Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

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.
User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 00:13

Hi there,

I just recently learned of the Italian jus sanguinis Citizenship opportunity and I must say it is a great program by all accounts. When I first heard about this I was under the impression that my Grandfather ( or possibly as far back as my Great-Grandfather ) was an Italian-American Citizen. With this knowledge I was eagerly pursuing the jus sanguinis path however after my own personal research ( guess my father never felt it necessary to really look into his Italian heritage ) I find that it is my Great, Great, Great Grandfather who made the trek over to the United States.

This is where things get a little interesting for me... Based on my expert ( haha ) use of Ancestry.com it seems that my 3xGGF was born in Italy in 1834 and had his first child in the United States in 1865 or 1866. ( My 2xGGF was born in 1872 apx. )

It is my understanding that if the ancestor was born in Italy before 1861 they had to die an Italian Citizen ( anywhere in the world but must not have naturalized before their death ). I am unable to locate any naturalization records of any kind for him but I have located residency records of 1866 ( this is the first record of any sort of residency I could locate through multiple sources. The only other record of any kind I can find that 'pre-dates' this one is the Census from 1880 which list his oldest child at 15 and born in the US so that would be 1865 ).

My initial questions are as follows:

1) As he was born before 1861 what exactly is the law and what are all the possible exceptions / options that anyone of you have seen?

2) He was born before 1861, but it is a possibility he did not leave Italy until after 1861 ( first record in the US found so far is 1865 / 1866 ) - If he did not leave until after 1861 would that have made him an Italian Citizen and everything else is ready to get started?

3) If the answer to #2 is positive, then how would one go about finding the documents needed to prove this or prove whatever is needed to satisfy the current Italian Officials?

4) Am I missing something?

A few things to note when thinking about my particular situation:

a) I am fully committed to devote the needed resources and time to obtain every last document even if it requires travel. If it is just a matter of "it's possible but will be a serious chore" then I will still do it.

b) I am willing to travel / reside in Italy for an extended period of time during this process if it will help move items along that otherwise wouldn't.

Any and all advice is very much appreciated up front and I am more than happy to share my thoughts and experiences along the way to anyone interested.

All the best,

A soon to be "hopefully" Italian Citizen.

User avatar
mler
Master
Master
Posts: 1627
Joined: 01 Apr 2006, 00:00

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby mler » 18 Jan 2011, 00:40

If your ggggf had not naturalized before the birth of his son, he would have passed Italian citizenship, and that citizenship may have continued down the line to you. I say "may have" because women could not pass citizenship before 1948, so if your line includes women, that date is pertinent.

That being said (and I understand your strong commitment to this process), yours would be an exceptionally difficult undertaking. There are indeed no generational limits to Italian citizenship, so technically tracing your roots to your ggggf is feasible. However, records going that far back are difficult to obtain and, in fact, may be impossible to locate. If you cannot find naturalization records for your ggggf, it will be difficult to convince the consulate that the absence of records proves that he did not naturalize.

Also, since you will be tracing citizenship through many generations, the likelihood of encountering discrepancies in documents is substantially increased. A trip to Italy is probably unnecessary since most of your documentation can be located in the US.

So, first of all, be sure that your ggggf did not naturalize (or naturalized after the birth of his son). Then check that your line does not end with a woman before 1948. If these dates work out, you can begin trying to obtain documents. Best of luck.

User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 01:01

Mler - Thank you very much for the information and prompt response. My lineage is 100% male so that seems to be a plus :)

To the point of Naturalization what do you recommend is the best route to go to determine if this happened?

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
DeFilippis78
Master
Master
Posts: 1144
Joined: 02 Dec 2009, 02:19

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby DeFilippis78 » 18 Jan 2011, 01:31

If he left before 1861 he wasnt an Italian citizen when he arrived. Are you certain what year he arrived?

User avatar
ForzaItaliaPgh
Elite
Elite
Posts: 356
Joined: 02 Jul 2010, 18:35

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 18 Jan 2011, 01:52

I can best answer this by quoting the always knowledgeable "JohnnyontheSpot" from a recent discussion, this may not be tailored to your exact question, but it should help.

1) the original Italian citizen ancestor must have been alive at the time of or after the unification of Italy - roughly, 1861. In other words, if you are relying on a great-great-great who left Italy in the 1840's, it is critical that he was still living in 1861 and that he had not already taken on a different citizenship through naturalization.

2) the original Italian citizen who left Italy must have still held his Italian citizenship at the time of the birth of the next person in the lineage. If he became a naturalized US citizen, for example, in 1910 then any children born after that date would not be able to inherit Italian citizenship from him because he himself no longer had it.


