4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2021 1:36 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking explanations about naturalization record of George Balent

    Karla Pitcher Newbie

      Hi! I have been researching my great great grandfather whose name I believe is George Balent. I found a naturalization record from Lacon, IL. But it is incomplete.  There is no address, date and port of arrival, or age given. On these lines there is just an “x”.  What I do know is the naturalization occurred on April 13th, 1894 in Marshall Co. Co. Ct. Lacon, IL. (What does the 2nd Co. mean if the first is County?), and he immigrated from Austria. Is there a particular reason these fields were not filled out? Would’ve George been standing there while the card was being created?  Interestingly, I looked up one of the witnesses and his card was similarly filled out (only “O” instead of “X’s”), also from Austria and also with the same naturalization date.  I am so frustrated because if this is my great great grandfather he seems to have dropped from the sky for this and disappeared from records after this. That being said, I would so much appreciate any insight into that card being filled out like it was, and any advice on how to proceed. I have dug through genealogy websites and just hit dead ends.  Thank you in advance for all your help!

        • Re: Seeking explanations about naturalization record of George Balent
          Susannah Brooks Navigator

          What you found is the index to his naturalization, so George was not there when the index was created.  According to this website the naturalization records from the Marshall County court are missing. Court - Marshall ILGenWeb (illinoisgenweb.org) [go to naturalizations].  You might want to see if they have his declaration of intention.

          • Re: Seeking explanations about naturalization record of George Balent
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Ms. Pitcher,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            What you may have located is a Soundex Index card from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).  The card was a record of INS created well after the naturalization occurred. The Petitions for Naturalization indexed by the cards are court records created by the court during the naturalization proceedings.  The card indexes George Balent’s Petition for Naturalization which was created at the Marshall County Court in Lacon, IL.  The second “Co” was likely added to clarify that it was the “county court” where the action was completed.


            We suggest that you contact the Marshall County Circuit Clerk to request a search for any available naturalization records for George Balent.  Please include that the information from his card indicates that the Petition is located in Volume A, Page 436.


            Because this naturalization occurred prior to 1906 when standardized forms came into use, it is possible that the Petition may not provide additional details such as address, date and port of arrival, or age.  Some early petitions include only the individual’s name, country of origin, and the date they appeared in court. 


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


            [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]