6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2021 2:46 PM by Susan Guyre

    Seeking country of birth of a grandparent

    Susan Guyre Wayfarer

      How do I determine the country of birth of a grandparent based on his Alien Registration Number?

        • Re: Seeking country of birth of a grandparent
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          You could use the alien registration number to request his alien registration file from USCIS.  Other ways would be to look at US records that asked for place (usually country or state) of birth or his immigration record.  If you would like to give us his name, approximate birth year, and where he lived in the US. perhaps we can help you find the information.

          • Re: Seeking country of birth of a grandparent
            Lisha Penn Pioneer

            Dear Ms. Guyre,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            We suggest that you review NARA’s Resources for Genealogists and Census Resources for tips on how to access census records that may be digitized in the National Archives Catalog or available on our partners’ websites as well as how to view them at your local library that provides free access for their patrons. NARA has census schedules on microfilm dating from 1790 to 1930 but data from recent censuses are not available after 1940 due to the 72-year restriction on access to the Census. Most researchers find it helpful to begin with the 1940 Census and work backwards to locate people in earlier generations and it may assist with identifying the country of birth of your grandparent.


            In general, naturalization was a two-step process that took a minimum of five years. After residing in the United States for two years, an alien could file a "declaration of intention" ("first papers") to become a citizen. After three additional years, the alien could "petition for naturalization" (”second papers”). After the petition was granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued to the alien. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court. 


            Since 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 from September 27, 1906 through March 31, 1956 within Certificate Files (C-Files). Beginning on April 1, 1956, INS began filing all naturalization records in a subject’s Alien File (A-File). C-Files and certain A-Files may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.


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