Historian's Mailbox

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The Historian’s Mailbox features answers to commonly asked immigration history questions, research tips, and other periodic updates from the USCIS History Office.

Do you have an immigration and naturalization history question you would like answered? Send it to the Historian’s Mailbox.


May 2016

History Icon The McGettrick Certificates

A full text searchable copy of the “McGettrick Certificates” lists is now available online from the USCIS Historical Library. This rare document lists the names of over 1,000 Chinese migrants who, during the 1890s, entered the United States over the eastern Canadian border and received court-issued certificates verifying their claims of U.S. citizenship.


May 2014

History Icon Who's #1? Certificate of Naturalization # 1 and the “First Naturalized U.S. Citizen”

Several curious researchers have asked the USCIS History Office, “Who was the first naturalized U.S. citizen?”


March 2014

History Icon INS Records for 1930's Mexican Repatriations
The latest Historian’s Mailbox entry explores why researchers may not find “deportation records” for many Mexicans who left the U.S. in the 1930s.

December 2013

History Icon I'm an American
The latest entry in the Historian's Mailbox

May 2013

History Icon Edward Bing Kan: The First Chinese-American Naturalized after Repeal of Chinese Exclusion
The latest entry in the Historian's Mailbox

January 2013

History Icon Origins of the Naturalization Civics Test
The latest entry in the Historian's Mailbox

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