USCIS information #records

Robert Hanna

Thank you, Marian and Jan for your additional help.  Yesterday, I applied for a search for my great grandfather's USCIS file number.  When (If) I get that I will send for the C-file (whatever the cost).  Depending on what's in the C-file, I may send for my grandfathers' C-files.  Again, thanks to all who have helped.

Robert Hanna

Jan Meisels Allen

These are the forms for requesting the index search and then once you have the number the actual search. Doubt if you will receive the index search response in time for lower fee for the the actual search.  All of this is on the USCIS website;

Form G-1041A, Genealogy Records Request is once you have the number and the form to request the actual records.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Hi Robert,

You asked Might I find other papers?  I'm guessing you mean might there be additional records in the C-files for the 1921 or earlier naturalizations, for which you already have the court records?  It is possible, but unknown.  The best way to hedge that bet would be to search a name index to Bureau of Naturalization Correspondence at the National Archives, NARA microfilm publication A3388.  Unfortunately it is only available on microfilm at NARA, which remains closed.  If you found your grandparents' name in there, and it pointed to a C-file number, it would mean additional records were placed in that C-file.  Yes, it is very frustrating.

You say you do want to request one of the C-files.  If you already have the petition from the court records, look on the back or bottom of that petition for the certificate number.  It should say something like "Certificate of Naturalization # _____ issued this day . . .".  You can then use that number to request the C-file directly without having to pay for the index search.

I hope that helps,

Marian Smith

Robert Hanna

Thanks very much to Jan, David, and Beth.  After reading what is available, it looks like I don't have to spend money to find my grandfathers' naturalization papers as I have their Declarations and Petitions already.  The only other thing there seems to be is a certificate.  The only thing that might be on the certificate is a picture.  I have enough pictures of them. 

Correct me if I'm wrong.  Might I find other papers? 

I would, however, like to get my great grandfather's C file.  I understand that I have to request a search first for the file number.  Is there a specific form I have to use to request a search?

Thanks again,
Robert Hanna

Beth Erez

You are having problems finding your grandmothers' naturalization papers from that time period because they did not exist.  Read this rather long explanation summed up by "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."

I learned this from a JewishGen zoom lecture!

Beth Erez
Hod Hasharon, Israel

David Oseas


Jan provided links to the description of the "A" and "C" files.  There are no "B" files.

Up until the passage of the Cable Act (Sept 22, 1922), women derived their citizenship from their husband, so your grandmothers would have automatically become citizens when your grandfathers naturalized in 1921.  There would be no separate files for them, but they (and any minor children) should be listed on the naturalization petitions.

Although the naturalization documents sometimes list AKA names, it is best to list all the names that the immigrants were known as.

David Oseas

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

Jan Meisels Allen

Robert asks about USCIS and the website; It is:

Googling What is an "A" FILE gets:

Googling what is a "C" File

You can always look at past postings on USCIS by using the JewishGenDiscussion Group archives:  

and type in USCIS in the search file  there were 585 "hits" when I did it.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson,IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Robert Hanna

I need some help before the fees go up.  I know there was some info on this recently, but I can't find it, and I'm not sure it answers my specific questions.  So, I apologize for any repetition.
My paternal grandfather emigrated to New York from Warsaw in 1907, returned to Europe, and then returned to New York in 1908.  He became a citizen in 1921.  I have his manifests on the Zeeland and the Lusitania.  I also have his Declaration and Petition for Naturalization.
My paternal grandmother emigrated to New York from Babruysk in 1905.  I have her manifest on the Rotterdam.  There are no separate naturalization papers for her.
My paternal grandparents were married in NYC in 1910.
My paternal grandmother's father and mother emigrated to New York from Babruysk in 1906 and 1907, respectively.  I have their manifests on the Rotterdam and the Campania.  I have not located naturalization papers for them as yet.  They were already married in Europe.
My maternal grandfather emigrated to New York from Minsk in 1913.  He became a citizen in 1921.  I have his manifest on the President Lincoln.  I also have his Declaration and Petition for Naturalization.
My maternal grandmother emigrated to New York from Minsk in 1914.  I have her manifest on the Ryndam.  There are no separate naturalization papers for her.
My maternal grandparents were already married in Europe (at least that's what I have been told).
Now my questions:
1.  I remember seeing something about A files and C files.  What are the differences?  Is there a B file?
2.  Would there be separate files on the women even though they don't have separate naturalization papers?
3.  How would I apply for these files?  I have been to the USCIS website and it is confusing.  I didn't see anything about A files or C files, nor did I see anything about genealogy.
4.  Last, my paternal grandfather's name and birth date were different on every document.  Do I have to give all the names in order to receive all his papers?
I would appreciate an answer to all 4 questions and any other helpful information.  Time is of the essence.
Thank you,
Robert Hanna