Again, that is a lengthy quote from "JohnnyontheSpot" you can read that entire conversation here:

http://italiangenealogy.com/Forums/view ... 20211.html

Hope you don't mind me quoting you Carmine :)

User avatar
mler
Master
Master
Posts: 1627
Joined: 01 Apr 2006, 00:00

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby mler » 18 Jan 2011, 02:51

Since your ggggf had his son in 1865, that would definitely mean that, had he not naturalized, he was an Italian citizen. The oldest census record I've seen is the one for 1910. Does the 1880 census indicate that your ggggf was an alien at that time? This information can help you narrow down the time period for your search.

User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 05:31

Thanks for this information. This is my understanding and the advice I have been given by someone who has gone through this process as well. My next big step is determining whether he was naturalized, and if so, was it before my GGGF was born.



ForzaItaliaPgh wrote:I can best answer this by quoting the always knowledgeable "JohnnyontheSpot" from a recent discussion, this may not be tailored to your exact question, but it should help.

1) the original Italian citizen ancestor must have been alive at the time of or after the unification of Italy - roughly, 1861. In other words, if you are relying on a great-great-great who left Italy in the 1840's, it is critical that he was still living in 1861 and that he had not already taken on a different citizenship through naturalization.

2) the original Italian citizen who left Italy must have still held his Italian citizenship at the time of the birth of the next person in the lineage. If he became a naturalized US citizen, for example, in 1910 then any children born after that date would not be able to inherit Italian citizenship from him because he himself no longer had it.


Again, that is a lengthy quote from "JohnnyontheSpot" you can read that entire conversation here:

http://italiangenealogy.com/Forums/view ... 20211.html

Hope you don't mind me quoting you Carmine :)

User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 05:33

Thanks for the reply Mler.

Regarding the 1880 Cenus it does not state whether or not they were an Alien just their birthplace and the birth place of their parents. In my 3xGGF case it is all Italy.

Does anyone have any recommended paths to determine the year of naturalization, if any?

mler wrote:Since your ggggf had his son in 1865, that would definitely mean that, had he not naturalized, he was an Italian citizen. The oldest census record I've seen is the one for 1910. Does the 1880 census indicate that your ggggf was an alien at that time? This information can help you narrow down the time period for your search.

User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 06:43

Update:

I was able to find a Micro Film that is labeled "Index to naturalization records Mississippi courts, 1798-1906. prepared by Old Law Naturalization Records Project, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Project Administration" on familysearch.org

My 3xGGF came to Mississippi from Italy ( and all records found and oral family history back this up )

On Ancestry.com I was able to locate a record from this exact Micro Film that is dated 1875 ( my 2xGGF was born in 1871 ) that list my 3xGGF's name but with a slight spelling difference. As I understand it his name was Vincenza Ghetti but this list Vicenzo Ghettie as naturalizing in 1875.

Browsing records and other things such as my 3xGGFs grave stone it seems that he also went by Vencento

Do you all think this could be the same guy? If so, would this be a good case that he did no naturalize until 1875 meaning my 2xGGF born in 1871 would have been Italian? ( If the chances seem high I know I can get my hands on an official copy of the record )

Thanks again in advance.

User avatar
sforza
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 213
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 23:19

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby sforza » 18 Jan 2011, 07:42

Several things, starting with the potentially most daunting first. You GGGGF naturalized before 1912. There are several posts on this topic on this message board, but to summarize, some consulates interpret jus sanguinis law to exclude the descendants of individuals who naturalized before 1912. The three that most frequently come up are NY, Chicago and SF. On the other hand, I recently read a post on another forum that Philadelphia does not enforce this rule.
What Consulate are you using? This variable matters for the reason above but also for discrepancies in documents. Some seem more strict than others.
Assuming you're moving forward, yes, you will need a certified copy of the naturalization papers. Does the this document have his city/comune of birth in Italy? Your next step would be to get his birth cert. I'm inclined to believe his name was "Vincenzo" rather than "Vincenza," which is typically the feminine form.
Given the sheer number of documents you'll be dealing with, you may wish to create (1) a spreadsheet tracking your documents and (2) a spreadsheet of name spellings for all direct line ancestors and for non-direct line ancestors names as these appear on direct line vital records. This will give you a sense of what you're dealing with in terms of name discrepancies. You should also keep track of the state that the vital records were created in, and check to see their policies and processes on amending vital records.

