History of the Certificate of Naturalization (1906-1956)
History of the Certificate of Naturalization (1906-1956)
The Certificate of Naturalization is perhaps the most important of the three naturalization records usually found in U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ (USCIS) historic Certificate Files (“C-Files”) because Certificates of Naturalization help protect naturalized persons’ rights as U.S. citizens and the U.S. government from false claims to American citizenship. This study surveys the development of Certificates of Naturalization during the first half of the 20th Century.
Certificates of Naturalization evidence naturalization, but are not the official record of citizenship.
"The certificate of naturalization is the written testimony by the [naturalization] court that… [citizenship] rights have been conferred" and “is the best evidence attainable that the naturalization took place."[i] However, the official record of naturalization – “the title to citizenship” – is the court order admitting a petitioner to U.S. citizenship entered in the court’s permanent records. Because Certificates of Naturalization are “conclusive evidence” of naturalization and a form of identification, people have long sought to obtain them (for both legitimate and fraudulent purposes) and the U.S. government has dedicated significant resources to documenting and controlling their issuance.[ii]
Demand for proof of citizenship and efforts to prevent naturalization fraud drove the development of Standard Form Certificates of Naturalization.
Private parties’ desire for portable proof of citizenship resulted in the emergence of Certificates of Naturalization during the “Old Law” Period of American naturalization history (Colonial Era – Sept. 26, 1906). Government efforts to stamp out naturalization fraud and document all naturalized citizens energized the evolution of these records throughout the “Certificate File (‘C-File’)” Period (Sept. 27, 1906 – March 31, 1956).
“Old Law” Period (March 26, 1790 – Sept. 26, 1906)
During the “Old Law” Era there was “no attempt at Federal supervision” and “never… any law prescribing the form and wording of the certificates of naturalization.” In fact, 17th and 18th century naturalization laws did not even require courts to issue Certificates of Naturalization (but most offered new citizens some sort of documentary proof of naturalization).[iii]
Without statutory instruction or administrative oversight, Certificates of Naturalization issued “prior to September 27, 1906, were of all sorts, sizes, shapes, and colors, and kept in all sorts of ways, depending on the personal ideas of each of the several thousand clerks of courts exercising naturalization jurisdiction.” The content and quality of Certificates also varied between courts and many Certificates omitted important biographical information. Understanding the shortcomings of “Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization will help researchers understand the purpose and content of the Standard Form Certificates issued during the subsequent Certificate File (“C-File”) Era.[iv]
“Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization varied over time and geographically.
Many early Certificates of Naturalization were simply certified copies of the court orders conferring U.S. citizenship. By the mid-19th century, naturalization courts often provided more elaborate, pre-printed documents, but the quality and appearance of Certificates of Naturalization continued to vary significantly. The 1905 Presidential Commission on Naturalization reported that there were over 5,000 naturalization courts in the United States and “hardly any two courts issue[d] certificates which… [were] alike.” The variation made authenticating Certificates of Naturalization difficult, facilitating fraud.[v]
Many “Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization did not include important biographical information or security features.
Without centralized content control, “Old Law” naturalization records often contained little more that “the applicant’s name, the names of his witnesses, and the country to which he forswore allegiance.” Many courts’ Certificates “contain[ed] no description of the person naturalized and… [were] in consequence easily transferable.” The simple print designs and “ordinary paper” also made “it… easy to manufacture spurious ones.” The absence of biometric information and security features further facilitated fraud.[vi]
Furthermore, many “Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization omitted names of family members who derived U.S. citizenship from the primary subject’s naturalization. (For much of American history, wives and minor children automatically acquired U.S. citizenship when their husband or parent naturalized).[vii] This left hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of legitimate citizens unnamed in the court records documenting their naturalization (However, there is a chance such individuals later applied for a Certificate of Citizenship (after July 1, 1929) and, thus, have a C-File).[viii]
Courts did not keep copies of “Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization as insurance against loss.
