JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: naturalization research - a NY primer #general

Ira Leviton

Dear Cousins,

In addition to Allan Jordan's excellent summary of which courts handled
naturalizations in New York City, I want to add several points.

There are five different Supreme Courts in New York City, one for each borough.
Declarations and naturalizations were done at each of them, and each keeps their
own records. Obviously, the term 'Supreme Court' doesn't mean the same thing in
New York as it does in the rest of the United States.

For the federal courts, the Eastern District of New York is the counties of Kings
(Brooklyn), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Nassau, and Suffolk. The Southern
District is New York (Manhattan) and Bronx Counties.

If a declaration was made in one court, the naturalization could still be done in
another court, even going >from Federal to State (or to another State or even
Territory), or vice versa. It was up to the immigrant to decide what to do where,
although most of the time they stuck with the same court. The second court usually
will have copies of the papers >from the first court, but not vice versa.

Finally, if you have the arrival record >from Ellis Island or another port and it
has a series of numbers squeezed into the space above or alongside the name, you
should look up what those numbers mean - they often mean that a naturalization was
done and allow you to determine which court did it. The page a great place to start learning

Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.

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