This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of two brand US collections that will help you learn more about your immigrant ancestors.
United States Naturalization Petitions contains more than 7.8 million records spanning the years 1905 to 1950. The collection currently covers four states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, and allows you to discover when and where your immigrant ancestor was born, how old they were when they first crossed the Atlantic and their port of entry. Images of the original documents may even include a photograph of your ancestor.
The United States government began to regulate the naturalization process, including the forms and courts authorized, in September 1906 with the formation of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (later known as the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS)). The changes that followed included more information being taken from applicants during the naturalization process as forms required applicants to record their occupation, birth date, and names of spouse and children.
Discover when, where, and why your ancestors travelled with over 800,000 US Passport Application records. Applications may also include a physical description, your ancestor's occupation, residence, naturalization details, the name of their spouse, date of birth and place of birth. Most applications are one to two pages in length and, from 21 December 1914 onward, photographs of applicants are also included.
The collection has been compiled from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) collection M1490. Images of the original documents are included and may reveal additional details of your ancestor's citizenship, such as when and from where they immigrated, by what means they arrived in the United States, and when they were naturalized. For those born in the United States, you may learn details of their fathers' naturalization such as their full name, birthplace, and date and place of emigration. Additional details were also recorded such as the applicant's eye color as well as descriptions of their mouth, nose, forehead, chin, complexion, face, and hair color.
Earlier passport applications, from 1795 for example contain fewer details. However, they would still include name, age, and physical description.
Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.