Sunday, October 12, 2008

Immigration Passenger Lists Post 5 ~ Markings in Occupation Column

(Notes from a Study Group I attended)

Obviously this column lists a person's occupation or trade. The annotations in this column generally didn't have anything to do with an occupation. Annotations may be numbers, dates, words and letters.

In 1926 clerks began to note record checks, or verification and certification activity of naturalization's in this column. Because of a terrible scandal regarding fraudulent naturalizations this came into affect. The annotations noted would prevent anyone else from using a record for another naturalization. These annotations actually may be seen on manifests prior to 1926 as well as after 1926. The markings prior to 1926 related to activity occurring in 1926 or after however.

Verification of naturalization annotations had a specific format. It would have one or more of the following:

District Number - where the application was filed
Application Number
Date of Verification
Document issued - which would be a form number

At times clerks couldn't be sure a record found was actually related to the person who claimed their arrival record on their naturalization application. There may be minor differences of age, hair color, eye color, etc. In these cases you will see an annotation of "No CA", which meant no certificate of arrival.

Prior to June 30, 1906 there wasn't a "No CA" annotation. An "X" between the district number and the application number meant the passenger did not have to pay the Certification of Arrival Fee. A reference of "C.L." or "C/L" was annotated meaning a Certificate of Landing. A Certificate of Landing served the same as a Certificate of Arrival in the naturalization process.

Interpreting verification for naturalization annotations isn't always easy. The notations do not indicate when the immigrant initiated naturalization. The application number is apparently useless in finding these records. The district number is of limited help, as it will at least give an idea of where the immigrant was living when they filed their application.

The Naturalization Service would sometimes change the districts and this would be very confusing if you don't know what district is what in a given year. A certain city might be District #5 in 1927 but in 1931 it may be District #10.

District numbers by years are listed here -

1926-1929 - http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/manifests/occ/do29-29.html
1929-1933 - http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/manifests/occ/do29-33.html

(This study group followed the article "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations" by Marion L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. With assistance of Elise Freedman, Flora Gursky and Eleanor Bien.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

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