Early naturalization acts’ failure to make provision for “backup” copies of naturalization records left both citizens and the government vulnerable to regional disasters which destroyed local court records. For example, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed the City’s courthouses and homes. Many naturalized citizens proof of citizenship burned, putting their rights as citizens in jeopardy, and the federal government faced many false claims to American citizenship from persons claiming their naturalization prior to the catastrophe.
Without administrative supervision, many naturalization courts did not exercise proper care in the administration of the naturalization laws.
By the late 1800s, the aggregate effect of isolated courts’ slipshod recordkeeping added up to naturalization problems of national proportions; naturalization fraud became so rampant that observers feared its effect on election results.[ix] In 1903, Van Deusen, Special Agent to the Attorney General, reported that “evidence is overwhelming that the general administration of the naturalization laws has been contemptuous, perfunctory, indifferent, lax, and unintelligent, and in many cases, … corrupt.”[x] Recognizing that the lack of uniformity in courts’ procedures and recordkeeping practices contributed to these problems, the Congress took steps to exert more control over Certificates of Naturalization’s content, format, and issuance.[xi]
Certificate File (“C-File”) Period (Sept. 27, 1906 – March 31, 1906)
Congress passed the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906 to correct deficiencies in “Old Law” Certificates of Naturalization (and many other problems with the nation’s naturalization system). The law took effect Sept. 27, 1906, founding the Federal Naturalization Service, inaugurating the Certificate File (“C-File”) Era, and forever transforming naturalization recordkeeping.[xii]
The Basic Naturalization Act of 1906 “was the first real attempt at Federal supervision of naturalization” and marked the first time that “the form of the certificate of naturalization… [was] specified by law.”[xiii]
Beginning Sept. 27, 1906, federal laws and regulations – enforced by an administrative oversight agency with stringent penalties for violations[xiv] – required that all naturalization courts nationwide:
- Issue a Certificate of Naturalization to every naturalized person (and name all members of the primary subject’s family who derived citizenship from his or her naturalization);[xv]
- Create Certificates of Naturalization using standard forms distributed by the Federal Naturalization Service which controlled the content, format, and quality of the records;[xvi]
- Submit a duplicate copy of every Certificate of Naturalization to the Naturalization Service for filing in a C at its national naturalization records depository in Washington, D.C.[xvii]; and
- Only issue replacement or duplicate Certificates with approval of the Federal Naturalization Service.[xviii]
These innovations achieved “effective Federal supervision” of the courts’ naturalization activities. Standard forms imposed uniformity on Certificates of Naturalization issued on or after Sept. 27, 1906, and collection of duplicates ensured a backup copy of Certificates existed as protection against the loss of personal copies and/or courthouse records. Security features and uniform rules for issuing and replacing Certificates also allowed the government to control, authenticate, and track Certificates in circulation, increasing these records’ reliability as proof of identity and naturalization.[xix]
Every person naturalized between Sept. 27, 1906, and March 31, 1956, has a Certificate File (“C-File”) with USCIS containing a copy of their Certificate of Naturalization.
When the Naturalization Service received the duplicate copy of a Certificate of Naturalization, it opened a unique Certificate File (“C-File”) to hold the new citizen’s naturalization records. The naturalization date and Certificate Number (“C-Number”) provide clues to the type of Standard Form Certificate issued and contents of the corresponding C-File.
The Federal Naturalization Service distributed three (3) versions of its Standard Form Certificate of Naturalization during the “Certificate File (‘C-File’)” Period (1906-1956):
- Form 2207 (Sept. 27, 1906 – June 30, 1929);
- Form 2207 with Picture (July 1, 1929 – Jan. 12, 1941); and
- Form N-550 (Jan. 13, 1941 – Late 20th Century (after close of C-File series on April 1, 1956)).
