Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Fathers & Their Declarations of Intent


Two of my 3x great-grandfathers, both from Ireland, declared their intent to become citizens of the United States in the 1860s - Patrick Cooke & Michael Dwyer.



Be it remembered, that on the Twenty fourth day of October in the year of the Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty before the Court of Common Pleas, in and for the County of Hudson, ... personally appeared Patrick Cook, an alien, a native of Ireland, aged about twenty five years, who being duly sworn, according to law, on his oath, doth declare and say, that he arrived in the United States on or about the tenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five. That it is bona-fide his intention to become a Citizen of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and to renounce for ever all allegiance and fidelity to any and every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever and particularly to the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, whose subject he has heretofore been.
 
Declarations of Intention
 
The record by which an applicant for US citizenship declared their intent to become a citizen and renounced their allegiance to a foreign government. Early records of this type (before Sept. 1906) usually will have: name, country of birth or allegiance (but not town), date of the application and signature. Some (but very few) show the date and port of arrival in the US. After Sept. 26, 1906 much more detailed information is given including place of birth and port and date of arrival.
 
A Declaration of Intention normally preceded proof of residence or a petition to become a citizen by two or more years. Exceptions: a person who entered the country while a minor, honorable military discharges, a person married to a citizen.
 
Beginning with 1795 a person could declare their intent to become a citizen at any time after they arrived in the United States. A few people did this almost immediately upon arrival.
 
The Declaration of Intention requirement ended in 1952 (although immigrants can still file a declaration if they want to - it is optional).
 
 

 Be it remembered, that on the Seventh day of November in the year of the Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six before me George W. Cassedy, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, in and for the County of Hudson, ... personally appeared Michael Dwyer, an alien, a native of Ireland, aged about 30 years, who being duly sworn, according to law, on his oath, doth declare and say, that he arrived in the United States on or about the 7th day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty. PRINTED across document - Second (?) Papers Issued Sept 20th 1869.