Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

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.
the3rdMan
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Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby the3rdMan » 22 Jan 2015, 15:54

Hello all,

I'm new to this forum and appreciate that there is a resource like this for those looking into our Italian past!

Currently, I'm looking into claiming Italian citizenship via my Great Grandfather's bloodline. My grandfather, his son, recently passed away, and I thought it would be interesting to delve a bit deeper into my ancestry. From what I've found, my GGF was born in 1894 and immigrated to the USA in 1920. He married in 1925 and had my grandfather in 1930. This is where things get murky.

He was an artist, and I think he was proud of his heritage, and as a self-employed painter, I think he liked to promote his Italian heritage, at least that's what I can surmise. I'm assuming this, because for the 1930 and 1940 census, his wife indicated to the census taker that he had put in his 'First Papers' as indicated by the PA designation in the census. I know this isn't gospel, as many census records contained errors, but that's not the end of the story.

In my research, I found within the Connecticut index of Naturalization petitions roll, a scanned image of what looks like a small card dating his petition for naturalization in January of 1941. Unfortunately this is as far as I've gotten, but could someone tell me what exactly this means? Considering my GF was born in 1930, and a petition for my GGF naturalization occurred in 1941, is it safe to assume that my GGF didn't become an American citizen until well after my GF's birth?

I'm wondering if his decision to gain American citizenship in 1941 had anything to do with Mussolini's rise to prominence in Italy, and if my GGF were doing this to protect his family and business from a potential backlash. Overall, pretty interesting stuff!

Thanks in advance for any help and advice this forum can throw my way! Be well all!

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mler
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Re: Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby mler » 22 Jan 2015, 19:33

It is pretty much a given that he didn't naturalize before the date of his petition, so it looks good for you.

My maternal grandparents also waited until the 1940's before initiating the citizenship process. This was not uncommon.

the3rdMan
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Re: Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby the3rdMan » 23 Jan 2015, 10:41

Thank you for the reply. It's been really fascinating trying to piece together my ancestor's history merely through documents. One interesting thing I recently found was the manifest from the ship that he travelled on to Ellis Island. The border agent must have asked him his profession, which he replied, 'painter,' but the word painter is crossed out and replaced with 'laborer.' I'm guessing it was probably a very stressful time, although how his identity became categorized so easily is really interesting. It was a pretty brave thing they did, coming over here.

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Re: Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby Giacomo » 28 Jan 2015, 06:40

You will need a certified copy of the Petition of Naturalization - which you can get from the federal Government - or your Great Grandfather's state where he was naturalized - depends if it is a "State" or "Commonwealth" if a commonwealth - you should be ale to contact the county where he lived (1940?) and they should have a record - you may have to pay a fee.

Good luck - this is a wonderful journey.

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Re: Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby jmb44 » 30 Jan 2015, 20:13

National Archives provides certified copies of the Intent to Naturalize Petition in some areas. In other areas you may have to contact the court. The actual naturalization document comes from US immigration. The fact that your relative petitioned for naturalization does not necessarily mean he naturalized. The US Citizenship and Immigration office will do a search for you and either produce a record of naturalization or a certified "no record" letter. You will need one or the other to move forward with dual citizenship.
Many Italians naturalized at that time to avoid having to register as an "enemy alien." While Italians were not treated as badly as the Japanese, sone Italians who lived on the west coast, especially those in the fishing industries were forced to relocate.

jmb44
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Re: Help finding info on my GGF's Naturalization Record

Postby jmb44 » 30 Jan 2015, 20:13

National Archives provides certified copies of the Intent to Naturalize Petition in some areas. In other areas you may have to contact the court. The actual naturalization document comes from US immigration. The fact that your relative petitioned for naturalization does not necessarily mean he naturalized. The US Citizenship and Immigration office will do a search for you and either produce a record of naturalization or a certified "no record" letter. You will need one or the other to move forward with dual citizenship.
Many Italians naturalized at that time to avoid having to register as an "enemy alien." While Italians were not treated as badly as the Japanese, sone Italians who lived on the west coast, especially those in the fishing industries were forced to relocate.


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