I am trying to figure out if my great-grandmother was an Italian citizen. She was born 1896 in Italy to former Italian citizens naturalized in the U.S. in 1893. She was not an American citizen until she became naturalized in 1928, but I don't think she was a Italian citizen at birth because even though she was born there, her parents were no longer Italian citizens. So at this point I believe she was a stateless person. Around 1915 she married her husband, an Italian citizen born in Italy. He came to the U.S. and became naturalized in 1917. So my question is, what would my GGM's nationality have been in 1920?
I would say she is a US citizen. Acoording to the US law she wouldnt be stateless because she automatically aquires citizenship through her naturalized parents. Italian law does not grant you citizenship because you are born there, it matters what the citizenship of the parents are and because it was US, I say shes a US citizen.
I would think that too, but all the census reports seem to say differently. the 1915 census lists her as an alien, the 1930 census lists her as naturalized but gives no date, and a ship manifest from november 1928 arriving from naples says she was naturalized april 1928.
Even if she was a U.S. citizen by birth she would still be a Italian citizen as well because of her marriage right?
Another thing is the U.S. nationality law states this applies if the U.S. citizen resides in the States. My great-grandmother's brother was also born in Italy 2 and a half years earlier so perhaps they had been in Italy so long they were no longer considered "reiding in the U.S."
She became a US citizen when her father naturalized, then became an Italian citizen when she married her Italian husband (this was pre-Cable Act). She became a US citizen again when she naturalized. (To clarify, before the 1922 Cable Act, a women assumed the citizenship of her husband.)
She was born in 1896, three years after her father naturalized (1893). Also her brother who was also born in Italy (1895) after their father's naturalization but on his draft registration cards from WWI and WWII. Do you think it might be possible that my GGGF lied to census takers about being a citizen? Thats the only logical explanation I can think of for why my GGM's brother would have been listed as a naturalized citizen, would these children be considered naturalized? Would there be any reason for him to do this?
It's possible that your gggf lied or was misunderstood. The census information is notoriously inaccurate. If he was indeed naturalized, his children would have been US citizens from birth (although there are some residency considerations that may have affected this).
As far as your ggm is concerned, however, even if she were born in the US and received her US citizenship jus soli, she would have lost her US citizenship when she married her Italian husband before 1922. That would explain the 1915 census information.
My gm was born in NYC and lost her US citizenship when she married my Italian grandfather before 1922. They both naturalized separately in 1928. It took me long time to determine why my American born gm had to naturalize
Your grand-mother was not a stateless person. Children born in Italy to foreign parents have the citizenship of their father. If the father was an American in Italy, his daughter was also an American in Italy.
I don't think that reasoning would work because that is stating other countries citizenship laws submit to Italy's (e.g. child has to follow citizenship of father). So that rule only works so far as they would not be an Italian because their father was not Italian.
I don't know how the USA would have regarded your grand-mother and her brother but Italy does not recognize birth on the soil, therefore, children born to an American citizen father in Italy would have the same citizenship as the father. The mother's citizenship would not count -- if it was before 1948.
.....Also, that wouldn't explain why my great-grandmother's brother had to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.....
I have no idea why your grand-mother's brother had to become a naturalized US citizen -- but if he was born in Italy to an American father, he was, in the eyes of Italy an American citizen, like his father. Actions of the father affect the minor children. If he had decided to remain in Italy until he was 18, he would have been given the choice to become an Italian citizen but he would have had to renounce his American citizen. He would not have been allowed dual citizenship. Stateless, he was NOT and neither was his sister. The only way in which they possibly could have been stateless in Italy is if their parents were unknown.
Your ggm would have naturalized under her husband's umbrella before 1922. Regarding the naturalization of your ggm and her brother, are you certain that these were actual naturalizations? Often people who naturalized through others (a husband or a father) had no paperwork in their own names documenting their citizenship. They could then request such documentation at a later date. This documentation is sometimes mistaken for an actual naturalization.
With my great-grandmother's brother there is no naturalization paperwork just a draft registration card where he lists himself as a naturalized citizen. For my ggm herself there is a ship manifest from november 1928 saying her naturalization paperwork was issued earlier that year.
Also I read up on the pre-cable act a bit, what I read mentions that women lost their citizenship if they married a foreign man but gives no mention to wives of aliens who became naturalized, or even following husbands citizenship necessarily in all cases, just those in which he is foreign and she is American.