Mrs. Kaney and the Philadelphia Immigration Business, 1882-1909, USCIS Webinar, May 23, 2017, 1 p.m. (EDT)

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Mrs. Kaney and the Philadelphia Immigration Business, 1882-1909

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Tuesday, May 23, 1 p.m. Eastern

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is unique among American ports of entry because records survive to document nearly every activity of immigration authorities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also, Philadelphia is different from Ellis Island at New York because the Philadelphia immigration station was not entirely self-contained. Philadelphia immigration officials depended on local steamship lines, railroad companies and a variety of government contractors to handle everyday business. Due to its complex relationship with the surrounding community, a study of Philadelphia’s immigration business can help us understand immigrant processing of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Using detailed records surviving at the National Archives in Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C., Marian Smith will discuss immigrant processing operations in Philadelphia between approximately 1882 and 1909. She will also introduce us to the persons and personalities involved, such as Mrs. Alice Kaney.

To attend, follow this link: April – September 2017 Live Webinars Schedule and bookmark it!

The Record isn’t Always Where You Expect to Find it.

April 14, 2017, marked the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Its passenger list went down with the ship.

However, some of its passengers were rescued by the Carpathia, and naturally, one would expect to find those persons listed on a passenger list. For many years, the Carpathia (Titanic) list was thought to be lost. In the 1990s, however, the list was discovered.

This list was erroneously filed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service with June 18, 1912, arrivals, and can be found in NARA microfilm publication T715, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957, Roll 1883, Vol. 4183, which is online on various genealogy websites. A direct link to the individual Carpathia-Titanic passenger list pages is online at the National Archives website.

Marian L. Smith wrote an article on this rediscovery: “The RMS Titanic Passenger Manifest: Record of Survivors – and Revival of a Record,” Voyage (Journal of the Titanic International Society, Inc.), Volume 29 (1999), pp. 4-9.

The record you seek may not exist … but sometimes it’s hiding in plain sight. It pays to be creative and persistent.

Fact, Fiction, and Immigration Passenger Lists, USCIS Webinar, Tues., March 21, 1 p.m. Eastern

Fact, Fiction, and Immigration Passenger Lists

Tuesday, March 21, 1:00 PM Eastern

If you’re interested in passenger lists, particularly 20th century ones, you won’t want to miss the next USCIS webinar by Marian Smith. Understanding the who, what, where, and why of records is always critical.

In this webinar, Marian Smith will revive and update a 2006 presentation about understanding passenger list arrival records (originally titled “Making Sense of Immigration Passenger Lists”).  Topics include the availability of such records (what survived, how complete), how they were created (by whom, how, and where), and how assumptions we make can help or hinder research success. Set a reminder on this webinar.

This webinar will not be recorded, so be sure to join us live.  

Attend Session

For more information and how to submit questions for the next “Your Questions” webinar, click this link: “Worth Repeating” Webinar.

The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America – Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7 p.m.

On the eve of the Civil War, 1.6 million Irish-born people were living in the United States, most in the major industrialized cities of the North. For The Forgotten Irish, Damian Shiels researched Civil War pension records to craft the stories of 35 Irish families whose lives portray the nature of the Irish emigrant experience. This will be the book’s U.S. launch.

Michael Hussey, a National Archives archivist and historian, and David T. Gleeson, Professor of American History at Northumbria University and author of The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America, will co-moderate the discussion and audience Q&A. A book signing will follow the program.

You can view it live from the comfort of your home on YouTube or see it in person by reserving a seat in the William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

These authors’ research shows the truly international value and importance of records in the U.S. National Archives. You can subscribe to the National Archives Event Newsletter to receive timely information about future programs.

Damian Shiels blogs at Irish in the American Civil War and David T. Gleeson blogs at The Atlantic Irish.

Thinking Across Time: Researching USCIS Records, 24 January 2017, webinar

It’s no exaggeration to say that Marian L. Smith is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable person on the planet about records created by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS since 2003). So you won’t want to miss the next webinar sponsored by our friends at the USCIS History Office and Library:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 1 p.m. Eastern

 Thinking Across Time: Researching USCIS Records

In this presentation US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) historical records expert Marian L. Smith will showcase late 19th and 20th century US immigration and nationality records.  She will also discuss how using a timeline can help one predict what immigration and naturalization records may exist for a given immigrant, and how to request records from USCIS.

Direct Link to Webinar Room – enter just prior to 1:00 pm Eastern on Tuesday, January 24th

This webinar will not be recorded, so be sure to join it live!

What is the “Worth Repeating” Webinar?

During 2017 this bi-monthly webinar will revisit some of the most successful presentations delivered to historical and genealogical audiences over the last 20+ years.  The focus will remain on historical immigration and nationality records created by the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and found today either at the National Archives or USCIS.

Cishistory.library@uscis.dhs.gov
USCIS History and Genealogy Site

Minor’s Naturalization

While we normally think of naturalization as a two step process whereby the alien first declares his intent to become a citizen and then petitions for naturalization, there were exceptions to that procedure.

For example, from 1824 to 1906, aliens who came to the U.S. while under age 18 could effectively declare their intent to become a citizen at the same time they filed their petition for naturalization once they had reached age 21 or more and had lived in the U.S. for five years (three of which as a minor). Let the law speak for itself:

image002.jpgSo, to summarize: the alien still had to meet the five year requirement for residency, and three years of that had to be while he was a minor.

Many courts used specific forms for these cases that combined declaration of intent language and petition language in one document, and they made sure to include the word “minor.”  Some may say the applicant “arrived as a minor,” while others will have the words “Minor Naturalization” emblazoned across the title or as a watermark.

For more on naturalization, see Naturalization Records and Women and Naturalization, Part I and Part II.

USCIS Genealogy Program Fee Increase, Dec. 23.

If you’ve put off requesting information on 20th century immigrant ancestors who may have more records than a simple passenger list, do not procrastinate. Request an index search by December 22, 2016.

From our friends at USCIS….

USCIS will increase most filing fees on December 23, 2016.

Forms postmarked or filed on or after that date must include the new fees or we will not be able to accept them.

The new fees for Form G-1041, Genealogy Index Search Request, and Form G-1041A, Genealogy Records Request, will be $65.

Our agency is funded almost entirely by fees. By law, we conduct a fee review every two years to ensure that we recover the full cost of processing immigration benefits. The Genealogy program has not increased its fees since the program was created in 2008.

If you have any questions, please write to Genealogy.USCIS@uscis.dhs.gov.