A. E. Jordan
In a message dated 8/30/2011 5:20:32 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
I have a question about the information contained in filed US
papers. Let us suppose a single female emigrated to the US around 1902, by
She then married (a US citizen) 12 years later..
The answer is basically yes or maybe to everything. It all depends Avram
on the individual person.
First off she had to be coming to someone in the USA. Was it a parent,
brother, cousin, etc? Single women especially were not admitted into the USA
without a place to go and someone that could support them.
If she came to a parent it is possible she was naturalized with her parent
especially depending if she was a minor or in the majority agewise at the
When would she have filed otherwise? Impossible to tell. Because women
did not get the vote till the 1920s there was far less reason for them to
naturalize on their own. But maybe she was especially patriotic and wanted
to be a citizen. Who knows. No matter what there was a waiting period (I
think three years) before she could file after she arrived in the USA.
Depending on the time frame of the marriage she might or might not have
automatically became a citizen if she married a man who was one. The laws
changed in different time periods. Same is true if she married and the
husband later decided to naturalize. If it was a time frame when the wife would
have been included check the husband's papers because you wild find info
on his wife.
Would they be under her maiden name or married name ? Depends when she
naturalized. Once she was married she would have naturalized under her
married name but the form might have recorded her maiden name in the
information. Even if the husband was dead she likely naturalized as Mrs.xxxx as
opposed to reverting to her maiden name.
Is it possible that they were not filed until the late 30's or early 40's ?
Of course she could have felt the desire/need to naturalize at any
point. After World War II started the law said all foreign born individuals had
to register if they were not naturalized. But I suspect a lot did not.
My great grandmother's sister for example somewhere along the years started
saying she was naturalized in the 1920s some 30 years after she arrived in
the USA. I searched and searched and never found her naturalization or any
record of her or her husband ever voting. The husband had died by the
time WWII started and she seems never to have registered by then saying she
Wish there was a hard and fast rule ... there is not.