Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-03 > 1204737110

From: Mary Ellen Chambers <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] US Naturalization protocol
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 09:11:50 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>

Question??? Having worked as a volunteer in the Cuyahoga County Archives in Cleveland OH and gathered numerous certificates (all 3 in most cases), I have never found a physical description or other such personal info on those from about 1860 to approx. 1900. They have date of arrival, from where (usually just Ireland or Germany but no townland, village, etc), ruler (Victoria or whomever). But no actual port of departure or arrival or age are documented. The only exception was my g grandfather who it seems was about 16 and was in juvenile records but still no documented age. (We just figured, having his baptismal certificate from Mayo for 1846. This follows through to the final citizenship papers.
Now, a few we got from NARA in MA are a bit more detailed but still no physical description.
NOW the question is, is there another form which is in files somewhere other that than the ones filed in the Archive record for a particular year. Something like a "working" copy which this final form of intent and the next two are copied???

Mary Ellen Chambers
patricia meyers <> wrote:
Just to add a bit to Margaret's information (and thank you, Maureen, for posting it), I am doing data entry for the Declarations of Intent for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1907-1929).

What is included on the document is:
name of the petitioner (according to what the clerk could understand),
birth date (I suspect that some people made up their birth dates),
description in height and weight, color of hair and eyes, and noticeable deformities/scars,
the port of entry,
date of entry,
the name of the ship or some came by railroad through Canada (some don't remember the ship's name), occupation,
birthplace (often unrecognizable due to the clerk's misunderstanding of the birthplace information),
if married,
wife's name (have yet to see a maiden name) and where she was born (usually just the country is given!)
and if they are living together
plus current address is noted.

Oftentimes the signature of the petitioner doesn't resemble what the clerk has deciphered as the petitoner's name, or else it's just an "X." A lot depends on how well the petitioner understands and speaks English.

People whose alphabet differs from our 26 letters would sign their names according to the way they knew from their schooling complete with all sorts of diacritical marks (Polish and old German script). So a lot depended on how the clerk understood the spoken name.

The data is entered into the computer according to what the clerk has written, but the person doing the data entry can also flag the spelling of the surname if it looks significantly different from the person's signature. Also there is sometimes a problem deciphering the handwriting of the clerk with all its flourishes and fancy initials!


----- Original Message ----
From: ""
Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 9:43:12 AM
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] US Naturalization protocol


I saw on this information on another geneo list, and thought the info was
great. I learned a bit from it. Margaret has given me permission to post the
info she provided - to this list. I hope you find it as informative as I did.

Maureen N

I just posted some information about the naturalization process to
another list I belong to. It might have some of the information you want. The
Declaration of Intent had to be filed at least 2 years before the Petition
for Naturalization was filed. The Petition for Naturalization did not have to
be filed in the same county where the Declaration of Intent was filed. A
residency of 1 year in the state and 5 years in the U.S. were required before
citizenship was granted. The whole process took about 6-7 years depending on
when the Declaration of Intent was filed. There were variations due to
changes in the law over the years.

I learned something fascinating when I looked for my Great Aunt's naturaliza
tion papers. Most women before 1922 did not bother becoming citizens on
their own since they could not vote. Most of the women who became citizens
before 1922 did so through their father or husband or possibly their brother.
What is more amazing is that if the woman was born in the U.S. her parents,
grandparents an even if all of her ancestors came over on the Mayflower she lost
her American citizenship if she married an immigrant ! ! ! ! Once the
immigrant was naturalized she would then become a citizen again through her
husband's naturalization process.

When searching for your ancestor's naturalization papers look in the county
court where the new citizen was naturalized Every record is different,
some records do not have that much information especially the older records
while other records might have a lot of information. but it probably won't
mention the father's name, but will mention the birthplace of the applicant. When
you order the records order three documents mentioned below. You will want
to request the DECLARATION of INTENT which should include the following

Shows county and court where declaration is filed
Port of Entry
Date of Entry
Name of Ship
Marital Status
Personal Description

The older applications had the least amount of information that is why it is
important to request the all of the following documents:

NATURALIZATION PAPERS (Naturalization Certificate)

Petitions for Naturalization should contain the following:
Current residence
Date of Intention
Place of birth
Date of birth or age
Country of Emigration
Date of Emigration
Last foreign residence
Length of residence in the United States
Port of entry and date of entry
Name of ship
Marital status
Name, age, place of birth of spouse; address of spouse
Name, age, and place of birth of children
Personal description

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