Ask Readers: Naturalization Records Question

Perhaps someone can help me better understand the whole naturalization thing. I was noticing last night in the Declaration of Intention dockets that the majority of the names were men. Did the naturalization apply to the whole family or were females not naturalized in general?

If you know of a link that would help me better understand the process and tendencies regarding naturalization, that would be awesome.


Family History Center Results

Last night my dear hubby watched our kiddos so I could spend two hours in the Family History Center with microfilm I ordered from Salt Lake City.

After two hours at the genealogy library, I have narrowed down 25 potential finds to about 5. Man I can't wait for more of these indexes to be digitized/indexed. Heck, skip the indexing of the indexes and give me the real records. I know, I know. Not everything is online, but seriously. In about 10 years or so, so much of what took professional genealogists hours and hours to find will soon be done by amateurs (like myself) in about 10 minutes from the comfort of my own home at hours convenient for me (no need for a babysitter!).

Anyway, I have some leads on Geiszler and Long probate records. The Smiths, Hoppe, and Browns didn't pan out. Some collateral lines have a few leads. Hmmm... I guess my relatives just weren't rich enough to need probate to step in. Darn it!

My next step is to have a look at the probate packets (I was researching the index). Plus, I need to return to the FHC to view the naturalization declaration films that are awaiting my searching eye.

Planning a trip... Found It!

As mentioned in yesterday's post, the gentleman at the Ohio Historical Society said that I should be able to look up the microfilm numbers for the collections that I wanted using the website.. At first, I couldn't find what he was telling me was available.  Turns out I was looking in the wrong place. Doesn't surprise me. In any case, here's how I found it, in case your wondering.

On the front page of the Ohio Historical Society - Archives Library website, I saw a link section called Genealogical Resources. It listed the records by type that would interest me and I selected the Naturalization link. From there I was able to view a listing of records by county and discovered that I wanted those pertaining to Franklin County, focusing primarily on the decade of 1850. Most of my immigrant ancestors were not in the 1850 Census but started popping up in the 1860 Census. So, I'm going to focus primarily on the 1850s & 1860s for Naturalization. I know one person received a certificate dated 1858, so I'm trying to hone in on him, as well as several relatives.

On this page, the only one I was familiar with to this point, I can not click on the record title to get microfilm numbers. In fact, I wasn't even sure that the records I would be viewing were going to be microfilm. One call to the library has opened my eyes. Thanks for the heads up! So... where, oh where is the link the gentleman spoke of?

I found a side link for the Online Collection Catalog. After a few clicks, I got to a typical library search entry form and I put "Common Pleas Declaration of Intention" into the title, series, and publication fields. I didn't quite understand the "General" field so I didn't think to use that. (I should have tried everything, it would have saved time). I was getting discouraged, but the man said it was there so I just needed to keep poking.

I returned to the front page for the Archives and found a "Online Collection Catalog" quick search box. I figured, let's give this a try. Sure enough, it worked and I found the microfilm links that I was referred to. Yeah! I'll be so prepared for my trip that I won't have to waste time just figuring out what films I need.

Later I kept poking and discovered I could have saved some time by putting the record I wanted in the "General" field on the catalog search form. Oh well, live and learn.

In any case, I can't say enough kind things about the man who answered all of my questions and gave me some valuable tips for my upcoming trip. Hope I continue to meet more helpful people along the way. I'll keep you posted.

Planning a Trip... Ohio Historical Society

In preparation for my trip to Columbus, I discovered that the State Archives & Historical Society is located in the very city I wish to visit. Score a point for me! The Ohio Historical Society houses records that I believe will benefit me greatly in my research for a variety of ancestors who lived in Franklin County, Ohio beginning in 1800 to present day. My primary interest in this facility's collection are the Land Records and the Naturalization Records. Most of the vital records I have obtained through or So, I'll probably skip that section of the library.

The library has a terrific website and it provided me with a lot of information that I needed to know prior to visiting the facilities. I did have a few further questions that the website did not answer. Sadly, my first attempt in obtaining answers failed (I sent an email on 1/27 and haven't heard anything to date). I had a free moment and decided to give the facility a call.

Thankfully a very friendly gentleman was willing to answer my questions. Just in case others had similar questions, I figured that I would post my questions and the answers I received.

  1. The Library Rules and Procedures page says "Notes, computers (but not the cases), notebooks, and pencils ONLY are permitted in the Research Rooms." I was curious to know if tablets (iPad, Android tablets) are considered computers and allowed. I also wanted to know if digital cameras were allowed. Guess what! Okay, you know the answer... YES. Tablet computers are allowed into the archives. And digital cameras may be used without the flash. Yeah!!! I love am set with cameras to document my finds.
  2. Having seen Who Do You Think You Are?, I wanted to know do I needed to bring a pair of gloves? Nope! They supply them when needed.
  3. The Rules page said that only the staff makes photocopies of the items. So, what are the photocopy fees? The man said $0.25, but you should really just used your digital camera. Well, I was hoping that would be what was allowed, but I'm so glad he confirmed that's what I really should do! 
I'm most interested in the Naturalization records at this point. Perhaps the Land Records (if the film indexes I ordered from Salt Lake City prove fruitful). In any case, I asked if the gentleman had any tips on how to make the most of my visit and walk me through how it would work when I arrived.