Other minor edits updated Standard Form Certificates of Naturalization as Congress amended the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906 and its successors, the Nationality Act of 1940 and the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 (“INA”). (The article’s illustrations show some of these minor changes).[xx]
Form 2207 (Sept. 27, 1906 – June 30, 1929)
On Sept. 27, 1906, Form 2207 became the first standard form Certificate of Naturalization to be used by every naturalization court in the country. This ended variation between courts and Form 2207’s controlled language and content ensured the inclusion of necessary biographical information (i.e., physical description of the rightful holder and names of family members who derived U.S. citizenship) absent from many courts’ “Old Law” Certificates.[xxi]
The duplicate Form 2207 provided a copy for both the naturalized citizen and the Federal Naturalization Service and an index card for the naturalization court’s records (Clerks of court submitted the duplicate copy to the Naturalization Service which filed it the naturalized citizen’s C-File). This provided insurance against loss of the original Certificate by the naturalized citizen and/or destruction of the naturalization court’s records.[xxii]
Printed on safety paper with sequential and tracked serial numbers, Form 2207 elevated Certificates of Naturalization to the status of “secure forms” (printed documents bearing inherent security features). These security features made Certificates of Naturalization far less transferable, combatting naturalization fraud.[xxiii]
Content of Standard Form 2207[xxiv]
Form 2207 Certificates of Naturalization issued between Sept. 27, 1906, and June 30, 1929, included the following:
Biographical Information About the Rightful Holder:
- Name of holder;
- Signature of holder;
- Address of holder;
- Country of former citizenship;
- Physical description of Holder:
- Age in years (when naturalized);
- Height in feet and inches;
- Color (race);
- Eye color;
- Hair color; and
- Visible distinguishing marks.
Biographical Information About the Subject’s Family:*
- Name, age, and place of residence of wife; and
- Names, ages, and places of residence of minor children.
* This information may be redacted on Certificates obtained from USCIS’ C-Files to protect these third parties’ privacy.
- Printed on Safety Paper;
- Certificate number at top on left ("C-number," which corresponds the Naturalization Service's C-File); Certificates were “consecutively numbered”; and
- Petition Volume and Number (allowing location of the Petition for Naturalization in court's records).[xxv]
- State and county of court;
- Date, court, and location of naturalization;
- Court's seal (only on original, not duplicate sent to Naturalization Service);
- Court official's signature attesting to the facts listed on the certificate.[xxvi]
Form 2207 was amended to include a photograph of the subject on July 1, 1929, and replaced by Form N-550 on Jan. 13, 1941.
Form 2207 With Photograph (July 1, 1929 – Jan. 12, 1941)
The Registry Act of 1929 brought the next major advances in Certificate of Naturalization records.[xxvii]
Changes to Form 2207 starting July 1, 1929.
Form 2207s issued after July 1, 1929, bear a signed photograph of the rightful holder and are slightly smaller than the earlier 1906 edition. The Registry Act also required the new Form 2207 to show any name change on the Certificate’s face. These additions enhanced the research value of Form 2207 in many cases.[xviii]
Post-Registry Act Certificates of Naturalization do not include the names of the subject’s spouse and minor children, however. Two changes in the naturalization laws made inclusion of this information on the Certificate unnecessary (but it still appears on the Petition for Naturalization). First, the Married Woman’s Citizenship Act (or “Cable Act”) ended derivation of citizenship by marriage on Sept. 22, 1922. Second, the Registry Act authorized the Naturalization Service to issue Certificates of Citizenship in the name of persons deriving citizenship (i.e., children of the naturalized citizen). Thus, family members no longer required presence on the primary subject’s naturalization certificate to prove their citizenship status.[xxix]
The Registry Act of 1929 also authorized the Naturalization Service to begin issuing Certificates of Citizenship.*
The 1929 law gave the Naturalization Service discretionary power to issue Certificates of Citizenship to persons receiving U.S. citizenship after birth but not receiving Certificates of Naturalization from a naturalization court (e.g., persons deriving citizenship or repatriating). The Registry Act also empowered the Naturalization Service to issue replacement Certificates of Naturalization when the original was lost, mutilated, or destroyed. Thereafter, courts no longer issued replacement Certificates (even for “Old Law” naturalizations before Sept. 27, 1906).
The Naturalization Service created new sub-series of C-Files to hold Certificates of Citizenship and related administrative records. These records are available only from the USCIS Genealogy Program and many of the persons documented by Certificates of Citizenship may not appear in court records.[xxx]
* Note that naturalization acts (both before and after the Registry Act of 1929) referred to “Certificates of Naturalization” as “Certificates of Citizenship;” although the laws used these terms interchangeably, the author avoids overlap to minimize confusion.
