U.S. Naturalization (1913-23)
I helped a friend find information about his ancestors who came to the United States from Russia and Austria in the early 1910's. In researching the immigration records, I made an exciting discovery about his paternal Grandfather. The Certificate of Arrival record showed Judice Gamir arrived in the U.S. in 1913. In 1923, when the Declaration of Intention was made, the applicant's signature was Isidore Hamer. As was the case with many immigrants, surnames were changed after the immigrant arrived in the U.S, not on arrival at Ellis Island. My friend knew his family name had changed, but did not know what it was. With more investigation, we discovered his maternal Grandfather also changed his name.
U.S. Immigration Records (Certificate of Arrival, Declaration of Intention, Petition for Citizenship, Affidavits of Witnesses, and Oath of Allegiance) and Ship Passenger Lists are extremely valuable resources. They provide significant details about our ancestors and their families. And they may also include a picture and/or signature we have never seen before. Not all of these documents may be found in every search, but whatever is found can be extremely valuable.
1. Ellis Island
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