Frustrated -- At Wits End

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.
jennabet
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Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 06 Dec 2010, 17:32

Here is the info. It came to us anonymously typed on a plain sheet of white paper. Nothing "official" whatsoever about it.

Angelo Perri -- Occupation Labor
Born - February 2, 1875 in Necastro, Italy (birthdate is wrong -- should be 1870)
Resides Spring Street
Emigrated from Naples, Italy -- June 9, 1900
Arrived New York on vessel "Troy and Prince"
Filed Intent -- April 3, 1903 (official copy exists at Cameron Cty Prothonotary)
Wife Maggie Perri born in Platania, Italy
10 children
Josephine Perri born May 6, 1892 Platania Italy
FRANK PERRI born April 15, 1893 Platania Italy (wrong DOB should be 1894)
Rose Perri born February 18, 1896 Platania Italy
Velma Perri born August 5, 1897 Platania Italy
Lizzie Perri born June 22, 1903 Emporium PA
Mary Perri born August 15, 1905 Emporium PA
Julia Perri born July 10, 1906 Emporium PA
Philip Perri born March 6, 1908 Emporium PA
Angelo Perri born March 5, 1910 Emporium PA
George Perri born June 18, 1911 Emporium PA

All children live in Emporium
Witnesses W.R. Sizer Merchant Emporium PA
C.R. Husted Clerk Emporium PA
Admitted August 4, 1913 - #405951

QUESTION? WAS ANGELO PERRI NATURALIZED in 1913? No official document can be found anywhere!!!! Cameron County Prothonotary claims they had a fire but cannot provide the date of the fire that may have destroyed some records.

Son "Frank" born in Italy was age 19 years plus four months at time of father's "possible" naturalization. Frank was married and living in his own home with his wife. Was son Frank also naturalized?

Both father and son give conflicting dates on 1920 Census. Father Angelo gives conflicting dates on 1930 ensus. Son Frank was deceased in 1930.

Still no answers, still going around and around with this. Any suggestions as to how to present case?

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby misbris » 07 Dec 2010, 02:11


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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby uwlaw » 07 Dec 2010, 02:28

Jennabet,

With regard to Frank, I believe that the age of majority in Italy at the time was 21 (it was only lowered to 18 in 1975 as part of the major legislation dealing with the rights of the family). This means that Frank was a minor when his father naturalized in 1913.

You can't rely on Article 7 of the Citizenship Law of 1912, which would have saved Frank's citizenship if he was born in the US or another jure soli country.

However, the loss of citizenship for minors could occur only under Article 12 of the Citizenship Law of 1912. As of 1913, this Article caused a loss of citizenship only if all three of the following circumstances were true at the same point in time:

• The acquisition or previous possession by the child of a foreign citizenship (except citizenship granted jure soli);
• Loss of nationality by the controlling parent or the sole Italian parent; and
• Living with the parent who lost citizenship.
(Source: Circolare n. 9 del 04.07.2001)

If Frank had already left home at the time that his father lost citizenship, he would not have met all three of these circumstances -- even if Frank gained citizenship by virtue of his father's naturalization.

I would therefore assert that Frank did not lose his Italian citizenship, as long as he did not move back home before turning 21. Of course, it will likely be up to you to prove that he was not living at home during this period.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 07 Dec 2010, 06:25

Misbris, yes that is the correct manifest. Thanks.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 07 Dec 2010, 06:41

Uwlaw, thanks for your input. Frank got married in October 1912 (before his father naturalized). He was 18 at the time and his father, Angelo, had to give permission for him to marry by marking an "X" on the marriage application. Can I prove anything with this fact?

In 1918 when Frank was 24, he stated on his own WW1 draft registration that he was an "Alien". Can I prove anything with this fact?

Also, Angelo the father, answered "No" and "No" on the 1920 and 1930 Census to questions about "schooling" and "literacy". He could not read and write and I find it hard to believe he was naturalized as early as 1913.

Frank died in 1926 at the age of 31. He had five children and probably would have gotten around to being naturalized if he hadn't died so young. The last census he answered was 1920.

We want to take our papers to Italy and have it done over there but I'm thinking they might find the case too difficult. What do you think?

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby uwlaw » 07 Dec 2010, 08:48

Jenna,

What exactly is the story behind the anonymous piece of paper that you received? Did this just show up mysteriously in the mail, or is it something you expected? Is this is the only reason you have to believe that Angelo was naturalized? Have you tried a USCIS index search? If that was negative, have you tried a direct USCIS record request using the #405951 number that you reference above? It sounds suspiciously like a USCIS "C" number.

By the way, Declarations of Intention which were filed before June 29, 1906 had a validity of seven years. If the Declaration was still valid as of June 29, 1906, its validity was extended through June 29, 1913. This means that Angelo would have needed to have filed his petition for citizenship by the above date in 1913. This isn't wholly inconsistent with the facts on the mystery sheet, in that he could have filed it prior to June 29, 1906, then had it granted and taken the oath in August 1913. But it's something to keep in mind, if you end up finding a petition that was dated after June 29, 1913 (in which case his naturalization was arguably invalid).