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Standard Form N-550 (Jan. 13, 1941 – ).
Organizational changes and a new law brought a new form – N-550 – in early 1941. The Naturalization Service reunited with the Immigration Service to form the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1933. Then the INS transferred form the Dept. of Labor to the Justice Department in 1940. The Naturalization Service renumbered and reformatted its forms to reflect this restructuring and bring its Certificate of Naturalization into compliance with the requirements of the Nationality Act of 1940.[xxxi]
Changes introduced by the N-550.
The N-550 moved the Certificate Number to top right of the Certificate and replaced “DEPARTMENT OF LABOR” with “DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE” on the bottom. The new form also printed “DUPLICATE” on top left of Naturalization Service copy. The biggest change was addition of a statement that "It is a violation of the U.S. Code (and punishable as such) to copy, print, photograph, or otherwise illegally use this certificate.” (This notation has created some confusion, but is not understood to mean duplication for purpose of illegal use, not personal scans or copies as insurance against loss).
Form N-550 served as the Certificate of Naturalization until the Certificate Files (C-Files) series closed on March 31, 1956.
INS continued to use Form N-550 for decades (with many amendments and new versions issued) and, beginning April 1, 1956, all Certificates of Naturalization (and all immigration and naturalization records) went into an individual’s Alien File (“A-File”). This practice continues today.
Requesting copies of Certificates of Naturalization and C-Files.
Today C-Files are in the custody of USCIS, the successor agency of the Bureau of Naturalization (1913-1933) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS,” 1933-2003). These files, including the duplicate Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, should be requested though the USCIS Genealogy Program. (Records of naturalizations after March 31, 1956, should be requested from the USCIS FOIA Program).
[i] Report to the President of the Commission on Naturalization (“1905 Commission on Naturalization Report”), 59th Congress, 1st Session, Vol. 44, document No. 46, submitted Nov. 8, 1905 (Washington, D.C., GPO, 1905), 36-7 ("Registration of Old Certificates of Naturalization and the Naturalization of Minor Children by the Naturalization of Their Parents;" Minority Report).
[ii] Bureau of Naturalization, Historical Sketch of Naturalization in the United States (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1926): 18 (noting that "The title to citizenship is the recorded order of the court. The certificate [of naturalization] is simply the conclusive evidence of such order); see also Reports of the Dept. of Labor, 1914 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1915), 564; Bureau of Naturalization, Naturalization Laws and Regulations of October, 1906 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1906), Reg. 8 (“No certificate of naturalization shall be issued to a petitioner until after the judge of the court granting naturalization has signed order to that effect”).
[iii] Ralph H. Horner, “Immigration and Naturalization Documents, Records, and Indexes,” Lecture 2r (May 1, 1943), INS (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1943), 12.
[iv] 1905 Commission on Naturalization Report, supra, 24 (“The diplomatic and consular officers of the United States complain that because of the wide variance of the certificates in form and language officials of foreign governments often fail to recognize them as proof of the citizenship of holders”) and Appendix E, 89 (“The methods of making and keeping the naturalization records in both the Federal and State courts are as various as the procedure”); see also Naturalization Acts of March 26, 1790, 1 Stat. 103, January 29, 1795, 1 Stat. 414, and April 14, 1802, 2 Stat. 153; Bureau of Naturalization, "Historical Sketch of Naturalization in the United States" (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1926): 9-10 (reporting "that up to 1906 there was no central establishment for the supervision of naturalization matters or for the maintenance of naturalization records. Each court exercising naturalization jurisdiction was the sole judge of how the naturalization law and process should be administered and each court designed its own form of records. The result was that here were in existence almost as many diversified forms of naturalization certificates as there were naturalization courts [over 5,000]…. Aside from the lack of uniformity, naturalization had proved to be a source of public scandal because of its alliance with politics" and the "gigantic [naturalization] frauds" of the Gilded Age); Andrew Jordan, "Naturalization Statutes Prior to the Nationality Act of 1940," Lecture 2f (Jan. 1, 1943), Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”)(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1943), 8 ("While naturalization under our laws has always been a judicial procedure, the courts were far from uniform in their rulings under the early laws").
