Just in addition to these as always clear informations >from Basile:
1. >from at least 1893 and until at least WW1, any froreigner settling in a
place was supposed to register with the town hall: I read that this
obligation was not systematically checked everywhere. And anyway these
registrations have not been
== The registrations are frequently kept in the naturalization file when it
exist, but if the wife and husband did not enter together you will only find
the registration of the husband (he is the one who makes the request)
2. It seems that the most common point entry, by far, was Paris.
=== Most of them came to Paris, but where they entered in France depends on
what was their way to France. By earth, they probably came thru Poland and
Germany. Then they entered via Lorraine or Alsace. Or maybe after Germany
they continued thru Belgium before entering to France by north. Most
probably they stayed some times in all these places and you may have
informations about this travel in the naturalization file, but only for the
husband or for the couple if they were married at that time.
3. Here the answer is sure: wife had to apply for naturalization in France
even though the husband was applying. She just had to write on her husband's
letter "I associate to my husband's request"
== always the same answer: the husband is the one who answers the questions
and there is only one form for all the family. That means that, at least
before 1900, to find it you will have to look at the name of the husband.
from 1889 on, the form is very complete and you will find good informationsabout the wife and children, but 1870-1889 files are not always so good and
sometimes you will just find an indication of her name, (maybe the name of
her parents and her place of birth) and the number of children but not
always their names. Before 1870, you will frequently just find "he is
married and with one child" and sometimes you will find the name of the wife
in the documents accompaniing the request.
Until 1927 the wife was supposed to follow her husband. That means that a
french girl who married a foreiner loosed her french nationality. But the
situation was not so clear about what happened when the husband asked for
naturalization. And untill 1889-1900 most of them did not ask to join the
naturalization, just because they ignored that they were no more french, or
that the naturalization was not applied to them, or maybe because the
nationality did not change anything for them. So I have seen very pathetic
requests in 1914-18 where widows who were born in France >from parents and
grand parents born in France were on to be put in camps as german while
their sons where making war in the French army, just because they ignored
they had lost nationality when married and should have asked for
reintegration when their husband was naturalized.
CGJ - Paris