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. 

1 comment:

  1. Your lucky yours says all that. Mine from Will county Illinois says less. Much less. One I got and aother researcher got the other. It makes me wonder, if we should have asked for more or if the states and counties are so very different.

    I just might ditch reading blogs and use your link on previous post and research a little more. [ smile] thanks