Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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DebiHarbuck
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Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 28 Oct 2010, 12:25

My great-grandfather (Pietro Roccanova) was naturalized in 1912. His wife (Maria Latorraca) was listed on his papers, as were all of his then-living children (all born in NYC).

At that time, did Maria also become a citizen?

If so, when did she lose her citizenship (I have her 'Alien Registration' card from 1942)?

Did she lose it when he died, in 1925? Or when she re-married a man (Pasquale Ventruto) who had not (yet?) naturalized, in 1928?
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby mler » 28 Oct 2010, 13:57

It's very possible she became a citizen with her husband. In the U.S. before the 1922 Cable Act, a married woman took on the citizenship of her husband, so if your ggf naturalized before that date, she naturalized as well.

My gm lost her U.S. citizenship in 1916 when she married my Italian gf. Then in 1928 they both naturalized and became American citizens, my gm reacquiring the citizenship she had when she was born.

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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 29 Oct 2010, 11:27

Interesting.

My great-grandfather naturalized in 1912. (My grandmother was born in 1911). In the 1920 census, both are listed as N(atrualized).

GGF died in 1925 and then my GGM remarried in 1928.

In the 1930 census, the second husband is listed as PA and my GGM is listed as AL.

I am sure there is a post here that explains the time line for eligibility for dual citizenship. Can someone point me to it?
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 11:49

There are a couple of points of interest here, depending on the rest of the lineage.

1) The so-called "1912 Rule". At least two US consulates (San Francisco and New York City) and I am told most non-US Italian consulates interpret Italian citizenship laws as saying that when an Italian became a naturalized citizen of another country prior to July 1, 1912, he not only lost his own Italian citizenship but that of his minor children as well, regardless of where they were born. Therefore, depending on the exact date of your GGF's naturalization, his prior-born children may have lost their citizenship rights. Again, some consulates are known to enforce this rule while others seem to have ignored it in the past.

2) Prior to the effective date of the current Italian constitution - January 1, 1948 - Italian citizenship was passed only by the father. As such, any children born before that date could not inherit Italian citizenship from your GGM regardless of her own citizenship status.
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 11:56

DebiHarbuck wrote:Interesting.

My great-grandfather naturalized in 1912. (My grandmother was born in 1911). In the 1920 census, both are listed as N(atrualized).


Following up on my previous post:

If your GGF naturalized prior to July 1, 1912, then at least some consulates will say that the 1912 Rule means that your GM lost her right to Italian citizenship at that time.

Since your GM was born in 1911, I consider it possible, if not very likely, that the next person in your lineage was born before January 1, 1948. If so, then he/she could not inherit citizenship from your GM.

I presume your GM married a non-Italian?
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 29 Oct 2010, 12:22

Three strikes, and I'm out! :)

My GGF's naturalization was finalized on February 19, 1912. My mother was born in 1939. And, yes, my grandmother married a Talmadge whose family "immigrated" in the 1600s.
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 12:28

DebiHarbuck wrote:Three strikes, and I'm out! :)


Debi, I am always sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Since your GM was an Italian citizen for at least a small part of her life, I believe you would qualify for Italian naturalization under the "expeditied" option which would require that you reside leaglly in Italy for a period three years.
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 29 Oct 2010, 23:07

Now there's a <b>seriously</b> attractive proposition. :)

Really, though, it's not too sad. I didn't even know dual citizenship was possible until I found this site and so had never even considered it.

I am curious, in a very general way, why so many people want it. The idea of moving to Italy is very attractive to me, in a pie-in-sky, one-day-if-I-win-the-lottery sort of way. But, if anyone here would like to share why they have pursued/are pursuing it, I'd love to hear.
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby beauac » 30 Oct 2010, 00:07

DebiHarbuck wrote: I am curious, in a very general way, why so many people want it. The idea of moving to Italy is very attractive to me, in a pie-in-sky, one-day-if-I-win-the-lottery sort of way. But, if anyone here would like to share why they have pursued/are pursuing it, I'd love to hear.


