Re: Tried Everything and Hit a Wall Looking for Grandfather's Naturalization Petition and Ship Manifest Records #usa #ukraine #records

Emily Garber

It is difficult to help you with your search for Harry's naturalization because you have not shared information critical for narrowing the search. At what point on census records was he recorded as naturalized? Where did he live (addresses) at the time of each record? If he was in New York State, for example, for the 1925 State census, then you might see an indication of the date and court of record. The first thing to do is to try to estimate, based on records you have viewed, a date and place of naturalization.

If he naturalized as a result of military service, then he may have taken his oath in the last United States location in which he was stationed after he returned from overseas. It would not have been in the court in which he declared his intent. Military naturalizations after WWI did not require declarations or residency. So, even if you find the file, there will likely be no information about his arrival in the US or his passenger manifest.

I have a relative who naturalized after WWI service. He was from Detroit before he was drafted. I searched newspapers and did a Google search for information on his military unit and their return from overseas. Sometimes unit histories will be helpful in this regard. Via newspapers, I found that, upon return, he was stationed at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio. Rose County did not have the file. But the USCIS genealogy program had his C-file and I acquired his petition and a copy of his certificate of naturalization.

It is not clear how much research you have already completed in United States records. If you have exhausted those, then, great! If not, you will need to find his grave (where the stone may show his Hebrew and/or Yiddish name), his death certificate, marriage certificate (and also license if he married in NYC), and all census records (do the same for all his children). Look at not only at his parents names, but also at the names of witnesses. Were they relatives? If he changed his name in the USA, there could be relatives who did so, as well, or some who did not change their surnames. Look at all their records, too. If he was buried in a community association (landsmanshaft) plot, are there any other Kramers or Golanskys (or whatever)?

If your goal is Harry's passenger manifest, sometimes the best thing to do is look for the manifests of relatives. I could not locate my great grandfather's passenger manifest with his surname Matsevitskiy. Ultimately, I found his when I searched for and located his bother-in-law's passenger manifest. My great grandfather's name was immediately above on the same page. The indexer had absolutely massacred the surname. I never would have located my ggf if I'd not looked for his brother-in-law's record.

I apologize if I have misinterpreted the depth of the research you have completed.

Emily Garber
Phoenix, AZ

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