POINT Chapter 15 Meeting - August 5, 2000

POINTers In Person
Chapter 15
Northern New Jersey

P.O. Box 636
Totowa, New Jersey

Pursuing Our Italian Names Together

August 5, 2000

Albert Marotta (#1018)
The Northern New Jersey chapter of POINTers in Person met on August 5, 2000 at the Housing Authority Community Room in Garfield, NJ.  Thirty-one people attended

Annita Zalenski (#39) announced to members that since Bob Scussel (#2437) was retiring earlier than we had anticipated, our next and future meetings will be held at the Elmwood Park Municipal Building at 182 Market Street in Elmwood Park, NJ.  Due to Bob Scussel's generous and gracious offer, we had been meeting at the well-appointed Housing Authority Community Room in Garfield since 1997.  Bob's retirement will also leave open the office of Corresponding Secretary of our organization.  Nonetheless, at Annita's request, the Nominating Committee named the following officers, who were approved by the members:

President Annita Zalenski (#39)
Vice President Maria Carparelli (#2100)
Recording Secretary Al Marotta (#1018)
Treasurer Lillian Pappas (#2717

Lillian Pappas (#2717) presented the treasurer's report and said that the chapter presently has a total paid membership of 41 out of 53 members.

Annita gave an informative presentation on Naturalization Records.  She used her own research from the Passaic County courthouse in Paterson, NJ as examples.

Although the first naturalization act was passed in 1790, it wasn't until 1816 that the Declaration of Intent appeared.  Congress required naturalizations to occur in a court of record.  Among those courts of record were: County supreme, circuit, district, equity, chancery, probate, common please, some state supreme courts and Federal courts, such as a U. S. District Court or a U. S. Circuit Court.  It was required for the alien to declare his intention to become a citizen, serve a certain residency period and then petition an authorized court for admission to citizenship.  In 1906 a law created the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization in order to provide a uniform rule for naturalization throughout the U. S., effective September 27, 1906.  All courts now became agencies of the federal government  with regard to obtaining citizenship.  In 1908, the U. S. Department of Labor began issuing A Directory of Courts Having Jurisdiction in Naturalization Proceedings.  If a naturalization record that occurred after September 27, 1906, cannot be located, or if the court is no longer acive, consult these directories.

Derivative citizenship must also be considered.  From 1790-1922 a wife became naturalized when citizenship was conferred on her husband.  The Married Woman's Act of 1907 stated that "any American woman who married a foreigner shall take the nationality of her husband."  Although this law was repealed in 1922, that did not restore citizenship to American women who had married aliens between 1907-1922.  The woman had to submit the Application to take the Oath of Allegiance (Reparation Record).   The act of May 9, 1918 allowed aliens serving in World War I to file a petition for naturalization without making a declaration of intent of proving 5 years residency.  These men were immediately naturalized at military camps and nearby courts, not at their legal residence.  This was extended to cover later wars.

Location of Naturalization Records for people living in NJ can often be found at the county clerk's office.  Some records may also be located in the NJ State Archives in Trenton.  Records might be found in the National Archives, only if the county court donated them or if the deed took place in a federal court.  However, the National Archives does have some indexes to State and local court naturalizations wich took place in CT, IL, In, IA, ME, MA, NJ, NY, RI and VT.

Lillian Pappas alerted us that the 1925 NY State Census asked whether the person was naturalized and, if so, in which court.  After the presentation and questions, Susan Laurita showed us the results of her research from the Ny branch of the National Archives.  It included the petition and certificate of naturalization for her mother's parents.

We are hoping to have members present some aspect of genealogical research/Italian culture which interests them to our group at our February meeting.

Future meeitngs will be held at our new location in Elmwood Park, NJ on:

                                                                    November 4, 2000
                                                                    February 3, 2001
                                                                    May 5, 2001
                                                                    August 4, 2001


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