2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2020 3:08 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking Naturalization Papers of great great grandfather


      I am trying to find my 2nd great grandfather's naturalization papers. He lived first in Pittsburg Co., OK in the 1890s (no census to go off of there), but 1900-1930 census from Crawford Co., KS says "PA", then 1940, "AL". He was born in Italy in 1862, died in 1943 in Kansas. I received a Letter of Non-Existence from USCIS, but he should still have at least a Declaration of Intention filed somewhere, right? Also, does "PA" only mean he filed the Declaration of Intention (first papers) or can that mean that he also filed second papers? 1900-1930 is an awfully long time to have only made it to the first step, so I'm just wondering.

        • Re: Seeking Naturalization Papers of great great grandfather
          Alice Lane Pioneer

          Hi Lauren,

          Welcome to History Hub 

          The following link shows a list of terms used in the naturalization process 1900 to 1930




          Would you like to share more information like his name? wife's name and etc.


          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

          • Re: Seeking Naturalization Papers of great great grandfather
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Ms. Turigliatto,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            If you received a letter of Non-Existence from USCIS, it is possible that he did not complete the naturalization process. Naturalization was not required in the U.S. In the late 1800s/early 1900s based on census statistics, around 25% of immigrants in the U.S. had not pursued citizenship.


            PA is a census abbreviation for "first papers." The alien has filed his declaration of intention, and is in the process of naturalizing.  The census abbreviation AL indicates the immigrant had not begun the naturalization process and was still an “alien.”


            Beginning on September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. If a naturalization took place in a Federal court, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be in the custody of the National Archives facility serving the state in which the Federal court is located. Unfortunately, no central index exists. To ensure a successful request, please include the name of petitioner (including known variants); date of birth; approximate date of entry to the US; approximate date of naturalization; where the individual was residing at the time of naturalization (city/county/state); and country of origin.


            In most cases, the National Archives will not have a copy of the certificate of citizenship. Two copies of the certificate were created – one given to the petitioner as proof of citizenship, and one forwarded to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).


            Certificates of citizenship were issued by the Federal courts until October 1991 when INS took over responsibility for naturalization proceedings. All INS records are now overseen by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS maintains duplicate copies of court records (including the certificate of citizenship) created since September 27, 1906 and may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.


            We also suggest that you review the NARA’s Immigration Records website as well as the FamilySearch Research wiki for United States Emigration and Immigration Genealogy


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!