier reply in this thread, contact the National Archives office in New York City and go forward from there. With a little effort, you may be one of the lucky ones who can have certified documents in hand within a week or two.

Also, you do not need the actual naturalization certificate. The only way to get that particular document is to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the USCIS and then wait two years until they get around to your request (there were over 82,000 requests backlogged as of a few weeks ago).

What you can get relatively easily and quickly from NARA or the local state archives repositiry is the fully executed "Oath of Allegience". This document is satisfactory for proving the date of naturalization.
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Check out Footnote

Postby Lindalee » Tue May 06, 2008 9:58 pm

For some states, Footnote has the Naturalization Records online. That is how I found mine. I got all the info. I needed and then could go to NARA and look up the file there, too.

www.footnote.com
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Postby magendim » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:36 pm

Another quick way to determine approximate naturalization dates and if you may qualify is to look up your ancestors census records. They indicate if they were naturalized and what year it happened.

I asked my mom if her father had naturalized after she was born and she said yes and then I looked up the 1920 census record and lo & behold it showed NA and the year 1916 (my mom was born in 1914). From there I went on to search out the official records, which i found at the county courthouse...
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Postby csimwil322 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:45 pm

Does anyone know, if I find the petition for naturalization on ancestry.com, does that mean the naturalization process was complete?

Em wrote:...In any case, I used www.ancestry.com (I took the two-week trial membership). You may find the actual date of naturalization or, by checking census records, determine his status (for 1920 and 1930).

You may also want to ask the people on the dual citizenship forum at www.italiangenealogy.com to do some research for you.
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Postby matta » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:52 pm

csimwil322 wrote:Does anyone know, if I find the petition for naturalization on ancestry.com, does that mean the naturalization process was complete?


As long as it was accepted. If it was, there should also be an oath and ceritificate. The bottom of the petition should list the date accepted, the court accepting, and the certificate number. If you have all of that, then you have the date Italian citizenship was renounced.
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Postby csimwil322 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:12 pm

I don't see an oath or a certificate. The bottom of the petition does not list a certificate number. This was 1923. I would think it would all be filled in(?). Does this mean, to the best of your knowledge obviously, that the process wasn't complete? I know each situation is unique...I'm not asking for legal advice. Thanks, "matta", for your quick reply. This is very helpful.

matta wrote:
csimwil322 wrote:Does anyone know, if I find the petition for naturalization on ancestry.com, does that mean the naturalization process was complete?


As long as it was accepted. If it was, there should also be an oath and ceritificate. The bottom of the petition should list the date accepted, the court accepting, and the certificate number. If you have all of that, then you have the date Italian citizenship was renounced.
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Postby matta » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:32 pm

csimwil322 wrote:Does this mean, to the best of your knowledge obviously, that the process wasn't complete?


It means that I don't know what's going on. Your ancestor may have submitted the petition but it wasn't accepted or complete, the petition may have been completed by copied before the information was put on the paper, there are several possibilities.

Your best bet is to go to NARA or the county and see what they can get you (you need their file eitherway). If there's an oath, NARA or the county should have it, and that should date the naturalization. If neither of them have an oath, I would go the USCIS route and see what they come back with (you'll need a letter from them anyway if you're going to argue that he never completed the naturalization process).
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Postby Tiffany » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:32 am

The petition means ONLY that your ancestor petitioned for citizenship. That is all and many people petitioned but did not complete the process or completed it years later. I would not give that date much weight. Find the Oath or the Certificate of Naturalization - those documents will give the actual dates of naturalization.
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Postby matta » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:19 am

Tiffany wrote:The petition means ONLY that your ancestor petitioned for citizenship. That is all and many people petitioned but did not complete the process or completed it years later. I would not give that date much weight. Find the Oath or the Certificate of Naturalization - those documents will give the actual dates of naturalization.


I was under the impression that the Declaration of Intention was often completed but forgotten, and that the Petition was the last step. The petition was filled out, the oath was taken, the court accepted / rejected the petition, the oath was administered and that was it. So if a petition exists, the person at least made it to the last step and showed up at the court house with witnesses.

I could be wrong, though (it wouldn't be the first time).
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