Judith Lipmanson noted: " Some of the information on the Declaration
appeared to be erroneous -- probably deliberately on the part of my
grandfather . (He fudged about his age and his date of arrival -- two
habits he kept throughout his life.) I'm keeping in mind that this
information could be accurate and later information erroneous"
Just a note -- Many folks born in Eastern Europe during the late 1800s
did not know their birthdates. Unlike today, there was no requirement to
use it, and many came here with only a vague understanding of their exact
date of birth. My grandfather thought he was 2 years younger until he sent
for his Polish birth record; the new birthdate proved him not a minor at
the time his father naturalized. I have his letter to INS, apologizing for
voting for 40 years even though he was a non-citizen.
Then judith asked: "Was it a matter of weeks, months, or years between the
initial petition and final Petition? Was the entire process controlled
by the petitioner or by the Government at that time?"
The naturalization rules began in 1795, and the forms/questions were
determined by the various courts. Naturalization was standardized by
Federal Govt. in September of 1906. There were 3 papers: Declaration
of Intention (filed at least 2 years after arrival, also known as
“first papers” or "pa" on the census), the final Petition (filed at
least 5 years after arrival) and Certificate of Naturalization (which
has little genealogical information, but has the numbers which can lead
you to the DI and the Petition).. These filings also provided citizenship
to wives and minor children, but remember women did not have the right to
vote so there was no great motive for a women to become a citizen.
The problem has always been that naturalization could be done in any
court... local, state, federal...and the documents and indexes are in
multiple archives. So the research is complicated.
Phyllis Kramer, Wilton, Conn & Palm Beach, Fla
PhyllisKramer1@att.net, researching (mostly Galicia):
STECHER, TRACHMAN,>from Zmigrod, Dukla, Krosno
KRAMER, BEIM, WISNER >from Jasienica
SCHEINER, KANDEL, SCHIMMEL >from Strzyzow, Dubiecko
LINDNER, EICHEL >from Rohatyn (also Iasi, Romania)