03 July 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Louis Cohn's Petition for Naturalization

We've been having some trouble deciding where Louis Cohn (married to my grandmother Tillie Liebross' first cousin Sarah Ett Cohn) was born. This is one of the typical problems one has when there are:
  1. more than one Eastern European town with the same or similar names and 
  2. variations in how town names have been written or transcribed by others. 
On Louis' Petition for Naturalization he indicated Kaminetz, Poland, Russia.

Louis Cohn Petition for Naturalization (1923), Volume 325, page 189, petition number 81039, Supreme Court, Kings County, New York.

[page] 189
No. 81039
To the Honorable the Supreme Court of the State of New York:
The petition of Louis Cohn, hereby filed, respectfully showeth:
  First, My place of residence is 949 East 12th St., City of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  Second, My occupation is Merchant
  Third, I was born on the 12 day of Dec., anno Domini 1884, at Kaminetz Poland, Russia
  Fourth, I emigrated to the United States from Hamburg Germany on or about the ----- day of May, anno Domini 1903, and arrived in the United States, at the port of New York, on the 23 day of May, anno Domini 1903, on the vessel Batavia
  Fifth, I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the 27 day of January, anno Domini 1921 at Brooklyn, N.Y. in the District Court of U.S. Eastern District of N.Y.
  Sixth, I am married. My wife's name is Sarah; she was born on the 26 day of Sept, anno Domini 1887 at Austria, and now resides at 949 E. 12th St., City of New York, Brorough of Brooklyn, N.Y.
I have 6 children, and the name, date, and place of birth, and place of residence of each of said children are as follows:
Jacob born 9 Apl 1908     }
Dora      "   14 Dec. 1909  }
Pauline  "   13 Sept 1911  }   At & resides at Bkyn, N.Y.
Blanche "     5 Oct. 1914  }
Rose      "   26 Sept 1919  }
Ira         "   13 Dec. 1920  }
  Seventh, I am not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government or a member of or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to the Republic of Poland, of whom at this time I am subject, and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.
  Eighth, I am able to speak the English language.
  Ninth, I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of five years at least, immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since the 23 day of May, anno Domini 1903 and in the State of New York, continuously next preceding the date of this petition, since the 23 day of May, anno Domini 1903 being a residence within this State of at least one year next preceding the date of this petition. ...

Louis had previously submitted Declaration of Intention No. 51717, filed on 25 July 1923.

Witnesses to this petition were:
  • Harry Husib, Jobber, residing at 337 Vermon [?] Ave, Brooklyn, and
  • Louis Robinson, Salesman, residing at 1569 50th Street, New York.
The petition was subscribed and sworn on 25 July 1923.

Some of the information about the children differs from that provided on Sarah Cohn's petition. On Sarah's petition, Dora (later called Dorothy) was born on 13 December 1910; Pauline was born in 1912; and Ira was born on 12 December 1920. I have not located birth certificates for the children, but Ira's Social Security Death Index record shows his birth on 13 December.[1]

There were two communities in the Pale of Settlement with the name "Kaminetz: Kamyanyets-Litovsk, Grodno Gubernia (today in Belarus) and Kamyanets Podilskyy, Podolia Gubernia (then, close to the border with Austria and today in Ukraine). Based upon family stories of Louis crossing the border to enter Austria and be with family and information about other family members from communities (such as Chortkiv) in Austria close to the border with the Russian Empire, it is likely that Louis was born in Kamyanets Podolsky.

1. U.S. Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 June 2014), entry for Ira Cohn, no. 999-12-3804.

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