Re: USCIS Documents #records

David Harrison

The rules in Britain have been somewhat different and I expect that they differ elsewhere, but in a similar timeframe.  My Grandfather came to these shores in the late 1800s but did not apply for British citizen ship until about 1912.  On the document is shown his name and all the children but not his wife (who was included as being part of him.  I learnt this while searching the records some years ago.  It seems that as a result, she needed to apply for citizenship in her own within a year of his death. I doubt that she or the children knew this.  The fact that he died in May 1943 and she died in April 1944 which saved her (and the family) having this problem.  My other grandparents were both born here and did not have this problem.  I was lucky to be able to ask this question of a member of staff at The National Archive, he had to ask another member of staff.  Also, the Married Womans' Property Act did not cover this situation.

David Harrison,  Birmingham, England

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of Howard Aronoff <howard6276@...>
Sent: 18 May 2021 14:22
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [] USCIS Documents #records


From above link:

New laws of the mid-1800s opened an era when a woman's ability to naturalize became dependent upon her marital status. The act of February 10, 1855, was designed to benefit immigrant women. Under that act, "[a]ny woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the United States, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized, shall be deemed a citizen."

Later in the above link:

Happily, Congress was at work and on September 22, 1922, passed the Married Women's Act, also known as the Cable Act. This 1922 law finally gave each woman a nationality of her own. No marriage since that date has granted U.S. citizenship to any alien woman nor taken it from any U.S.-born women who married an alien eligible to naturalization.(11) Under the new law women became eligible to naturalize on (almost) the same terms as men. The only difference concerned those women whose husbands had already naturalized. If her husband was a citizen, the wife did not need to file a declaration of intention. She could initiate naturalization proceedings with a petition alone (one-paper naturalization). A woman whose husband remained an alien had to start at the beginning, with a declaration of intention. It is important to note that women who lost citizenship by marriage and regained it under Cable Act naturalization provisions could file in any naturalization court--regardless of her residence.(12)

Both of my Grandmothers were listed on my Grandfather's naturalization papers which were filed in 1915 and 1916. I believe that my Grandmothers never applied directly but that when my Grandfathers petitions were honored, they, as listed spouses, automatically became citizens. 

Howard Aronoff
Boynton Beach FL

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