Friday, October 22, 2010

Citizenship - The Final Step

About a month ago I explored the Naturalization Indexes on Ancestry and wrote a post about my findings for my 2nd Great Grandfather, Walter Leeming.    After arriving in the U.S. in 1899 by way of Canada, Walter filed his Declaration of Intention in 1901.  Then on 28 May 1904 he submitted his Petition for Naturalization along with his son John Edward Leeming.   They were both assigned a court date of June 11, 1904. 

John Edward was the only other member of Walter's immediate family to apply for citizenship, because all other members of the family became citizens when Walter did.  His wife would receive derivative citizenship from her naturalized husband, and all other children still living at the time were under the age of 18 would also become citizens.

Bringing witnesses of their choosing (to testify that they met residence and character requirements), Walter and his son John became citizens of the United States on June 11, 1904.  Following are Walter's final naturalization documents, you can barely make out the date stamp in the first sentence.

The witnesses appeared to testify that Walter and John Edward had indeed been in the country for the last 5 years and that they were not any of the sort of people listed in all the fine print above - that they are men of good moral character.

From these documents I can confirm Walter's birth date, the town he is living in at the time,  and his approximate date of arrival in the U.S. something that I have not been able to confirm to date.  I had previously known that the family spent some time in Canada, and arrived prior to the 1900 census,  but could not find a border crossing for them - now I can narrow down a date range to search.   I can also research the witnesses to find how they fit in his life - were they neighbors (the street addresses were not provided for them) or co-workers?    As is often the case when we request documents, they lead to more areas of research. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Comments and New Follows

To acknowledge my blogging friends who've come by recently and left me comments - Thanks so much for reading!!

Michelle at The Turning of Generations
Carol at Reflections From the Fence (and others)
Nancy at My Ancestors and Me
Heather at Nutfield Genealogy
Jo at Images Past
Jody at Family History Research by Jody
Magpie's Mumblings
Cathy at Detour Through History (and others)
Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog (and others)

Here's a list of some of the blogs I added to my reader recently

Digging Down East
Maryland to Kentucky
Saving Stories

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

Yet another pin today, from Grandma's Jewelry Box.   I chose this becuase it seemed very odd to me, and after doing a bit of research on it and discovering its origin, I've no idea why Grandma had it or where she got it.   Grandma loved the flea market and yard sales, picking up oddities and this very well could have been in a mix of costume jewelry that she purchased.  

This pin measures 1/2" square, and is the insignia for the Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity.  This all-male fraternity was started in 1850 at the University of Pennsylvania and today has over 50 active chapters in the U.S. and Canada.  Similar pins I've found on line have some type of stamps or engraving on the reverse, this one however does not.   Could Grandma have known a member of this fraternity?  I will probably never know.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

Today I share a pin from Grandma's Jewelry Box - how fitting it is!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Citizenship - Petition for Naturalization

In two previous posts I discussed the U.S. Naturalization Indexes, and the filing of Declaration of Intention to become a United States citizen.

Once a declaration is filed, the person must then file a petition to become a citizen after the residence requirements are complete, having lived in the U.S. for 5 years or more, unless they came to the U.S. as an under-age child.

My great-great grandfather Walter Leeming and his oldest son John whose documents I've been discussing both filed petitions for naturalization on the same day, 28 May 1904. At that time they were given a hearing date to appear in court for the final step.

The next step is their court hearing, in this case on 11 June 1904,  along with witnesses chosen by the petitioners to give testimony as proof of their residency and character.