During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.
When women and children were automatically naturalized are there records? Where are they?
Information for those who received derivative naturalization, such as children and spouses, could possibly be recorded in the naturalization application of the intended citizen. Prior to 1906, each court with a seal created its own naturalization application, therefore questions asked by the court varied. Some courts listed spouse or minor children of the immigrant applying for naturalization, but it wasn’t required. Beginning in 1906, when the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was created, forms were standardized and questions relating to spouse and children were asked on the application. Otherwise those who received derivative naturalization did not have their own paperwork.
Did an immigrant always become a citizen especially looking in the 1850-1900 time period?
Not every immigrant became a U.S. citizen. Some immigrants filed first papers or declarations of intent, but never completed the process. According to the 1890-1930 federal censuses, which asked whether the immigrant was naturalized or had filed first papers, it was discovered that only 25% of immigrants had begun the process to become a U.S. citizen.