I was told to give up!

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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lowlight
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I was told to give up!

Postby lowlight » 06 Nov 2010, 05:24

Howdy All,
I was directed here from another forum due to the immense interest and informed users. Anyway, I was told that due to the census I used (where my great-grandfather claimed he naturalized) that I have no chance of dual citizenship. Even though all other sources: USCIS, NARA, and the local court records have no record to corroborate this. He only lived in two places his entire life in the US, Iron Mountain, Michigan & Bessemer, Michigan. Neither of which seems to have naturalization records for him. His claim dates seem a little off as well. He arrived in 1900 and was naturalized by 1904. Lastly, and seemingly least important, I never found his arrival records. I found his father's (for a visit) but never his. His name is:
Alfredo Bartelli, he went by fred, frederick, & alfred to make things more difficult. Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
LL

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby Squigy » 06 Nov 2010, 07:10

lowlight wrote:Howdy All,
I was directed here from another forum due to the immense interest and informed users. Anyway, I was told that due to the census I used (where my great-grandfather claimed he naturalized) that I have no chance of dual citizenship. Even though all other sources: USCIS, NARA, and the local court records have no record to corroborate this. He only lived in two places his entire life in the US, Iron Mountain, Michigan & Bessemer, Michigan. Neither of which seems to have naturalization records for him. His claim dates seem a little off as well. He arrived in 1900 and was naturalized by 1904. Lastly, and seemingly least important, I never found his arrival records. I found his father's (for a visit) but never his. His name is:
Alfredo Bartelli, he went by fred, frederick, & alfred to make things more difficult. Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
LL


Contact the USCIS. If they don't find him, ask for a letter stating "No record found". Once you get that, you're good to go.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 06 Nov 2010, 13:20

Well, just a couple of points, not much in your favor, I am sorry to admit:

a) Prior to 1910'ish (not sure of the exact date), becoming a US citizen was quite easy and did not require a long residency period or much of anything other than to simply say "I want to be a US citizen". So, arriving in 1900 and naturalizing by 1904 was certainly do-able.

b) USCIS does not have records for naturalizations which occurred prior to September 27, 1906. A "No Records Found" letter from USCIS therefore does not contradict the census record.

c) In many parts of the country, NARA holds only federal records. Unless NARA claims to have state, county, and local court records for Michigan, it is unlikely they would have a naturalization record, even if one did exist. So, again, a "No Records Found" letter from NARA is not definitive in this case.

d) In the 1904 time frame, naturalizations were performed at courts at all levels; I believe even a local "Justice of the Peace" could officiate.

e) The San Francisco and New York City consulates are known to enforce the so-called "1912 Rule" which they interpret as meaning that an Italian citizen who naturalized in another country prior to July 1, 1912 lost not only his own Italian citizenship rights, but those of all of his children, no matter where they were born. I have read that most/all Italian consulates located outside the US enforce this rule as well.

Do you have any later censuses? Do they all say he was naturalized? If you had, say 1910 and 1920 censuses that said he was an alien, you might be able to argue the point.

Beyond that, I am afraid your only option is to continue searching for naturalization records. I would suggest you contact the Michigan State Archivist and inquire as to an effective research path. Perhaps they will have some ideas. Website: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-15 ... --,00.html
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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby lowlight » 06 Nov 2010, 15:10

Thanks for the reply's I have the letter form the USCIS, I also have letter's from the NARA and the local level as far as they go. They all were unable to find anything w/ his name on it period. The reason I mentioned the dates of naturalization is that the researcher at the NARA pointed out that fact, that the process was more lengthy than what it appears on the census. Another point that brought up, if the available census's all have the same year of naturalization. If they differ maybe I have a point of contention. I don't have access to Ancestry.com but maybe the 1910 & 1930 census say something different.
LL

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby DeFilippis78 » 06 Nov 2010, 17:18

But Im in a similar situation. I have a census that says naturalized but USCIS, NARA, NJ Archives and 2 county clerks say no record of naturalization. So Im in trouble too?

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby vj » 06 Nov 2010, 18:11

lowlight wrote:Thanks for the reply's I have the letter form the USCIS, I also have letter's from the NARA and the local level as far as they go. They all were unable to find anything w/ his name on it period. The reason I mentioned the dates of naturalization is that the researcher at the NARA pointed out that fact, that the process was more lengthy than what it appears on the census. Another point that brought up, if the available census's all have the same year of naturalization. If they differ maybe I have a point of contention. I don't have access to ancestry. com but maybe the 1910 & 1930 census say something different.
LL


For reference, possible records
Valarie

1930 census
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/9401/1930.jpg

1920 census
http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/7981/1920td.jpg

1918 WWI Draft Registration Card (checked 'Naturalized')
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/7937/1918od.jpg

1910 census
http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/6798/1910t.jpg

1900 census
http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/1686/1900w.jpg

1900 ship manifest line 12
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/3725/1900v.jpg

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 06 Nov 2010, 18:26

lowlight wrote:I don't have access to Ancestry . com but maybe the 1910 & 1930 census say something different.
LL


A quick search failed to turn up the 1910 census, but here is the 1930 and also the 1920 just for reference. I notice that while the 1920 census gives Fred's year of immigration as 1900, the 1930 census gives it as 1890. Mary is also 10 years earlier, 1903 vs. 1893. Another minor detail, son Leonard in 1920 seems to be son Raymond in 1930...


