NARA and Chambers in NYC

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carmine1917
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NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby carmine1917 » 17 Jul 2010, 11:38

I have posted this before but can't find my original post.

In Manhattan, Any naturalization done before 1924 is indexed at Chambers Street. They are great, they let you go through and are helpful.

Trying to go to NARA in NYC, totally different story. I am not the only one that has encountered this situation. The person at the desk looks up the person you are looking for on ggg.org or stevemorse.org and than will tell you go to that computer and look on ancestry.com, all this can be done at home. My friends who are trying to do the same thing, are all frustrated with NARA in NYC. My mother and aunt know that their grandmother became a citizen, they are also sure their grandfather became a citizen, but not sure when, the lived in Brooklyn. All the papers were thrown out by their evil step mom.

When I told the people at Chambers these stories, they told me to call the Director at NARA, but fear getting that person at the desk on the phone, LOL


What can I do?

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby johnnyonthespot » 17 Jul 2010, 11:49

It may not be clear, but NARA in New York holds naturalization records only for persons who did so in the federal court system. Most naturalization prior to the 1950's actually took place in state and county courts; that is why NARA can seem less than helpful...

Both of my grandfathers naturalized in the Supreme Court of the State of New York at White Plains. The Westchester County Archives quickly found and provided copies of their documents.
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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby carmine1917 » 17 Jul 2010, 12:22

Ohhh, I see. But my other grandfather I found him at Chambers, he lived in Manhattan and was naturalized in 1921. For this side of the family, I went to Brooklyn and they said everything is on NCIS, i think that is the name or Chambers or NARA. What should I do?

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby johnnyonthespot » 17 Jul 2010, 12:44

More likely they said USCIS - the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

USCIS holds copies of all alien and naturalization records from 1906 onwards. It takes longer and costs more to get records from them, but when all else fails they are the place to go.

Start here http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ ... 18190aRCRD

You will need to make an "Index Search Request" first to locate file numbers and, assuming that search comes back successfully, you then follow up with a "Records Request".
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Re: Original Naturalization Papers

Postby KarenChristino » 19 Jul 2010, 14:54

I don't know if this information will be helpful as I believe the Italian Consulate requires an official letter of "no record." However my GGF applied for naturalization after my GF was born, and was never naturalized.

I first found my GGF's application indexed on ItalianGen.org (click on Databases: Naturalization and scroll all the way down to begin the search) That gave me the date of his filing in 1913. I then went to the Supreme Court in downtown Brooklyn. In the record room in the basement they very quickly brought up his Declaration of Intent and later Petition from 1917. (They didn't even seem to need the date that I'd found.) They will photocopy it for you and certify it upstairs at the County Clerk's office for a minimal charge of under $10. (If it later needs an apostille, I believe you can get it notarized there, too.) I imagine the same would be true in Manhattan and the other boroughs.

However, as I said, I am not knowledgeable enough about the process to know if this will help others. In my case, I don't know if I can get a leter of "no record" since my GGF applied for citizenship.

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby sforza » 19 Jul 2010, 17:49

johnnyonthespot wrote:It may not be clear, but NARA in New York holds naturalization records only for persons who did so in the federal court system. Most naturalization prior to the 1950's actually took place in state and county courts; that is why NARA can seem less than helpful...

Both of my grandfathers naturalized in the Supreme Court of the State of New York at White Plains. The Westchester County Archives quickly found and provided copies of their documents.


I am trying to prove the negative - that my great grandfather never naturalized. I have isolated five different addresses where he lived or stayed in three different cities in three different states in the one year he was in the US before my grandfather was born. One of those places was in Manhattan w/an Uncle. I've done NARA online for all possible addresses, as well as USCIS for all addresses. I've sent requests to the states of NJ which centralizes the local records in the state archives, and to the local court in the county where he lived in PA. What is the best way to get no-records ltrs from all the local courts that potentially could have naturalized him had he applied while staying in Manhattan?

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby carmine1917 » 19 Jul 2010, 23:02

I looked on italiangen, ancestry, stevemorse. i got nothing, nada. But my mother and her sister said their grandmother became a citizen, they think, because she had to go on welfare.

In Brooklyn they said that anything done after a certain year went to Federal, the city could not handle it. I trust what they said in Brooklyn, I know a big shot there who took me to the basement where the naturalizations are. Also, Chambers street they are great.

I don't trust NARA in NYC, they are lazy. The gatekeepr told me that my family didn't know what they were talking about, nice right? I insisted that I can do internet searches at home, I didn't need to come there in 10degree temps.

My friend went a few weeks ago and they did the same thing to her.

I appreciate the volunteers who do all these websites, but mistakes get made, a lot.

USCIS has to give that stamp saying no naturalization.

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby sforza » 19 Jul 2010, 23:57

My GGF immigrated in mid-1903 and my grandfather was born almost exactly a year later in 1904 in PA. Would Chambers Street be the repository for all local NY/NYC courts that would have conducted naturalizations for those residing in Manhattan in 1903-1904? Is that who could send me a "no records" letter?

BTW, I used the NARA online ordering system, which covers federal courts in all states. Have not attempted to deal w/any local NARA office. I understand I can get the same info simply by ordering online. Altho - there has been one glitch - when I did NARA online for NYC, it mandated entry of a petition #. The whole point is that my GGF never petitioned! I entered "0" just so the system would process the request. We'll see...

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby bmilazzo » 24 Jul 2010, 11:21

I've had a very prompt response from NARA NYC using email. THis allows you to bypass the gate keeper.
Ditto for NYC birth records. I found a supervisor by email and things were done quickly.

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby carmine1917 » 24 Jul 2010, 12:06

thank you, this is a good idea.

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby bmilazzo » 24 Jul 2010, 12:09

pm for more info

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby sforza » 24 Jul 2010, 17:15

johnnyonthespot wrote:It may not be clear, but NARA in New York holds naturalization records only for persons who did so in the federal court system. Most naturalization prior to the 1950's actually took place in state and county courts; that is why NARA can seem less than helpful...


Acutally, I pulled up NARA's NYC office holdings and it includes the following:
Records of the following New York City courts, 1792-1906:
City Court, Brooklyn;
County Court, Kings County;
County Court, Queens County;
County Court, Richmond County;
Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York;
Marine Court of the City of New York;
Superior Court of the City of New York;
Supreme Court of New York County;
Surrogate's Court, Queens County;
U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York;
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York;
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

It's not everything, but it does have some of the local courts, including the Superior and Supreme Courts of NYC. I'm wondering if having them spell this out in "no records" letters will help those of us who have to go far and wide to prove a negative (no naturalization).

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby sforza » 24 Jul 2010, 17:15

johnnyonthespot wrote:It may not be clear, but NARA in New York holds naturalization records only for persons who did so in the federal court system. Most naturalization prior to the 1950's actually took place in state and county courts; that is why NARA can seem less than helpful...


Acutally, I pulled up NARA's NYC office holdings and it includes the following:
Records of the following New York City courts, 1792-1906:
City Court, Brooklyn;
County Court, Kings County;
County Court, Queens County;
County Court, Richmond County;
Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York;
Marine Court of the City of New York;
Superior Court of the City of New York;
Supreme Court of New York County;
Surrogate's Court, Queens County;
U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York;
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York;
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

It's not everything, but it does have some of the local courts, including the Superior and Supreme Courts of NYC. I'm wondering if having them spell this out in "no records" letters will help those of us who have to go far and wide to prove a negative (no naturalization).

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Re: NARA and Chambers in NYC

Postby sforza » 05 Jun 2011, 17:47

A clarification on the information I provided in the post above - while NARA's NYC office holds pre-1906 naturalization records, it will not issue "no-records" certifications for these. You will still have to go through the local courts for no-records certifications.


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