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“Any girl who’s now or may hereafter be hitched ”

the truth that women can be perhaps not similarly represented on the list of country’s very very very early naturalization documents frequently surprises scientists. Those that assume naturalization training and procedure have been because they are today may invest precious time looking for a nonexistent record. During the exact same time, numerous genealogists do find naturalization records for ladies. The confusion that is resulting this topic produces a need for clear, simple guidelines in which to steer research. Unfortuitously, the rule that is only can use to all the U.S. naturalization records–certainly dozens of ahead of September 1906–is that there was clearly no guideline.(1)

There were specific legal and social conditions, nevertheless, governing which ladies did and failed to visit court to naturalize. Generally speaking, immigrant ladies have actually constantly had the best to be U.S. residents, not every court honored that right. A succession of laws worked to keep certain women out of naturalization records, either by granting them derivative citizenship or barring their naturalization altogether since the mid-nineteenth century. It really is this selection of regulations within the reputation for ladies’ naturalization, in addition to different courts’ varying interpretation of the regulations, that assist explain whether a naturalization record exists for almost any provided immigrant girl.

While initial U.S. nationality legislation of 1790, 1795, and 1802 restricted naturalization eligibility to “free white people,” it didn’t restrict eligibility by intercourse. But because early as 1804 the legislation started to draw distinctions regarding hitched ladies in naturalization legislation. Continue reading