Would all people who became US citizens have filled out a, "Declaration of Intention" form?
I found the following for my Norwegian grandmother, Elisabeth Talch , nee Mathiesen:
- certificate of arrival
- petition for citizenship
- oath of allegiance
I can't find her Dec. of Intention. I also found an amendment filed, when she later divorced & remarried. Any ideas/suggestions? Thank you.
What exists and what is online will vary by location and by time frame. Based on your mention of a certificate of arrival, I presume you are looking for a 20th-century record. There is not always a declaration of intention or it may not be online.
Marian Smith has written a good series on the naturalization of women. She also gives lectures on how the process has changed through the centuries.1
whenever one uses the word "ALL" or "ALWAYS" . . . it makes me remember others who say "Never say Never" or "Never say always."
Surely laws and procedures have changed over time and what is available may depend on various factors.
What was year in question?0
Since the OP mentioned a certificate of arrival, we know that the person in question arrived after 1906.
Certificates of Arrival
On this form the immigrant listed the port name, date and ship of arrival. If the applicant claimed arrival after June 30, 1906, then copies of this form were sent to the port of entry and checked by a clerk, who located the immigrant's passenger list. If a corresponding record was found, the INS issued a certificate of arrival and sent it to the naturalization court. Certificates of arrival were first issued under the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906, which went into effect on 27 September 1906. These certificates are generally included in a naturalization records C-file.
And since women had derivative citizenship from their husbands or fathers, up to 1922, we know that the records in question are probably post -1922.0
My oversight in not mentioning the date, Dennis. That would have made things a bit easier. My grandmother arrived in 1928, and naturalized in 1935. My grandfather arrived in 1927, and naturalized in 1934.
Aine, thank you for the helpful articles you passed along. The one on history of the Dec. of Intent was particularly informative. I was aware of the issues for women in the pre/post 1922 timeframe, but it is always a good reminder. Interesting to hear, even in more recent years, of older women who thought they were citizens (and rarely traveled), finding out otherwise when returning from an overseas trip!
I thank you both for your responses. Realizing not everything is, or makes it online, to date ALL the naturalization papers I have found for ancestors have included the Dec. of Intent. This is why I was wondering if there was something else I might not be considering, or another place I should be looking.
Over the years, I have found research doesn't follow a straight line, and more importantly, there are always others out there who know more than I do, and have found new/different record sources. Finally, I am feeling comfortable enough to ask for help at times, and results have sometimes been a tremendous trove of information.1