Before going the National Archives route...

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.
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Before going the National Archives route...

Post by AnotherCitizenToBe » 16 Apr 2007, 17:43

Before going the National Archives route, there is something that needs to be understood: the National Archives District Office for the area in which you believe your ancestor may have been naturalized will only have records if your ancestor did so in a *federal* court. This is a crucial point!

If your ancestor naturalized in a state or county court, the National Archives will *not* have a copy of the records. You will have to contact the State and/or County Archives for the area in which you believe the naturalization occurred, or you will have to go the USCIS route.

How do I know this? Because the New York office of the National Archives told me so. They *only* store *federal court* naturalization records. When no record was found of my grandfather's naturalization (honestly, I assumed that he never did so), the researcher suggested I contact the Westchester County (New York) Archives. Sure enough, just 5 days later I had copies of my grandfather's Declaration, Petition, and Oath in hand. He had been naturalized by the "Supreme Court of New York State at White Plains, NY" and, for what it is worth, I was also told that *most* naturalizations occurred in state or county courts.

Put another way, the fact that the district office of the National Archives does not have a record of your ancestor's naturalization does not necessarily prove that he/she did not do so; only that it was not done in a *federal* court within the district office's domain.

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Re: Before going the National Archives route...

Post by wiseguy203 » 17 Apr 2007, 03:58

Oddly enough...I had the exact conversation this past weekend with the National Archives in Philly. However, there is one thing I would like to add to the topic that may or may not ever be helpful to anyone, but it is good to know anyway just in case.

I went there because I had the Declaration of Intention someone had completed in a federal court. I was hoping to find the rest of the paperwork. However, it appears if this person completed the process she did it at a non-federal court or a federal court in another region because they did not have the Petition in Philly.

Since I had the declaration originally done in a federal court in the Philly region the Philly National Archives DID have their original copy of the declaration ONLY. However, I don't believe there is anyway to search for such a record when the naturalization process was not completed in a federal court. I suspect they would not have known or been able to find the original of the document I had if I hadn't had a copy with me.

The benefit for me was that I was able to get a MUCH better copy than what I had already.

Happy Hunting!

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