Naturalization Certs #general

Charles F. Printz <cfphrai@...>

Ilona Lerman recently inquired -

I have recently come across my mother-in-law's
certificate of citizenship. On it is listed the number
of the Petition. I seem to remember hearing that there
is a lot of genealogical info on the petition papers,
but don't know how I can get a copy of these petition
papers. My mother-in-law received citizenship in
Boston in 1938.
Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Ilona Lerman
Beerot Yitzchak, Israel

Dear Ilona and Colleagues -

At this late date, the petition for naturalization that Ilona speaks of
locating is found at the National Archives, likely still at or through the
NARA regional office having jurisdiction over her in-law's residence at the
time of filing (Massachusetts). A regional NARA office is located at the JFK
Library in Boston at

The main NARA site:,the genealogical section is
in the research room:

The petition today is called an N-400 Application for Naturalization and does
contain vital biographical information (maiden names, divorce info, birth/death
info on relatives, children, etc. Whether this was true for 1938 is unknown to me,
but I suspect it contained certain essentials, including date of last arrival in
the U.S. and the port of entry. The current N-400 application, for your guidance
purposes, can be located and downloaded at the BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship &
Immigration Services), formerly INS, website:

Another section of the BCIS website gives information on the history of the INS
and genealogy research. It is worth examining, for it will provide guidance on
what one can reasonably be expected to find in immigration records and how that
information has expanded over time. The specific site within the larger main site

This same type of information can also be found, perhaps with better guidance, by
searching the JewishGen Discussion Group Archives at This is obviously
a topic that has been discussed many times, as I am certain the Moderator will
also agree.


S/ Chuck Printz

Charles F. Printz
New York, NY - Elizabeth, NJ/USA
E-Mail: - Office
E-Mail: - Home

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