4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2021 1:48 AM by Timothy McGoldrick

    Seeking records of Michael J McGettigan

    patrick mcgettigan Newbie

      I am looking to find out if my grandfather filed for US naturalization sometime between 1905 and 1935. He was from Donegal, Ireland. He had a residence in Washington, DC from at least 1920 to his death in the same city in 1954. He was married to Honora E. Egan around 1914. I found some registration for WWI in 1917/1918.

        • Re: Seeking records of Michael J McGettigan
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Mr. McGettigan,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          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.


          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. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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


          • Re: Seeking records of Michael J McGettigan
            Timothy McGoldrick Adventurer

            In the WW I draft card he states that he is an naturalized citizen, born Jan 1, 1866. The date of registration is Sept-12, 1918, WW I ended Nov-11,1918   

            He married Norah Ellen Egan Jun 3, 1914  marriage license place: Queens, New York


            So he would be naturalized sometime between his arrival in the USA when ???  and Sept12, 1918. If someone registered for the draft in WW 1 they maybe granted citizenship  U.S., WW I Soldier Naturalizations, 1918  

            https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2362/  found no record in this database I also tried New York State Naturalization data base no luck. I checked that data base because they were married in New York.

            U.S. Naturalization Records



              • Re: Seeking records of Michael J McGettigan
                patrick mcgettigan Newbie

                Very helpful. Thanks.
                Allow me to fill in a few more nuggets some of which are best guesses or speculative.

                I have his official birth certificate. His year of birth says 1883 not 1886 (with the same day and month). Not sure why he put down 1886 on many forms)
                His arrival year in US is unknown. My best guess is between 1898 (age 15) and before 1909. Why do I give this range? The census in Ireland in 1901 did not have him living with his family at the homestead in Donegal

                but listed all his sisters and one brother who was probably born in 1881. A sister named Grace was a few years older. Two younger sisters Anne and Bridget did come to the States.  Annie before 1911 and the youngest Bridget after 1911 based on the 1911 census.


                My dad Patrick Joseph was born March 7, 1916 and his certificate says Washington DC. Michael and Nora were married in 1914.

                I have many old postcards from Michael’s buddies from 1909 to 1911 at various places in and around Washington DC. So my guess he was moving about doing work as a carpenter along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to New York.


                I know Michael’s sisters and Nora ( and her sisters Theresa and Annie Egan) were house keepers and nanas in New York and later DC. All became US citizens. But not sure by what means. Anne McGettigan married Thomas Walsh and lived in DC from at least 1920 to her death. sister Bridget married a Dominic Kelley and lived in Alaska for many years but died and was buried in the DC area sometime in the 70s.  No children.


                So did Michael and Nora likely meet in NY before 1914? Otherwise why did the marriage come about in Queens?

                They were living in DC as of 1916, the birth of my father, and from accounts (1920 and 1930 census) remained there. Nora died before 1930 census.


                My last tidbit. Michael's father ( my great grandfather) was named Patrick Joseph and was in and around the Philadelphia PA area for a period of time. How long? What years? Was Michael with him? My guess is before the 1901 census. 


                So maybe I need to search ship records and filings around PA.


                Sorry for the length. I am new to this. If nothing else, it has sharpened my focus and paths to follow. Thanks again.