Here's the underlying US Supreme Court case, if you're interested: http://openjurist.org/245/us/392/united-states-v-morena Note that it also addresses the question of literacy which I believe you have raised in other postings.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 07 Dec 2010, 21:39

Hi again Uwlaw. Thanks for your good advice.

The white paper was sent to us by a distant relative who still lives back East and knows someone that had started a family tree -- not for Italian citizenship purposes -- but just for geneological reasons. It does have date discrepancies and came along with some other copies (obituaries, etc.) that also have discrepancies.

Yes, that piece of paper is the reason I thought Angelo might have been naturalized but also because he listed himself as NA in 1913 on the 1920 Census. But he also gave arrival date discrepancies on that Census and 1930 Census. By the way, there is another immigrant named Angelo Perri from the same region in Italy. I'm wondering if perhaps the distant relative doing the research may have picked up his info instead of our Angelo Perri's info. But then why did our Angelo list 1913 NA on the Census unless he happened to know something about the new law and just told a little white lie to the Census worker.

I did receive a Certificate of No Record from Mike Quinn at Record Operations USCIS for Angelo Perri but it was based on the inaccurate birth-date of 2-2-1875. Angelo Perri listed 1870 on his Declaration of Intention.

I also received a similar certificate from Mike Quinn for Frank Perri based on his correct birth date of 1894.

Now I will try going back to Mr. Quinn and ask for a direct USCIS record request using the 405951 number

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 08 Dec 2010, 20:28

uwlaw said ..........By the way, Declarations of Intention which were filed before June 29, 1906 had a validity of seven years. If the Declaration was still valid as of June 29, 1906, its validity was extended through June 29, 1913........

uwlaw, what would have caused a declaration filed in 1903 to become invalid? I did receive, from the prothonotary of Cameron County, PA, a certified copy (with raised seal) of Angelo's Declaration of Intention filed April 3rd, 1903.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby uwlaw » 08 Dec 2010, 20:54

If would have become invalid as of June 30, 1913. But it needs only to be valid when the Petition for Naturalization is filed, not when naturalization is actually granted. Thus, as long as his Petition for Naturalization was filed on or before June 29, 1913, the naturalization would have been valid.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 08 Dec 2010, 22:21

OK, thanks again. I did send off to USCIS for the direct request using #C405951. If it comes back not belonging to our Angelo Perri, I will advise the forum.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 21 Dec 2010, 21:00

UWlaw, I just received a call from USCIS regarding the mysterious Certification #C405951. Much to my surprise, it does apply to the immigrant in question, Angelo Perri. The Petition was filed on May 11, 1913 -- so it IS valid.

His son, Frank is listed on the petition, along with the other siblings. However, as I mentioned before, Frank was age 19 but he got married in 1912. Although Frank was listed at his own address on the 1920 Census, how do I prove that Frank was not living in his father's house when his father naturalized in 1913?

Also, USCIS already sent me a No Proof of Citizenship letter for Frank. Is this because they had no way of knowing he may have been naturalized? Also are you absolutely sure that the age of majority in Italy at the time was 21 and not 18?

Also, since we still have a shot at this because Frank may not have been living at home, how do I get a copy of Angelo Perri's naturalization papers? Apparently USCIS does not provide these documents. I have exhausted my resources where they may have been stored.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 21 Dec 2010, 21:23

Also, UWlaw, my theory on Frank moving out of his father's house upon marriage relates to this. Frank had eight younger siblings all living at home with their father. I think it's unlikely that he brought his new bride into that environment. And it's possibly he was living with his bride even before the marriage.

Having lived in Italy for several years, I know that it's not uncommon for a young girl's boyfriend to move in with her family before marriage. This protects her reputation and more or less "guarantees" that she will marry that boy. With Italians, the reputation of the daughters is very important.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby uwlaw » 21 Dec 2010, 23:56

You're now moving from a pure legal question to one of proof and facts. Ultimately it will be up to the applicable consulate or comune to decide what evidence will suffice and, for that matter, how they construe the "living with" language in the Citizenship Law of 1912. I suggest that you seek advice in that regard from the consulate or comune where the applicant will be applying for citizenship, referring them to the applicable law (Art. 12 of Legge No. 555 del 13.06.1912) and official interpretation (Circolare n. 9 del 04.07.2001) which I've cited above.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby mler » 22 Dec 2010, 00:28

The age of majority at that time was definitely 21. But was there a law that conferred legal majority once a minor was married? I don't know the answer to this, but if so, the marriage certificate would suffice.

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Re: Frustrated -- At Wits End

Postby jennabet » 22 Dec 2010, 03:13

UWLaw and Mler thanks for the good advice. To add one more thing. Frank Perri was married in October 1912 at the age of 18. His first child of the marriage (a son) was born in January 1914 while Frank was aged 20 and still a minor.

Where would I find a law that might have conferred legal majority once a minor was married? I can get by with the Italian language but I would need someone fluent to research this for me.

Grazie tanto. Ciao.


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