Monday, November 21, 2011

Naturalization Record for Simche Siegel

My husband's second great grandfather, Simche Siegel, immigrated from Russia to New York City in 1891. He made his way to southern New Jersey and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1899. Following is his Declaration of Intention and his Petition for Naturalization, filed in Cape May County, New Jersey.

Declaration of Intention for Simche Siegel
The first page (of three) is the Declaration of Intention, made on November 1, 1892 before the Clerk of the Common Pleas Court of Cape May County, in the State of New Jersey. Simche Siegel, an alien, a native of Russia, aged about 46 (indicating that he was born about 1846), declares his "intention to become a citizen of the United States of America." He declares that he arrived in the United States on the "First day of August A.D. 1891." (However, the family's passenger list indicate that he left Hamburg, Germany in November, arriving in New York City on December 15, 1891 and that he was born about 1836.) It wasn't until 1906 that these kinds of things were more closely checked by immigration officials.


Petition for Naturalization for Simche Siegel, page 1
The second page is the first of the two pages of the Petition for Naturalization, made on November 21, 1899. It indicates that Simche Siegel was born in Russia and is 54 years old, indicating a birth year of 1846, which is consistent with his Declaration of Intention, above. His occupation is that of a Butcher (He was listed as a farmer on the passenger list) and he lived in Woodbine, Cape May County, New Jersey.

On this day, Simche Siegel petitioned to become a citizen, with Frederick Schmidt of Woodbine as his witness. At the bottom of the page is a signature, but above and below the signed "Simche Siegel," note that it says "his mark" indicating that he did not know how to sign his name.

Petition for Naturalization for Simche Siegel, page 2
This third page of the Naturalization papers for Simche Siegel shows that the witness, Frederick Schmidt, had sworn that he has known Simche Siegel for at least five years, and that he has lived in the United States at least five years and in New Jersey for at least one year.

At the same time, Simche Siegel had to "renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the Czar of Russia of whom he was heretofore a subject."

At the bottom, on January 29, 1900, Simche Siegel is declared to be a citizen of the United States.

I thank Robert, a second cousin once removed of my husband's, for providing me with this information.

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