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100 Years Ago

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Becoming a Citizen

Shelby County, Ohio, Clerk of Courts records for April 1853 through November 1854, report that 25 individuals received certificates of citizenship. The German States provided 21 of the new citizens.

Baden: John Foght, Christian Foster, John Foster and Christian Stingle.

Prussia:  Michael Harmann, Henry Hartmann, Bernard Holthaus, Peter Martin, Bernard Saveder and Bernard Schaff.

Hanover:  Henry W. Ahlers, Charles F. Backhaus, Frederick Myer and Frederick Pfitzmann.

Oldenburg:  Henry Klanke (unclear surname) and John Frederick Vogthenrichs.

Wirtemburg:  Frederick Iserman.

France:  Uber Bushwaw, Peter Delaet, George Hines, Ferriol Maillott, Louis Pepiot and Peter Rabulet.

Ireland:  John McFarland.

Switzerland:  Auguste Echemann.

Many aliens (immigrants) never applied for citizenship. Many probably began the process by filing the declaration of intent, but never completed the petition for naturalization. Wives and children were automatically naturalized with their husband and father until 1922, and no separate record of their naturalization was kept.  Sons who were naturalized with their fathers could, upon reaching the age of 21, apply for a separate naturalization of their own. Women were naturalized individually if they were the head of an immigrant family. Under some early provisions of the law, children whose fathers were not native born or naturalized, could not be naturalized if under 21 years of age at the time of immigration. 

'Immigration' segment written in November, 1997 by David Lodge


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