[v] 1905 Commission on Naturalization Report, supra, 22-24 and Appendix E, 88 (reporting “a total of 5,160 courts naturalizing aliens in the United States, 157 of them being Federal courts and 5,003 being State courts” as of June 14, 1905).
[vi] Horner, Lecture 2r, supra, 12, 14 (describing “Old Law” Certificate as “printed with ordinary type on ordinary paper… very easy to forge” and stating that “Due to the fact that there is no personal description, such as a date of birth, etc., it is very difficult to determine whether a certain record applies to a particular individual”); 1905 Commission on Naturalization Report, supra, 24.
[vii] See Naturalization Acts, supra, of 1790, § 1; 1795, § 3; and April 14, 1802, § 4 (codified as U.S. Rev. Stat. § 2172 (1878)); Act of Feb. 10, 1855, 10 Stat. 604, § 2 (providing that "Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the United States and who might herself be lawfully naturalized shall be deemed a citizen")(repealed by Act of Sept. 22, 1922 (“Married Woman’s Citizenship Act” or “Cable Act”), 42 Stat. 1022, § 6).
[viii] Annual Report of the Commissioner of Naturalization, Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1927, v. 14 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1927), 13. (Commissioner Raymond Crist noted that "just how many citizens of the United States are now living who derived their citizenship through naturalization of the father or husband is not possible to say"); Reports of the Dept. of Labor, 1915, 383 (guesstimating that for every person actually naturalized, four more family members received citizenship).
Horner, Lecture 2r, supra, 14 (noting that “even individual courts, as a rule, did not have indices” to their “Old Law” naturalization records); 1905 Commission on Naturalization Report, supra., 24 (“The full extent to which they [fraudulent Certificates of Naturalization] are transferred is unknown, but … extensive traffic in spurious certificates is recently discovered) and Appendix 3, 82-3 (discussing extent of “colossal naturalization fraud[s]” and possible effects on elections past and future); Bureau of Naturalization, "Historical Sketch of Naturalization in the United States,” supra, 9-10 (stating “naturalization had proved to be a source of public scandal because of its alliance with politics" and the "gigantic [naturalization] frauds" of the Gilded Age). Forging U.S. government documents was big business in the latter half of the 20th century and the federal efforts to fight these frauds led to the expansion and/or creation of familiar agencies. For example, the Secret Service began as an anti-counterfeiting agency in 1865; the Secret Service assumed responsibility for protecting the President in 1901, but combating counterfeiters remains an important part of the agency’s mission even today.
1905 Commission on Naturalization Report, supra, 21-22 (citing Special Agent C.V.C. Van Deusen’s 1903 Report to the Attorney General) and Appendix E, pp. 82-83 (discussing the breadth and impact of naturalization frauds in various states and asserting “there is scarcely a city or county-seat town in in the United States and Territories where some form of these [naturalization] frauds has not form time to time been committed”).
C.R. Riddiough, “Documentary Evidence of Citizenship Status,” Lecture No. 24 (Dec. 3, 1934), INS (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1943), (stating that “experience and investigation had taught that the wide-spread frauds in naturalization which led to the passage of the law of 1906 were in a large measure due to the great diversities in local practice, the carelessness of those charged with duities in this connection, and the prevalence of perjured testimony. The uniformity of the rule of naturalization required under the constitutional grant to Congress had not generally ben observed”)(paraphrasing Justice Brandeis’ comments in United States v. Ness, 245 U.S. 318, 324 (1917)).
Basic Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906 (“1906 BNA”), 34 Stat. 596, § 31 (putting the law into “force from and after ninety days from the date of its passage” (i.e., Sept. 27, 1906)).
Horner, “Immigration and Naturalization Documents, Records, and Indexes,” Lecture 2r (May 1, 1943), supra, 11; see also Riddiough, “Documentary Evidence of Citizenship Status,” supra, 2 (noting that “there had been various Federal naturalization laws… [since] 1790, [but] they had enumerated general controlling principles only… [and] no machinery had been provided to aid the courts in determining the merits of individual cases. Nor was there any provision made for the supervision of the subject [i.e., naturalization] by any Federal administrative agency until the basic Naturalization Law of 1906”).
