Friday, April 9, 2010

The Compleat Database: Citizenship Matters

In her article, "The Compleat Database: Citizenship Matters," Judy Rosella Edwards provides considerable detail on researching and interpreting immigration and naturalization records. The key advice is to work backwards, as it true of most genealogical research; that is, work from the most recent information back. If an ancestor were a naturalized citizen, the place to begin would be with naturalization records, of which there are three documents along the paper trail. Also noted is the fact the "third paper" -- the final, certificate of naturalization, might even be noted in the local newspaper, perhaps among the legal notices. Recording this information in the genealogy database is important an important step in tracing an immigrant ancestor's place of origin.

I recently had the opportunity of helping my niece track her Swedish grandfather's immigration and naturalization. It was interesting to note the dates and distance traveled. Her grandfather arrived in the U.S. in 1907, in New York. Applying for citizenship, he filed his Declaration of Intention in 1919, in Seattle, Washington. Interestingly, the Certificate of Citizenship was not awarded until 1942, in Fairbanks, Alaska, some 24 years since he first filed. In all, a 35-year process. Seems immigrants as well as genealogists must practice patience. 

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Indiana naturalization records online

An item in the Terre Haute Tribune Star, "Genealogy: State Archives house all naturalization records up to 1951," advises the Indiana State Archives is the place where all naturalization records in Indiana, from its beginning to the year 1951, are to be housed and preserved. The Archives obtains these records from the individual counties, microfilms them, and then adds them to a searchable on-line database. This database is located at the Indiana Commission on Public Records web site. The article provides information on limitations of this database and sources for finding additional information in Indiana and the Great Lakes region.

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