Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

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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Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby juleszan » 11 Nov 2011, 10:22

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help find this information.

I'm applying for dual citizenship and am having trouble locating naturalization records on one family member.

Born: Costantino Zanfardino
Place of Birth: Afragola, Italy
DOB: 08-11-1953

Residence at time of naturalization: Forest Park, Illinois
Estimated date of naturalization: 05-15-1984
Possible name change at time of naturalization: Gus Zanfardino

I've requested records from the National Archives (both Cook County and Detroit archives), but I either have a date, the location, or the name slightly wrong. They return my request with "no record." This just can't be possible, as I have another very old, non certified copy of a letter from the Detroit Consulate stating 5-15-1984 as the date of naturalization. I'm confused.

Can anyone help locate correct information so that I may obtain an updated/certified statement of naturalization?
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby sforza » 11 Nov 2011, 13:57

He may have naturalized through local and not federal courts. NARA holds, for the most part, naturalizations conducted in the federal system. You should also write local court systems in all the jurisdictions where he lived. You should do a bit of research first on where the local court records are held in a given state - in many states, they are held by county clerks; in some states, these records are held in the state archives.
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby juleszan » 11 Nov 2011, 18:55

Thanks for your response. My problem is that I've already done this research and something still isn't lining up. He lived in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) at the time of naturalization. According to the county response to my inquiry, all naturalizations after 1929 were performed in the federal court system. Thus, the National Archives. They returned a "no record" statement.

Considering that I have proof (just not Consulate-worthy proof) of the date of naturalization, something isn't making sense. I must have some little detail wrong for the National Archives not to be able to find the record.

Help!
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby Drew927 » 11 Nov 2011, 22:04

Have you tried the USCIS?
You should provide as much information as possible including alternate spellings of the names. If none is found, they will send you a No Records Found letter.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
ATTN: Records Service Branch
1200 First Street NE, 2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20529-2204
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby cpa21 » 14 Nov 2011, 08:27

Since your father naturalized in 1984 in Federal Court in Chicago, Il you should look for his naturalization records in the federal court that he naturalized in. Since citizenship records are not treated as archival records the day they are created they will still be on file at the courthouse.

Because recxent naturalizations are are usually very easy to work with the tracking down of recent naturalizations is a topic that is not normally discussed in these forums. We have very limited experience in dealing with this question.
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby ricbru » 15 Nov 2011, 19:17

Sometimes you can request a copy of the petition of intention and declaration for naturalization.
Those papers have the date when your ancestor became US citizen.
So you can use it for your application since the naturalization record can not be found.
I hope it helps
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Re: Naturalization Records Not Found - Can't Be True!

Postby juleszan » 15 Mar 2012, 19:25

Belated update: After a repeat inquiry to NARA, they found the naturalization record! What a relief. Not sure what happened the first time. Try giving more details to the NARA folks, such as common misspellings of your ancestor's name and possible nicknames used around the time of naturalization. That's what I did the on the second inquiry. Citizenship appointment in San Francisco March 28! Lesson learned: If at first you don't succeed, et cetera. Thanks guys. :)
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