Its a ticket to the EU. As America continues to crumble it is kind of nice to know you can go to the other side. I can study for free at certain European universities if I am an EU citizen. I prefer Europe to America and would rather live there. If I get my Italian citizenship I wont even live in Italy, only visit. My gf, and friends all live in Germany, but with my Italian citizenship I can live there and work. So basically for me my Italian citizenship would be a oneway ticket to Germany. My Italian citizenship (if I get it) really has nothing to do with Italy on my end. :lol:

As for the others they will have to explain. Do you know the kind of people who take something when its free even if they know they dont need it? I am guessing with at least some people they get it simply because they have the right to.

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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 30 Oct 2010, 00:30

Thanks, beauac...I appreciate the response. :) Would love to hear others' as well.

I'm also still interested in hearing thoughts/ideas about my original question regarding my GGM's citizen and how she lost it (if she ever had it).
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby mler » 30 Oct 2010, 02:53

Hi Debi. If she had her alien registration card in 1942, perhaps she never did lose her citizenship so that may be the answer. BTW, is there another family line through which you might qualify?

For me, Italian citizenship has several meanings. I became very interested in genealogy and began to trace my family. In the process, I discovered that I was eligible for dual citizenship. To me this was a lovely way to honor my grandparents, all of who came here and, with the exception of my grandmother in one brief visit, never returned. I can only imagine how difficult it was for them, and I wish they were still alive to know that their granddaughter reclaimed the citizenship that was once theirs not only for herself but also for their great grandson and greatgreat grandson.

My husband was born and raised in Italy, so our family's connection to Italy is strong. I seriously doubt we will ever live in Italy; nor do I envision a time when either my son or my daughter makes that move (both are professionals with satisfying careers in the US). Who knows, though, maybe when they retire, things will change. For my grandson--and when he grows up, for his children--who knows. They will have the option to do so if they choose, and if not, their citizenship will be a reminder of their heritage, one I hope they will always appreciate.

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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 30 Oct 2010, 03:29

I think a lot of us do not plan on living in italy. part of it is a sense of pride. I am proud to be of italian decent, Just as I am very proud to be an american ( though I am not always proud of my government). I am not one of those guys who is getting italian citizenship as an insurance. The idea of EU is tempting but its more about the connection and the accomplishment of obtaining a foreign citizenship. I am only 22. I started this process at 21 and am obtaining it for my whole immediate family. The work as many know is very tedious. but in the end to hold that passport is just an accomplishment. just as completing a family tree is. its a pretty cool hobby to obtain a citizenship...... isnt it ?

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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 30 Oct 2010, 03:52

mler, that's lovely...and very much the same reasons that were swirling in my head as I wrote my first questions about the subject. I have been working on my family's history for many years now, and have always had a soft spot for my GGM. To get on a ship at 19 years old and travel half way around the world...leaving her whole family behind and not knowing when or if they might follow? It just amazes me.

And, your answer made me realize I had phrased my other question badly. If my GGM became a US citizen when my GGF naturalized in 1912...when did she lose her US citizenship (which she clearly did not have in 1942 as evidenced by her Alien Registration card).

Did she lose her US citizenship when my GGF died, in 1925? Or did she lose it in 1928 when she remarried (the 2nd husband is listed as PA on the 1930 census).?
Roccanova/Magistra/Rubertone/Paduano of Craco, Matera, Basilicata AND Latorraca/Cassino/Petrocelli/Peluso of Saponara di Grumento (now Grumento Nova) & Moliterno, Potenza, Basilicata

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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby DebiHarbuck » 30 Oct 2010, 03:59

sm...thanks for your story, too. :) I figured there would be as many different reasons as there are people...

mler, to answer your other question, no, I do not have another line I can go through. In the grandparent lottery, I got 1 Italian, 1 German, 1 Irishman, and 1 WASP. But, who knows? Maybe one day I <i>will</i> go to Italy and stay long enough to be eligible. It could happen.
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Re: Question about g-grandmother's citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 30 Oct 2010, 04:02

you should try that 1 irish. they are very liberal on their citizenship laws to


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