The naturalization forms of two of my Italian great-grandfathers were titled "Certificate of Minors". Yet, both men were over twenty years old when they were naturalized. Today I found a 1904 article in a Youngstown, Ohio newspaper in which an Italian was described as "prominent among the Italian minors of the district."
Was the word "minor" used to designate an immigrant who had not yet been naturalized?
A Minor Naturalization was when an immigrant who arrived as a minor and was not naturalized through their parents before they turned 18. When they became adults they could file a Petition for Naturalization without first filing a Declaration of Intent.
You should be aware that sometimes people fraudulently claimed to have immigrated as minors in order to circumvent the waiting period for naturalization. So one should always try to verify the claims on a Minor Naturalization.
Thank you for your response. One of the great-grandparents I mentioned immigrated at the age of 22 and he was all by himself. He became naturalized at the age of 25. So I wonder if "minors" had a second meaning, besides the obvious reference to a child.
I re-read the Youngstown article very carefully because Youngstown was full of Italian coal miners in 1904. The spelling in the article was "minors" and the article was about naturalization fraud.