2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2021 2:12 PM by Lisha Penn

    Seeking immigration records for Christian G Wetzel

    Lumen Wetzel Newbie

      When, Where, and on what ship did Christian G Wetzel arrive from Germany about 1850? I am researching my GGGrandfather who came from Germany around 1850. ANY information would be Greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Seeking immigration records for Christian G Wetzel
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          This may be his arrival.  You did not give us a birth year, name of his spouse &/or children, or where he lived in the US, so I just picked the Christian Wetzel that arrived near 1850 that I could find.

          Ancestry.com - New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

          He is the last person on the list and he is traveling with Fritz Wetzel, age 27.  They are in the ship Liverpool, sailing from Antwerp & arriving in NYC on 18 Jun 1849.

          • Re: Seeking immigration records for Christian G Wetzel
            Lisha Penn Pioneer


            Dear Lumen Wetzel,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            We searched the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) and located the Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, documenting the period 1850 - 1897 in the Records of the Center for Immigration Research (Collection CIR) that includes a file pertaining to a Christian Wetzel from Hessen and arrived on 08/19/1853 in Philadelphia via the SS Vesta from the Port of Bremen.


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Index to Vessels Entering the Port of Philadelphia, ca. 1800 - ca. 1880 (M360) in the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36) that consists of index cards which note the name of the ship, the ship type, the port of departure, and the month, day, and year of arrival at Philadelphia. M360 serves as an index to National Archives Microfilm Publication No. M425, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1882 (108 rolls). For more information about the index and the SS Vesta, please contact the National Archives at Philadelphia (RE-PA) at philadelphia.archives@nara.gov.


            M425 has been digitized and made available online by Ancestry and FamilySearch. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


            We also located Passenger Lists, 1817 - 1897 of vessels arriving at the Port of New York in the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36) that may contain a list of the SS Liverpool for June 18, 1849 which includes a Christian Wetzel. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at New York (RE-NY) at newyork.archives@nara.gov.


            We also located Baltimore, Maryland Customs Records and Vessel Passenger Lists, 1820 - 1898 in the Records of the U.S. Customs Service (Record Group 36) that may contain a list of the SS Bessel for November 29, 1852 which includes a Christian Wetzel. For more information about these records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


            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. 


            Prior to September 27, 1906, any "court of record" (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant United States citizenship. Often petitioners went to the court most geographically convenient for them. As a general rule, the National Archives does not have naturalization records created in state or local courts. However, a few indexes and records have been donated to the National Archives from counties, states, and local courts. Researchers should contact the National Archives facility serving the state in which the petitioner resided to determine if records from lower courts are available. In certain cases county court naturalization records maintained by the National Archives are available as microfilm publications. Records from state and local courts are often at state archives or county historical societies.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-PA, RE-NY, RDT1, and various NARA reference units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            We suggest that you review NARA’s Resources for Genealogists, as well as the History Hub blog titled Suggestions and Advice for Family History Researchers may be useful.


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