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Hello, and thank you so much for this information. I remain a bit confused. This confirms that the person was born (in this case) in Italy, but was an American at birth? Or his children were American at birth, because he was naturalized? My objective is to learn if in fact, the person listed on the census was a naturalized US citizen at the birth of his two children. Any clarification will help me! Thank you.
Dear Ms. DeFalco,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Many notations were made on the census pages during statistical processing in Washington, DC, after the enumerators had completed their work in the field. Some of the markings were made to correct errors made by the enumerators. In Robert Jenkins, "Procedural History of the 1940 Census of Population and Housing" (Madison, WI: 1983), page 8, it states the following in paragraphs 44 and 45:
44. Col. 16, Citizenship of the foreign born. There should be an entry of “Na,” “Pa,” “Al,” or “Am Cit” in col. 16 for every person born in a foreign country…..
45. Check the correctness of the entries in col. 16, and, if possible, supply the missing entries. The two following rules will assist you in both of these processes:
- For all foreign-born children under the age of 18 both of whose parents either are alien (Al) or have their first papers (Pa), the entry should be “Al” (for Alien).
- For all foreign-born children under the age of 21, one of whose parents has been naturalized (Na), the entry should be “Na” (for Naturalized).
If you are unable to supply a missing entry for a foreign-born person, enter “4” (for unknown) in col. 16. (The code “4” should never be entered in col. 16 for a person reported in col . 15 as born “at sea,” see par. 43 above.)
Thus the “4” in Column 16 was for foreign-born persons whose citizenship status could not be determined from the information written by the enumerator.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
[information provided by Claire Kluskens, Subject Matter Expert]