How Our Ancestors Became Americans, Or Not–A Workshop

by , under, Family History Research, FamilySearch, How To, Immigration, WRHS

Your ancestor steps off the ship at Ellis Island. What happens next in the process of becoming a citizen of the United States? On Saturday afternoon,  5 Apr 2014,  1 to 4 pm, at Western Reserve Historical Society, I  will present a two-part workshop discussing the process of naturalization and the records it produced, as well as what was required of people who did become naturalized.

The first part will deal with the steps involved in the process of naturalization: the documents, time periods, and changes in immigration laws. It also will cover why these records are of interest to genealogists and family history researchers. Participants then will get some time to start research on ancestors who became naturalized in the WRHS Library. In particular, they will be able to look for naturalization records on and, as well as explore the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service website at

For various reasons, many immigrants did not become naturalized. In the second part of the workshop, I will discuss records created by immigrant ancestors who did not become naturalized: Alien Registration during two world wars. If you had ancestors who were not citizens during those conflicts, they were supposed to register with the authorities, resulting in files of useful information.

The cost of the workshop is $15 and registration in advance or at the door is required. To register online, go here:  If you have trouble with online registration, please email
I hope to see you there.

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