5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2021 1:57 PM by Ronald Giusti

    Seeking Naturalization Records for great-grandfather

    Ronald Giusti Wayfarer

      Where do I go to find out whether my great-grandfather was naturalized?  He lived in Providence, R.I. from around 1900 until he died in 1947.  The 1930 census shows him as an alien, but the 1940 census appears to show him as Naturalized (the entry is a little smudged, so I'm not sure!). Thanks!

        • Re: Seeking Naturalization Records for great-grandfather
          Susannah Brooks Navigator

          If you will share his name and approximate birth year, we can help you search for his naturalization.

          • Re: Seeking Naturalization Records for great-grandfather
            Lisha Penn Navigator

            Dear Mr. Giusti,

             

            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

             

            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the  Population Schedules for the 1910 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1920 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, and Population Schedules for the 1940 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that may contain information about Vincenzo Guisti in Providence, Rhode Island. The 1940 Census schedules are digitized and available using the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized schedules, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email 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. 

             

            If a naturalization took place in a Federal court in Rhode Island, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be in the National Archives at Boston (RE-BO). No central index exists. To ensure a successful request with RE-BO via email at boston.archives@nara.gov, you should include the following: 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 from RDT1 and RE-BO. 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).

             

            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.

             

            You may wish to search Ancestry or FamilySearch for the U.S. Census. 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 hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!