See BNA, §§ 15-25 (listing naturalization crimes and penalties) and 28 (granting the Naturalization Service “power to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for properly carrying into execution the various provisions of this [Basic Naturalization] Act” of 1906).
Id., § 13 (implying right to receive Certificate of Naturalization upon admission to U.S. citizenship and standardizing fee “for entering the final [court] order and the issuance of certificate of citizenship… [at] two dollars”); see also Naturalization Regulations of 1906, supra, Rule 7 (“”The original certificate will be given to the petitioner in accordance with the final order of the court”); Nationality Act of Oct. 14, 1940, 54 Stat. 1137, §§ 336 and 337(c) (first statute to explicitly establish statutory right of naturalized persons to receive a Naturalization Certificate and require clerks of courts to issue new citizens a Certificate upon admission to U.S. citizenship) (“A person, admitted to citizenship by a naturalization court in conformity with the provision of this act shall be entitled upon such admission to receive from the clerk of such court a certificate of naturalization”) and 337(c); Immigration and Nationality Act of June 27, 1952 (“1952 INA”), 66 Stat. 163, § 338 (“A person admitted to citizenship by a naturalization court in conformity with the provisions of this title shall be entitled upon such admission to receive from the clerk of such court a certificate of naturalization”).
Id., § 3 (“The courts… shall… be furnished… by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization with such blank [naturalization] forms as may be required in the naturalization of aliens”).
Id., § 12 (“That it is hereby made the duty of the clerk of each and every court exercising jurisdiction in naturalization matters under the provisions of this Act to…, within thirty days after the issuance of a certificate of citizenship [i.e., naturalization certificate], a duplicate of such certificate and to make and keep on file in his office a stub for each certificate so issued by hem, whereon shall be entered a memorandum of all the essential facts set forth in such certificate”); Naturalization Regulations of 1906, supra, Rule 7 (“the duplicate [Certificate of Naturalization] shall be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (Division of Naturalization) by registered mail within thirty days after the issuance of the original, the stub to the original constituting a part of the permanent records of the court”).
See Naturalization Regulations of 1906, supra, Rules 15 and 16; Registry Act of March 2, 1929, 45 Stat. 1512 (forbidding courts to issue replacement – even “Old Law” – Certificates and assigning duty to Naturalization Service, resulting in “Old Law” C-Files with number prefixes “OL-“).
Id., 15 (“One of the results of Federal supervision has been substantial uniformity in these documents. Certificates of naturalization issued since… [Sept. 27, 1906] have been, with slight variations, the same in design and appearance”); Nationality Act of 1940, supra, § 337(e)(“Clerks of courts shall be responsible for all blank certificates of naturalization received by them”).
See Nationality Act of 1940 and 1952 INA, supra.
Derivation of citizenship by marriage ended in 1922, but derivation parental naturalization continued throughout the C-File Period (although the eligibility requirements narrowed). See Basic Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906 (“1906 BNA”), 34 Stat. 596 (not repealing § 2172); Act of Sept. 22, 1922 (“Cable Act” or “Married Women’s Citizenship Act”), 42 Stat. 1022, § 6 (repealing Act of Feb. 10, 1855, supra.); Nationality Act of 1940, supra, §§ 313, 314 AND 504 (repealing § 504 and enacting more stringent requirements for derivation of U.S. citizenship by children through naturalization of parent/s); 1952 INA, supra, §§ 320 and 321.)
1906 BNA, supra, § 12.
Id., § 3.
Id., § 27 (providing statutory dictation of Certificate of Naturalization language and content).
Id., §§ 3 and 14.
Id., §§ 4 and 27, Part 1; Form 2207 (Sept. 27, 1906).
