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I would be easier to help you find information, if we knew the name(s) of your ancestor, approximate year of birth, and where they lived in the US.
Hi Susannah! Thank you for responding to my question. The name of my great-grandpa is Cecil Schwartz. His approximate birth year is 1903. His approximate year of immigration is 1908. In a 1920 Census I found it looked like he was naturalized in 1912, but the document was smudgy so I can't be certain, however, his mother and a few siblings had 1912 clearly written down. Here is all the information I know:
Name: Cecil Schwartz
Born: approx. 1903 or 1904, Romania (although some documents have it spelled Rumania or Roumania)
Immigrated to US: approx. 1908
Residency: Lived in the general Pittsburgh, Alleghany, PA area (shown on 1920 Census too)
Mother: Esther Schwartz, maiden name Sigal (some documents have Segal), born approx. 1870
Father: Jacob Schwartz, I believe he passed away in 1919. Esther was marked a widow in the 1920 Census
Siblings: Simon Schwartz (birth year approx 1895), Sam Schwartz (birth year approx.1901), Myer Schwartz (birth year approx. 1897), Isidore (birth year approx. 1906), and Lalie Schwartz (birth year approx. 1911)
Spouse: Miriam C. Schwartz, maiden name Friedman
Children: Joan Helen Schwartz, Lynn Frances Schwartz, and Edward N. Schwartz
Deceased: Sept 1954, Pittsburgh area
Thank you for all your help!
Hi quick update! I found the naturalization records (intention and declaration) for Jones Schwartz, my great grandfather's father. It has his wife and children listed on the document. I read this on Ancestry: "In the United States, from 1907 until 1922, a woman's citizenship was entirely dependent on the citizenship of her husband. She automatically gained American citizenship when her husband became a naturalized U.S. citizen, as did the couple's minor children." Does that mean that the only naturalization record needed for Cecil Schwartz's naturalization is his father's record? I've attached the record I'm referring to for reference. Thank you for all your help
Good find! This (his father's naturalization record listing wife and children) would be the only naturalization information for Cecil Schwartz.
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Dear Jordan Langs,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
When and where your great-grandfather’s naturalization took place is the primary information that will determine the possible location of his naturalization records. And if you are not certain where your great-grandparents lived in the United States, you may wish to consult Census Records which may help you make that determination. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1900 Census, and the Population Schedules for the 1910 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1920 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, and the Population Schedules for the 1940 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that may contain information on your great-grandparents. 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 email@example.com.
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.
Beginning September 27, 1906, the responsibility for naturalization proceedings was transferred to the Federal courts. 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, naturalization indexes, declarations of intention (with any accompanying certificates of arrival), and petitions for naturalization will usually be in the National Archives facility serving the state in which the Federal court is located. No central index exists. To ensure a successful request with the National Archives, researchers should 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.
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).
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 other NARA reference units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Certificates of citizenship were issued by the Federal courts until October 1991 when INS took over responsibility for naturalization proceedings. Certificates may be requested through the USCIS Genealogy Program.
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. Also, the FamilySearch Research wiki for Romania Emigration and Immigration may be useful.
The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation, Inc has an online searchable database of 22.5 million arrivals to New York between 1892 - 1924 that may include the person(s) you seek.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
Hi Robert! Thank you for all of this information and for sharing your advice. I can't believe I hadn't thought to check out the 1910's Census! I just found the 1910 Federal Census and found Cecil and his family, which revealed interesting new information. Turns out my great-grandfathers name was Zizil Swartz and at the time of the 1910 census the father, Jonas Swartz, had marked down "PA" under naturalization status. Only Jonas had that column marked so I'm not sure if it only applies for him, or if it applies for the entire family.
Also, not sure if you know this but if we are looking to apply for dual citizenship, do you know if we need an additional document for the last name change, or does the naturalization papers proclaim that already?
You would have to get information on the rules and documentation needed for dual citizenship from the Romanian consulate. Do not use a census record (or many other early 20th C records) for the correct spelling of names. The information was given orally to the census taker, who wrote down what he thought he heard, so there are many mis-spellings.
you maybe should read this information
It gives some hints on what to expect and what is required in an application for Romanian citizenship.
Dear Jordan Langs,
Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!
We suggest that you contact the Embassy of Romania in Washington DC to inquire about the process for dual citizenship.
We hope this is helpful.