I'm applying in New York via my paternal great-grandparents next year. To cover my bases, I thought I'd get all the documents for both sets of great grandparents, but have had issues with both. I'm having trouble locating the following:
1)my grandparents marriage certificate
The New York City Clerk sent me back a letter saying they didn't find it. I've since gotten copies of their marriage certificate from their church in the Bronx, and even tried to re-order it from the city clerk by sending a copy of the church records this time, but so far nothing. I've considered ordering census records, and even having my great aunt, who was a witness, make a notarized statement. Can anyone give me any advice?
2) great-grandparents marriage certificate
My grandfather's parents are also missing both official and church marriage records. I suspect they may not have actually gotten married because my grandfather's birth extract has an addendum noting he got married to another woman before coming to New York where he met my great grandmother, and there have been family rumors about this. Anyhow, the names on my grandfather's birth certificate and baptismal certificate match my great grandfather, and I've also located census records. I'm even thinking of ordering the certificate for my great grandmother's second marriage in hopes it'll have my great grandfather's name on it as a former/deceased spouse.
3) great-grandmother's birth extract
I've sent letters to the four comunes my great grandparents are from, and recived three extracts so far. However I haven't received anything from Avellino yet, and I'm a little worried that my great grandmother (grandmother's side) might actually be from somewhere in the province of Avellino as opposed to the comune, itself. I'm planning to write the comune a follow-up, however I'm also considering using one of those paid services. Any recommendations? Do they use any more sophisticated methods than what I'm capable of on my own, or would I simply be throwing my money away?
Also, I'm just wondering but since I'm claiming citizenship through my great-grandfather, when push comes to shove, does it really matter that I don't have my great grandmother's birth records? I've often wondered about records from people who are outside the chain, and how necessary they actually are. I guess this is similar to the situation with the marriage records. I'd assumed (or perhaps hoped) that citizenship is passed down by birth, and figured if I was missing a marriage certificate but the names on the irth records matched up, theoretically it shouldn't disqualify me.
Anyhow, sorry this was so long. Can anyone comment on any of these questions? Thanks!