Registry Act of March 2, 1929, 45 Stat. 1512, §§ 8 28 ("The Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization… shall make such changes in the forms… as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of the naturalization laws") and 9 (amending/adding § 36 to 1906 BNA) (“Two photographs of himself shall be furnished by… each petitioner for citizenship. One of such photographs shall be affixed… to the certificate of citizenship issued to the naturalized citizen and one to the duplicate certificate of citizenship required to be forwarded to the Bureau of Naturalization”).
Although the Declaration of Intention or Petition of Naturalization may contain more biographical information about the subject, the Certificate of Naturalization may contain the only picture of the subject in his or her naturalization records (for persons naturalized without a Declaration of Intention, e.g., soldiers, after June 30, 1929). Furthermore, evidence of name change can provide a valuable link to other records. Id.; Naturalization Service, Naturalization, Citizenship, and Expatriation Laws [and] Regulations, July 1, 1929 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1929), 80, Rule 8, Subdivision B.—Change of name (“PARAGRAPH 1: Where the name of the petitioner has been changed by order of court, the clerk shall make, date, and sign the following indorsement[sic] on the reverse side of the original and duplicate certificate of citizenship: "Name changed by order of court from- ," inserting in full the original name of the petitioner. A similar notation shall be made on the stub of the certificate. PAR. 2. Where by final order of the court the name of the petitioner is changed, the certificate of citizenship shall be issued and the stub thereof signed according to the name as changed”).
Act of Sept. 22, 1922 (“Cable Act” or “Married Women’s Citizenship Act”), supra, § 6 (repealing Act of Feb. 10, 1855, supra); Registry Act of 1929, supra, § 9 (amending BNA of 1906 to add § 33(a) “Any individual over twenty-one years of age who claims to have derived United States citizenship through the naturalization of a parent, or a husband, may, upon the payment of a fee of $10, make application to the Commissioner of Naturalization, accompanied by two photographs of the applicant, for a certificate of citizenship. Upon obtaining a certificate from the Secretary of Labor showing the date, place, and manner of arrival in the United
States, upon proof to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the applicant is a citizen and that the alleged citizenship was derived
as claimed, and upon taking and subscribing to, before a designated representative of the Bureau of Naturalization within the United
States, the oath of allegiance required by the naturalization laws of a petitioner for citizenship, such individual shall be furnished a certificate of citizenship by the commissioner, but only if such individual is at the time within the United States. In all courts, tribunals, and public offices of the United States, at home and abroad, of the District of Columbia, and of each State, Territory, or insular possession of the United States, the certificate of citizenship issued under this section shall have the same effect as a certificate of citizenship issued by a court having naturalization jurisdiction”).
Registry Act of 1929, supra, § 9 (amending BNA to add § 32(a) “If any certificate of citizenship issued to any citizen, or any declaration of intention furnished to any declarant, under the naturalization laws, is lost, mutilated, or destroyed, the citizen or declarant may, upon the payment to the commissioner of a fee of $10 make application (accompanied by two photographs of the
applicant) to the Commissioner of Naturalization for a new certificate or declaration. If the commissioner finds that the certificate or
declaration is lost, mutilated, or destroyed, he shall issue to the applicant a new certificate or declaration with one of such photographs of the applicant affixed thereto).
Replacement Naturalization Certificate Form 2603 was renumbered as N-570, derivative Certificate of Citizenship Form 2402 as N-560, and Repatriation Certificates as N-581. See Nationality Act of 1940, supra, § 336 (“A person, admitted to citizenship by a naturalization court in conformity with the provision of this act shall be entitled upon such admission to receive from the clerk of such court a certificate of naturalization which shall contain substantially the following information: number of petition for naturalization; number of certificate of naturalization; date of naturalization; name, signature, place of residence, autographed photograph, and personal description of the naturalized person, including age, sex, marital status, and counter of former nationality; title, venue, and location of the naturalization court; statement that the court, having found that the petitioner intends to reside permanently in the United States, had complied in all respects with all of the applicable provisions of the naturalization laws of the United States, and was entitle to be admitted a citizen of the United States of America, thereupon ordered that the petitioner be admitted as a citizen of the United States of America; attestation of the clerk of the naturalization court; and seal of the court”); 1952 INA, supra, § 338.