For your info, my grand-parents were both born in Italy. They married in Philadelphia in 1920. My grand-father was naturalized in 1923 (after the Cable Act). His naturalization at that time did not affect his wife's Italian citizenship. She naturalized on her own several years later.
You are correct that your ggm was considered to be a naturalized US citizen according to US law at the time. However, based on the Italian law which took effect July 1 1912, women were no longer automatically naturalized when their husbands were, and it is the Italian law that is applicable. However, this would clearly be a 1948 case since Italian law precluded her from passing on her citizenship before that year.
Thank you for the info about the Italian law in 1912 mler! I am waiting for the results of the index search for a naturalization record for my GGM. Her SSN was not issued until 1963 so I'm curious to see if it was around that time.
I don't think you will find one. According to US law at the time, she became a US citizen when her husband did. There was never a need for her to naturalize unless she was confused about her status. This is one of those cases in which a person obtained derivative citizenship through naturalization without losing Italian citizenship.
As an example, my US born gm lost her US citizenship when she married my Italian gf. Her citizenship status did not change after the Cable Act, and she naturalized in 1929. In the same way, your ggm retained the citizenship she acquired through her husband's naturalization before that law was passed.
The only possible problem I can see may come in the form of the census records. If you claim that there are no naturalization records for your ggm, Italian officials may ask to see census records to confirm this. If she is listed as a citizen, Italian officials will want to know why. It's easily explained but may be a bit confusing. If you do pursue a 1948 case, your lawyer will handle this explanation for you.
Definitely good to know, and I do believe the census records do not list her as alien. Would she have been required to be a US citizen in order to be issued a ssn? She was issued one in the early sixties shortly after they started giving death benefits (I think).