Re: How can I find NYC naturalization papers with only the record number? #general

David Oseas


There is a good write-up on manifest markings, written by Marian L. Smith (Historian emeritus, USCIS), on JewishGen:

Starting in 1926, the INS required verification of the information on the Petition for Naturalization against passenger manifests, over concern for fraud during the naturalization process. 

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot you can do with the number that you cite:  it indicates that your relative filed to receive a "Certificate of Arrival" in the New York district (2-) in February, 1943.  There is no index to the CofA numbers.  For the people that I've researched, the verification was done anywhere from a year prior, up to two weeks before filing a petition, though the average is about one month prior.

The (404) [or a (505) notation] indicates that the information on the petition differed sufficiently from the manifest that the clerk was unable to certify that this was the correct person.  In my research, I have found that only a few passengers with a 404 or 505 notation went on to successfully naturalize.

Immigrants typically Americanized their names during the naturalization process and this information is recorded within the documentation.  Most naturalization indexes contain both the original name upon arrival, and the new name that the citizen will be using.  The name Meier frequently became Max in the US.

Starting in 1940, aliens residing in the US were required to file an Alien Registration form.  For people that did not become citizens before 1944, those forms were used to start an A-File with the INS.

You may find that a USCIS index search ( ) will be fruitful -- for a (currently) $65 fee, they will search their indexes to see if they can locate a C-File or an A-File for your relative.  Based on the results of the search, you can request copies of the records (currently, an additional $65), or may even be able to locate them yourself.

David Oseas

KLEIN: Satoraljaujhely (Ujhely), Hungary > New York > Los Angeles
OSEAS/OSIAS/OSIASI/OZIAS: Iasi, Romania > Chicago > Milwaukee > Los Angeles
SCHECHTER/SHEKTER: Kishinev, Bessarabia > New York  
SHERMAN: Iasi, Romania > New York > Los Angeles
STECKER: New York > Florida
STRUL:  Iasi, Romania > Haifa, Israel
WICHMAN: Syczkowo (Bobruisk), Belarus > Milwaukee > Los Angeles

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