Monday, May 9, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Petition for Naturalization of Barnet Newmark

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I transcribe the naturalization petition (Second Papers) of my great grandfather, Barnet ("Barney") Newmark. A few weeks ago I mentioned trying to obtain the petition for his father, Samuel, but discovering that his father likely never completed the citizenship process. However, Barney became a citizen on October 1, 1915. I have previously transcribed his Declaration of Intent. (First Papers)

US Department of Labor
United States of America
Petition for Naturalization

To the Honorable the District Court of the United States in and for the Eastern Division of the Eastern Judicial District of Missouri:

The petition of Barnet Newmark, hereby filed, respectfully showeth:

First, My place of residence is 4352 Lee Ave, St. Louis, MO.

Second, My occupation is Tailor.

Third, I was born on the 25th day of March, anno Domini, 1886, at Warsaw, Russia.

Fourth, I emigrated to the United States from Southampton, England, on or about the 9th day of October anno Domini 1908, and arrived in the United States, at the port of New York, on the 16th day of October anno Domini 1908, on the vessel Oceanic.

Fifth, I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the 4 day of October, anno Domini 1910 at St. Louis, Mo., in the District Court of The United States,

Sixth, I am married. My wife’s name is Bertha. She was born in St. Louis, Mo, and now resides with me.
I have two children, and the name, date and place of birth, and place of residence of each of said children is as follows:

Melvin Lester born August 26, 1912 at St. Louis, MO and resides with me.
Harold was born on January 27, 1915 at St. Louis, MO and resides with me.

Seventh. I am not a disbeliever in or opposed to organized government or a member or affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching disbelief in or opposed to organized government. I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy. I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Nicholas II, Emperor of the Russias, of whom at this time I am a subject, and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.

Eighth. I am able to speak the English language.

Ninth. I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of five years at least, immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since the 16th day of October, anno Domini 1908, and in the State of Missouri, continuously next preceding the date of this petition since the 20th day of February, anno Domini 1909 being a residence within this state of at least one year next preceding the date of this petition.

Tenth, I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship to any court.

Attached hereto and made a part of this petition are my declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States and the Certificate from the Department of Labor, together with my affidavit and the affidavits of the two verifying witnesses thereto, required by law. Wherefore your petitioner prays that he may be admitted a citizen of the United States of America.

 Signature (Barnet Newmark)

Declaration of Intention and Certificate of Arrival No. 755090 from Department of Labor filed this 12th day of April, 1915.

Note to Clerk of Court – if petitioner arrived in the United States ON OR BEFORE JUNE 29, 1906, strike out the words reading “and Certificate of Arrival No ____ from Department of Labor.”

Eastern District of Missouri,

The aforesaid petitioner being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is the petitioner in the above-entitled proceedings; that he has read the foregoing petition and knows the contents thereof; that the said petition is signed with his full, true name; that the same is true of his own knowledge except as to matters therein stated to be alleged upon information and belief, and that as to those matters he believes it to be true.

Signature (Barnet Newmark)

Abe Altman, occupation Lawyer, residing at 6137a Plymouth
And L. J.Stern, occupation Clerk, residing at 4247 Harris Ave.

Each being severally, duly, and respectively sworn, deposes and says that he is a citizen of the United States of America; that he has personally know Barnet Newmark the petitioner above mentioned, to have resided in the United States continuously immediately preceding the date of filing his petition since the 1st day of March, anno Domini 1910, and in the State in which the above entitled petition is made continuously since the 1st day of March, anno Domini 1910, and that he has personal knowledge that the said petitioner is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and that the petitioner is in every way qualified, in his opinion, to be admitted a citizen of the United States.

Signature (Louis J. Stern)
Signature (Abe Altman)

Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above-named petitioner and witnesses in the office of the Clerk of said Court at St. Louis Mo., this 12th day of April, anno Domini 1915.

Signature (W.W. Nall) Clerk
By Signature (Charles M. Cune) Deputy Clerk.


1)  A few weeks ago when I said I was requesting the forms from the National Archives, I admitted I didn't think I would learn anything new.  I was curious what address he was living at, and whether his date of birth would remain consistent with his Declaration of Intent, which it did.  March 25th, 1886 is the date he provided in 1910 and 1915.  On September 12, 1918, on his registration for the draft, he would change his date of birth to April 14th.  The date of birth he would tell his children and grandchildren would be March 17th.  His wife would provide the April 14th date on his death certificate, but March 17th was placed on his tombstone.

2) I find it interesting that the two witnesses for the petition were the brothers-in-law of his wife, Bertha Cruvant.  Louis Stern was the husband of Stella (Cruvant) Stern, and Abe Altman was the husband of Flora (Cruvant) Altman.  One requirement for the witnesses was that they had to already be citizens, so it makes some sense.  The Newmark family arrived in 1908, without any known close family members already here.  The Cruvants had been living in St. Louis since the 1880s.

3) I believe there is a clerical error on the document. It provides the date of birth for Barney's first son as August 26, 1912.  That should be August 27.   (I haven't retrieved the birth certificate, yet, but I will be surprised if my grandfather celebrated his birthday incorrectly. I don't think that particular trait ran in the family.)

4) The 9th statement  provides a date I didn't know.  February 20, 1909 is when Barney (and likely his father, Samuel, and brother, Sol) arrived in St. Louis.  We knew that they had said they were headed to Memphis, TN on the Ship's manifest.  And we knew they were in St. Louis in time for the 1910 census.  But it appears they were in Memphis at most four months, from October 1908 to February 1909.


Susan Clark said...

This is fascinating. I've assumed since I have their citizenship papers and other vital records that my grandparents' petitions would contain nothing new. This changes my mind on that (I know I shouldn't assume - but there are so many other things to look for!). Many thanks for sharing this.

John said...

The information on the wife and children is probably the biggest addition from the Declaration of Intent to the Petition. (The spouse was added to Intent forms sometime between 1910 and 1922.)

For many, the date they arrived in the US and the date they arrived in the state of naturalization are going to be close to each other, but if they didn't settle at the port of entry, and the dates are accurate, it could give you a rough idea of the journey's length.

And if you don't have access to city directories or other sources, it provides an opportunity to get a snapshot of their address between census reports.