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Kim K



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Replies: 22

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:37 pm      Post subject: Naturalization - Searching beyond Soundex index?
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Hello,

I have hit a wall with the soundex naturalization index cards at FamilySearch, etc. I've even searched around the closest surname card and come up empty.

From Census records I have multiple family members of different surnames who were said to have declared or gotten their final papers. In one case I believe the applicant died before final papers could be issued but I have not found the declaration of intent either.

Any suggestions on a next step? Is there another resource/index I can check besides the soundex cards? Is it worth going out to the NARA archive for the region?

Thanks.
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mcdonald0517
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Joined: 27 May 2012
Replies: 604

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:32 pm      Post subject:
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Hi Kim,

Without knowing more specific details such as the names of your ancestors, date of immigration, and estimated date of naturalization or date of papers filed, and the location of filing it is difficult to help.

Some states handled naturalization at a local circuit court level within the county of residence. For example, Pennsylvania did this.

Some intent to naturalize papers were filed at port of arrival (rather than in the state of residence where the census was taken) especially if they arrived in mid to late 1800s.

When I have searched for my ancestor's naturalization records, I first had to figure out how naturalizations were handled and archived for that time and location. Then, I could figure out what organization to contact (state level, county level, national level, etc.)

Also, if you are using census information to determine the year of their naturalization or papers filing, keep in mind that date is usually not accurate. The information was often provided by whoever was at home when the census worker came to the door - that person would speak for everyone living in the house. So, the accuracy of the information on the census depends upon the memory and knowledge of the person reporting on behalf of others living in the house. I always search for a range of 5 years (earlier and later) than the date given in the census.

Finding the naturalization records can be a real challenge. If you provide specifics of one ancestor as an example, I will try to do some searching and see what / if I come up with anything.

Also, have you searched via Ancestry.com?

best,
Cynthia
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Kim K



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Replies: 22

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:34 pm      Post subject:
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mcdonald0517 wrote:
Hi Kim,
Some intent to naturalize papers were filed at port of arrival (rather than in the state of residence where the census was taken) especially if they arrived in mid to late 1800s.

When I have searched for my ancestor's naturalization records, I first had to figure out how naturalizations were handled and archived for that time and location. Then, I could figure out what organization to contact (state level, county level, national level, etc.)

Also, have you searched via Ancestry.com?

best,
Cynthia


Thank you. For some reason I've found it tricky to figure out the "rules" behind naturalization practices aside from the national changes instituted in the 1920s. I also know that the earlier petitions didn't always collect a lot of information but those who I am missing are those who have been harder to trace otherwise.

Mostly I'm looking at Illinois/Chicago area around 1880-1910, although your mention of port of entry gives me somewhere else to check. For the ones I did find in the soundex index cards, I have already been to Cook Co. for those who filed in Superior Court but have not gone out to the NARA archive outside the city for those filed in the other courts.

It's just that when I look up something as (relatively) common as Jankowski, very few cards come up which does not seem right. In the past I also calculated the soundex codes so I think I've looked in more than one place online but my memory is a little foggy. It could also be I'm looking at the wrong index with the wrong dates, or there just isn't one for the location I need.

I'll PM with specifics since I don't have exact dates off the top of my head, plus I'll go look for port of entry options. : D
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dnowicki
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 1946
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:10 pm      Post subject:
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Kim K wrote:
mcdonald0517 wrote:
Hi Kim,
Some intent to naturalize papers were filed at port of arrival (rather than in the state of residence where the census was taken) especially if they arrived in mid to late 1800s.

When I have searched for my ancestor's naturalization records, I first had to figure out how naturalizations were handled and archived for that time and location. Then, I could figure out what organization to contact (state level, county level, national level, etc.)

Also, have you searched via Ancestry.com?

best,
Cynthia


Thank you. For some reason I've found it tricky to figure out the "rules" behind naturalization practices aside from the national changes instituted in the 1920s. I also know that the earlier petitions didn't always collect a lot of information but those who I am missing are those who have been harder to trace otherwise.

Mostly I'm looking at Illinois/Chicago area around 1880-1910, although your mention of port of entry gives me somewhere else to check. For the ones I did find in the soundex index cards, I have already been to Cook Co. for those who filed in Superior Court but have not gone out to the NARA archive outside the city for those filed in the other courts.

It's just that when I look up something as (relatively) common as Jankowski, very few cards come up which does not seem right. In the past I also calculated the soundex codes so I think I've looked in more than one place online but my memory is a little foggy. It could also be I'm looking at the wrong index with the wrong dates, or there just isn't one for the location I need.

I'll PM with specifics since I don't have exact dates off the top of my head, plus I'll go look for port of entry options. : D


Kim,

Did you try the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County? There are 131 hits for the surname Jankowski. Here is the link http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/nr/default.aspx

Happy hunting.

Dave
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Kim K



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Replies: 22

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:39 pm      Post subject:
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dnowicki wrote:

Kim,

Did you try the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County? There are 131 hits for the surname Jankowski. Here is the link http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/nr/default.aspx

Happy hunting.

Dave


Thank you. I double checked to be sure but unfortunately all the name matches have birthdates 10-20 years too late. But Cook Co. also says upfront that their indexing is "ongoing and incomplete." I should just call the clerk again to ask about deeper search options since I'm not sure if they allow open access to the onsite index. I did love that when I called the first time they told me if I came all the way down there with the index images I had, I could take phone pics of the old naturalization docs for free.
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