User avatar
paraitaliano
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 23:47

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby paraitaliano » 18 Jan 2011, 07:48

Hey Sforza,

Thanks for the response! Regarding the consulate of choice, I plan on going to Italy to file, and follow up with, all documents so I will be doing it all there.

Currently I have not located a document that list his birth city. My father is digging through family archives to see if we have this somewhere.

I like the document and variable tracking method you suggested and I am going to get that put together.

Thanks!

sforza wrote:Several things, starting with the potentially most daunting first. You GGGGF naturalized before 1912. There are several posts on this topic on this message board, but to summarize, some consulates interpret jus sanguinis law to exclude the descendants of individuals who naturalized before 1912. The three that most frequently come up are NY, Chicago and SF. On the other hand, I recently read a post on another forum that Philadelphia does not enforce this rule.
What Consulate are you using? This variable matters for the reason above but also for discrepancies in documents. Some seem more strict than others.
Assuming you're moving forward, yes, you will need a certified copy of the naturalization papers. Does the this document have his city/comune of birth in Italy? Your next step would be to get his birth cert. I'm inclined to believe his name was "Vincenzo" rather than "Vincenza," which is typically the feminine form.
Given the sheer number of documents you'll be dealing with, you may wish to create (1) a spreadsheet tracking your documents and (2) a spreadsheet of name spellings for all direct line ancestors and for non-direct line ancestors names as these appear on direct line vital records. This will give you a sense of what you're dealing with in terms of name discrepancies. You should also keep track of the state that the vital records were created in, and check to see their policies and processes on amending vital records.

User avatar
sforza
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 213
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 23:19

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby sforza » 18 Jan 2011, 08:36

FYI = Coming at it from an aerial view, so to speak, most Ghetti's in Italy today are in Northern Italy, the overwhelming density being in Emilia Romagna, particularly in the provinces of FC (Forli-Casena) and RA (Ravenna). There are no Italians using the alternative spellings of Ghette or Ghettie in Italy today.

User avatar
johnnyonthespot
Master
Master
Posts: 5229
Joined: 04 Aug 2008, 15:01
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jan 2011, 12:53

DeFilippis78 wrote:If he left before 1861 he wasnt an Italian citizen when he arrived. Are you certain what year he arrived?


Hi, Alicia.

I just wanted to take a moment to clarify this point:

a) modern "Italy" (or Italia, if you prefer) did not exist prior to the unification of several city-states of the peninsula in 1861

b) at the time of unification, all citizens of the various city-states were automatically granted citizenship in the new, unified, country of Italy/Italia

c) if a citizen of one of those city-states, the Kingdom of Sardinia or the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies for example, left the area and died prior to unification, then he was never a citizen of the new Italy and his descendants have no claim to Italian citizenship. Note: this is the case in the US, where, generally speaking, his descendants born on US soil would have had US citizenship. In other countries which may not have had jus soli citizenship, it seems possible to me that a descendant born prior to 1861 would have had his father's citizenship (Sardinian or whatever) and thus rule b) above would apply; I have never seen this discussed so do not know for certain

d) if a citizen of one of those city-states left the area and became a naturalized citizen of another country prior to unification, then he was never a citizen of the new Italy and his descendants have no claim to Italian citizenship

e) however, if a citizen of one of those city-states left the area but was alive and had not taken on another citizenship, then he automatically became a citizen of the new Italy; any other solution would have left this person "stateless" - a man with no citizenship in any country whatsoever and not a good thing

This is my understanding of the matter.
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)

User avatar
johnnyonthespot
Master
Master
Posts: 5229
Joined: 04 Aug 2008, 15:01
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jan 2011, 12:56

sforza wrote:FYI = Coming at it from an aerial view, so to speak, most Ghetti's in Italy today are in Northern Italy, the overwhelming density being in Emilia Romagna, particularly in the provinces of FC (Forli-Casena) and RA (Ravenna). There are no Italians using the alternative spellings of Ghette or Ghettie in Italy today.


True, but see this map for a more complete view: http://www.gens.labo.net/en/cognomi/gen ... ome=GHETTI
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)

User avatar
sforza
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 213
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 23:19

Re: Willing to do the work if you guys think I qualify

Postby sforza » 18 Jan 2011, 13:18

Yup, that's the map I used, although I personally prefer this view: http://www.gens.labo.net/it/cognomi/gen ... gnomi-prov
I then went to the pagine bianchi to get the specific provincial info. They actually break it down for you in a little box on the left: http://www.paginebianche.it/execute.cgi ... ia+romagna


Return to “Emigration, Immigration, Naturalization and Italian citizenship”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests