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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Citizenship Records - How to Find out if your ancestor naturalized

Mary asked
I'VE BEEN HAVING A GREAT DEAL OF TROUBLE FINDING IF MY GRANDFATHER, HENRY RUFF, EVER BECAME A U.S. CITIZEN.ALSO, IT'S AS THOUGH, WITHIN THE 1930'S CENSUS I CANNOT FIND THEM AT ALL.THE NAME WOULD BE HENRY RUFF POSSIBLY FROM COLORADO OR WISCONSIN.

Olive Tree Answer Hello Mary. Did you know that writing an email in all CAPS is the same as shouting? You should write your emails in regular fonts to avoid any problems in future.

You have not told me when your Henry Ruff was born so I will give you a answer that covers many years.

The 1900, 1910 ,1920 and 1930 USA census identify citizenship status, with notations showing the individual was an Alien,or had started the Naturalization process or had his final papers.

You can read more about the value of census records in your search for an immigrant ancestor at
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/census.shtml

There are great clues in the 1870 census too! If your ancestor has a check mark in the column "Male Citizens of the United States of twenty-one years of age and upwards" you have a clue that naturalization took place before 1870

For a list of questions asked on American census years, see USA Census Records

You indicate that you cannot find Henry in 1930. Sometimes genealogists forget to try other methods of searching, such as search only by last name. Use wildcards. Search only by first name and an approximate year/place of birth. Search a child instead of the parents. There are many ways to work around problems of indexing, transcribing and illegible names that have been badly mangled!

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