To examine the Naturalization records, I'll be going first to the Microfilm Room. It's self-service and I can access anything without filling out paperwork. Great! He mentioned that I could plan ahead and not exactly what film I was going to access by using their website to look up film numbers. What a great idea! I didn't know that was on the website. (I haven't found this information yet, but that was so nice of him to tell me to look for it). I hope I can find it before my trip to increase my efficiency.

Once I've examined the indexes, I'll be given a reference number for the original documents that are handled only by the OHS staff. If I need more than one item, then I can only use one at a time. I'll have to fill out a call slip, etc. Hopefully those I'm looking for will be in the fewest number of volumes, but we shall see.

I have to give the gentleman (who I forgot to get his name) a big round of applause for helping me know what to expect and prepare for my trip to his facility. I look forward to visiting the State Archives and hope that my family members will stand up and be counted.

An Indexing Confession

I have been serving as an indexer for for over a year. My activity level comes and goes as free time or interest is available. Recently, my husband has decided to give indexing a try. Now, there seems to be a 'competition' between the two of us to see who can do the most names.

Right now, I'm ahead in indexing by about 3,000 names. I DO NOT want him to catch up. So, I've stopped doing records that only have a few names per batch. I like the lists like Census because you can do a lot of names at one time. But then I feel guilty, and I do the records that only have a few names at a time.

When I go over to the arbitration side of things, I again find myself selecting records that I know I can do a lot of names in one batch. Bad indexer/arbritator, bad! I know, I know. Seriously, who would have thought my hubby joining the indexing world would cause such competition? Aw, well... I'll just admit my problem and work harder at just enjoying the fact that my husband is serving the genealogical world. (But just don't let him do more names than me. Is that too much to ask?)

Thankful Thursday... Time to Write

I've been working on a series of blogs, and potentially a book, pertaining to creating a family history scrapbook. I think there are some good books on the market but there are some aspects just not covered and I want to share my knowledge.

In any case, the process has been fairly daunting and my opportunity to write as well as the flow of ideas has been so intermittent. However, it seems the children have been doing well and chances to write have opened up. As the opportunities have opened up, my flow of thoughts hasn't stopped coming.

I can't say how thankful I am to divine Providence for blessing me with both opportunity and creativity to capture the words out of my mind. In the middle of it all, I've had many genealogy finds or service opportunities.

If I don't take the opportunity to be grateful for this experience, I fear it will be a long time before it happens again.

So before you ask what I've been working on and when they'll appear, that's the next challenge. My dear husband serves as the editor for my projects. Now I need to provide him with opportunities to assist in moving this project forward. Then his work will be the next thing I sing praises about. And, when that's done I'll be able to answer the what and when questions.

Planning a Research Trip to Ohio!!

I'm so excited that my DARLING husband is willing to manage our five adorable young children so I can go off and get my 'nerd' on in Columbus, Ohio this May. Now, before you think the word 'nerd' is offensive to use for genealogical research, I'd have you know I LOVE nerds. They make this world go round. And, digging through cemeteries, microfilm & fiche, and dusty old books falls into the nerd category.

My plans for the upcoming trip are to
  • Visit several cemeteries within Franklin County, primarily Green Lawn, Obetz, Oak Grove /Georgesville, St. Jame's Luthern, St. Joseph, Sunset, Union Grove, and Wesley Chapel (to name a few, ha!) 
  • Visit with several relatives and hopefully scan/photograph their files and photos
  • Visit German Village and attempt to absorb the history and the reasons why Germans immigrated to Columbus, Ohio (forgive me for saying, "of all place". But the point is, America in 1850 and a vast number of places immigrants could have gone. Why would someone be drawn to Columbus, Ohio?)
  • Visit the Ohio Historical Society to examine Naturalization records
  • Visit the Columbus Metropolitan Library to examine Columbus Dispatch Obituaries and to visit the Franklin County Genealogical Society collection which is now housed at the downtown library
  • Hopefully visit the Palatine to America offices which are headquartered in Ohio. 
That's a lot to do in 5 days, but I think it's do able. I'm doing everything I can from a distance to help make my research trip more successful. We'll see how it goes. I figured, in addition to posting family information, I'd record the process that I'm going through in planning and preparing for this trip. If you'd like to leave a comment of suggestions to make the trip easier, feel free.

Considering a Name Change... Impatient Genealogist

I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog from "A Patient Genealogist" to "An Impatient Genealogist". I hate waiting when I want to move things forward.
  • Waiting for Salt Lake to ship my microfilm
  • Waiting for Genealogical Societies and Libraries to respond to my emails
  • Waiting for people who volunteered to help me, but after 4 months have nothing
Okay, maybe hate is the wrong word. Maybe that's the impatient side of this girl coming out. My ancestors have been dead a long time, one more day without their information isn't going to kill them! Okay, okay... bad joke.

In any case, I think I'll stick with the name. Honestly, it was chosen not to praise my patience but to remind me that with patience and diligence comes great rewards. So whenever I get a little irritated that things don't happen on 'my' time schedule, I'll remember days like this when I actually did take one step, no matter how small, forward.

Carry on.
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