Re: Finding Out You Lost Your Citizenship #events

Susan H. Sachs

Two interesting features of the law that took away the native born US woman's citizenship when she married an immigrant who had not yet been naturalized are:
1.  This law only went into effect in 1906.  If I'm not mistaken women who married immigrant men before then were not deprived of their own citizenship.  
2.  As you realize, the law only applied to women - native born US men were not deprived of their citizenship if they married immigrant women.
Thus the law, with one stroke, was both anti-immigrant and anti-feminist (though that term hadn't been invented yet.)
As for your question - how did the women know they were deprived of their citizenship - it did seem strange to me that when I saw my grandparents' marriage license, of 1911, stating my grandmother was born in 1892 in McKeesport, PA and that she was marrying my grandfather born in 1888 in Austria-Hungary - no mention is made of her loss of citizenship at that point.  As I understand, if she had lived long enough to vote (she passed away in the flu pandemic of 1918) she would have learned of it then as you point out - or if she had wanted to travel overseas before my grandfather was naturalized and had included her in his papers - and she needed a passport.  She would have learned that she couldn't have a U.S. passport.  
Susan H. Sachs

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