1930 census:
Image

1920 census:
Image

Click thumbnail to enlarge, then click again to magnify.
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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby lowlight » 06 Nov 2010, 21:04

And this is why I came! Johnny & VJ thanks for the docs. I've never seen the draft card and I'll be you found the manifest as well, awesome!! My hope was that dates of naturalization would not be consistent. Unfortunately, it seems that that he only answered the year of naturalizing on the 1920 census. The rest just say NA. It would seem that unless I can produce say a declaration of intent or something of the sort that I have very little to stand on, that being said I could attempt to push with my GGM, the 1912 law could get in the way, but who knows. Maybe I just move to a new jurisdiction. Has anyone applied directly to the commune where their relative was from and bypassed the consulate altogether? Any further thoughts.
LL

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 06 Nov 2010, 21:40

I don't think you said yet which of Alfredo's children is your next-in-line ancestor. Since the dates on the various censuses jump around a bit, it is possible that even if Alfredo did naturalize, the 1904 date may not be correct.

You mention your GGM; I don't want to throw up more roadblocks, but please be aware that prior to January 1, 1948 (the effective date of the modern Italian Constitution), Italian citizenship was passed only by the father. Hence, any children born to your GGM prior to that date could not have inherited citizenship from her.
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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby lowlight » 06 Nov 2010, 22:21

wouldn't you know it, he was born in 1912. His name was Herman. I'm really feeling like I'm at a dead-end. There seems to be no way to disprove or prove when and if his naturalization ever occurred. I mean there is a little discrepancy that you all pointed out with his date of immigration, but what does that do? More hmmmm....

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby jennabet » 06 Nov 2010, 22:52

Who told you to give up? Just want to give my thoughts here on "early" naturalization.

I found arrival records for ancestor in question. He got here in 1900 and filed a Declaration of Intention in 1903. The Prothonotary of Cameron County PA provided the copy and indicated in writing that no further naturalization records exist. USCIS has also provided a No Records Letter, as did NARA Mid-Atlantic Region at Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State Archives at Harrisburg. Immigrant in question never lived anyplace other than Cameron County.

BUT on 1910 Census, he lists himself as NA and on 1920 Census lists himself as NA and gives date of NA as 1913 and gave conflicting arrival dates on both Census. Here is what I think happened:

The immigrant was illiterate. Could not read and write Italian let alone English. Most likely he was told in 1903 when he filed Delcaration of Intention that his "greencard" would be good for ten years, and that if he learned the English language and was able to pass the citizenship test, he could become naturalized by 1913. But this didn't happen because he did not follow through with the Petition for Citizenship as was the case with many immigrants from Calabria and Sicily. But being the proud man he was (they were all proud), he lists NA on both Censuses (1910 and 1920). It's also possible that he thought perhaps he had been "automatically" naturalized in 1913.

Interestingly enough, his son, who would have been age 19 in 1913 when his father was "naturalized", lists himself as an "Alien" on his 1917 draft card.

I'm sure most Consulates are well aware of the above situation as it happened routinely and I cannot fathom any Consulate denying an application because of what an immigrant may have listed on a Census when there are no accompanying documents to prove the immigrant was ever naturalized and several documents that say he was not.

Aside from the Consulates, any researcher with knowledge and experience in recent US immigration should be able to apply this to the past, as things have really not changed much since then.

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby DeFilippis78 » 07 Nov 2010, 00:21

I agree with jennabet, these people didnt speak English. They didnt understand the questions. A census is not 100% accurate. I have many with lots of discrepancies and too much other records that prove a lot of my censuses are very wrong. Dont go 100% on what the census said. Maybe he didnt naturalize. Its very possible its a mistake.

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby sceaminmonkey » 07 Nov 2010, 00:50

The only census from 1920 I found is full of errors for Mt GGP. I don't see te problem if the NARA records says he never nat. And why did you show a census in the first place?

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby lowlight » 07 Nov 2010, 01:33

as all my documents say "no record exists" they then ask for the certified census. I figured they would realize all the things you are all saying and we'd move forward. That being said I read somewhere that consulate staff have a certain amount of discretion they are allowed to exercise on what goes through to the next stage. But how do I get past the glass wall with what I have? It's quite maddening I say.

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Re: I was told to give up!

Postby jennabet » 07 Nov 2010, 01:47

Lowlight, where was your ancestor from? What part of Italy? When did he arrive? What was his occupation? There might be something else within your case that could be leading the consulate to think he did become naturalized.


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