23 October 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Isidore Morris' Alien Registration

After years of family history research the thrills come less frequently, but are no less enthralling. A couple of days ago the mail brought a gift from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Genealogy Program: my great grandfather Isidore Morris' Alien Registration Form. For some time, but to no avail, I'd been trying to locate any of his naturalization records. With this new record I was able to finally locate his declaration of intention to become a citizen.

Information from census records indicated that Isidor had filed some naturalization papers but it was likely that the process had never been completed. 

The census records I have for Isidore indicate the following:
alien - 1915 New York State Census
alien - 1920 U.S. Census
alien (1st papers) - 1925 New York State Census
Pa - 1930 U.S. Census
Pa - 1940 U.S. Census[1]
Isidore's 1918 World War I draft registration shows that he had not declared his intention to naturalize.[2]

So the question remained: had Isidore ever completed the naturalization process before he passed away on 22 December 1947? It appears he did not.

1. (a) My name is Isidor Morris
    (b) I entered the United States under the name of same 
2. (a) I live at Perrineville Monmouth New Jersey
    (b) My post-office address s R.D. #1 Hightstown New Jersey
3. (a) I was born on May 18 1874
    (b) I was born in (or near) Lubin Volin Russia
4. I am a citizen or subject of None, Last Citizen Czarist Russia 
5. (a) I am male
    (b) My marital status is married
6. I am 5 feet, 6 inches in height, weigh 165 pounds, have Black hair and Brown eyes 
7. (a) I last arrived in the United States at New York, N.Y. on Jan. 3, 1906
    (b) I came in by S.S. Carpathia
    (c) I came as a passenger
    (d) I entered the United States as a Permanent resident
    (e) I arrived in the United States on January 3, 1906
8. (a) I have lived in the United States a total of Thirty Four years
    (b) I expect to remain in the United States Permanently
9. (a) My usual occupation is Glazier
    (b) My present occupation is None
    (c) My employer is Retired
10. I am, or have been within the past 8 years, or intend to be engaged in the following activities:
   In addition to other information, list memberships or activities in clubs, organizations, or societies
Member of the First Lublin Progessive Benevolent Assn.
First Hebrew Farmers Assn Perrineville N.J.
11. My military or naval service has been None
12. I Have applied for first citizenship papers in the United States. Date of application 3/3/21
  First citizenship papers received Mar. 3, 1921, number 244425, New York, N.Y. 
  Filed petition for naturalization [blank] 
13. I have the following specified relatives living in the United States:
  Parent(s) None   Husband or wife Yes  Children Six 
14. I Have Not been arrested or indicted for, or convicted of any offense (or offenses).
15. Within the past 5 years I Have Not been affiliated with or active in (a member of, official of, a worker for)  organizations devoted in whole or in part to influencing or furthering the political activities, public relations, or public policy of a foreign government.

I have read or have read to me the above statements, and do hereby swear (or affirm) that these statements are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.
                              /s/ Isidor Morris  
                                                       [stamped] Oct 28 1940 
Actually, Isidor did not enter the United States as Isidor Morris (as shown in item 1b). He traveled as "Iczik Maczevizcki." If his surname had been Morris, his manifest would not have been so difficult to locate. Mazewitsky was his surname in the old county.

Under item 10, the correct name of the first group in which Isidore was a member is First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association. The town assocated with this landsmanshaft (countrymen's group) was Lubin (aka Labun, Volhynia Gubernia, Russian Empire).

I did not know that my great grandfather was a member of the First Hebrew Farmers Association of Perrineville, N.J. I will put this on my list of groups to check on in future research.

Item 12 provided the information I needed to finally locate Isidor's declaration of intent. Armed with the date of the declaration and the number I browsed through the New York County naturalization records (specifically, the declarations) now online at FamilySearch.org.

New York County, New York, Supreme Court, Declaration of Intention no. 244425, Isador Morris, 3 March 1921; "New York, County Naturalization Records, 1791-1980," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 22 Oct 2014), New York > Declarations of intention 1921 vol 496, no 244236-244735 > image 97 of 253.
Isidor stated on this record that he'd emigrated from Trieste. His manifest says the ship left from Fiume, which today is known as Rijeka, Croatia.

Fiume is about 75 kilometers from Trieste, but definitely not the same place.

It's interesting that in 1921 when Isidor filed his Declaration of Intention, he did not sign his name (the document shows he left his mark as an X). On his 1918 World War I draft registration card he did sign his name.

The surname looks very similar to the signature on the Alien Registration card, above. I imagine that Isidor, like most Jewish men in Eastern Europe, could write in Yiddish, but was not comfortable signing his new name in Latin letters. It is difficult to tell from his manifest, but it appears that he was recorded there as illiterate. 

1. 1920 U.S. Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, Enumeration District 1262, sheet 6B, dwelling 14, family 134, Isadore Morris; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 February 2008); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1219.
1925 New York State census, Bronx County, New York, enumeration of inhabitants, Bronx, Assembly District 5, Election District 40, page 19, entries 27-32, Isidore and Sarah Morris family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 August 2012), New York State Archives, Albany. 
1930 U.S. Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, Enumeration District 31-816, sheet 4B, dwelling 234, family 92, Isadore Morris; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 March 2008); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1571.
The Minnesota Population Center IPUMS website, which carries instructions issued to census enumerators for each census, indicates that if an alien had filed their first papers (i.e., their declarations of intention) then the enumerator was to indicate this by entering "Pa" in the space provided for citizenship information. The 1930 census instructions are here. The 1940 instructions, here.
2. "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 March 2008), card for Ididore Morris [Isidore Morris], no. 31-38, New York City Draft Board 160, New York; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 and FHL microfilm 1,786,852.

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